C++ Programmer's Guide to the Standard Template Library
by Mark Nelson
IDG Books Worldwide, December 1995
ISBN 1-56884-314-3
875 pages.
List price in the US is $49.99


While this book is out of print, it is pretty easy to find it used condition on Amazon.com. If you purchase this or some other book after clicking through the link above, you’ll help me keep this web site up and running with the few pennies I skim from your purchase. Thanks!


This book was originally published by Programmer’s Press, an imprint of the colossal entity known as IDG Books. Programmer’s Press was supposed to be the antithesis of their wildly successful Dummies line. In other words, advanced books for the technically savvy.

I don’t know any of the details, but Programmer’s Press apparently was absorbed into the main body of IDG Books. During this transition, my book suddenly became an orphan, with no one to keep an eye on it. When the IDG warehouse shipped the last copies of my book, the normal out-of-stock alarm rang, but nobody was listening.

A few months later, I began receiving email from eager readers who were unable to purchase copies of the book. A few more weeks threading my way through the bureaucracy at IDG uncovered the details of the story as I have given it here.

At this point two cold truths became apparent. First, it would take several months before a new printing of the book could be issued. Second, the new ISO C++ standard would soon be ratified, making official a rather large set of differences between the STL described in my book and the one which would soon be the law of the land.

The end result of this was a decision to let the book die a quiet death. There is always a possibility that a new book on the C++ standard library may appear someday, but that is still just talk.

Thanks for your interest!