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Thinking in C++
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Fundamentals of program structure

A C or C++ program is a collection of variables, function definitions, and function calls. When the program starts, it executes initialization code and calls a special function, “main( ).” You put the primary code for the program here.

As mentioned earlier, a function definition consists of a return type (which must be specified in C++), a function name, an argument list in parentheses, and the function code contained in braces. Here is a sample function definition:

int function() {
  // Function code here (this is a comment)

The function above has an empty argument list and a body that contains only a comment.

There can be many sets of braces within a function definition, but there must always be at least one set surrounding the function body. Since main( ) is a function, it must follow these rules. In C++, main( ) always has return type of int.

C and C++ are free form languages. With few exceptions, the compiler ignores newlines and white space, so it must have some way to determine the end of a statement. Statements are delimited by semicolons.

C comments start with /* and end with */. They can include newlines. C++ uses C-style comments and has an additional type of comment: //. The // starts a comment that terminates with a newline. It is more convenient than /* */ for one-line comments, and is used extensively in this book.

Thinking in C++
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   Reproduced courtesy of Bruce Eckel, MindView, Inc. Design by Interspire