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Thinking in C++
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"Hello, world!"

And now, finally, the first program:

//: C02:Hello.cpp
// Saying Hello with C++
#include <iostream> // Stream declarations
using namespace std;

int main() {
  cout << "Hello, World! I am "
       << 8 << " Today!" << endl;
} ///:~

The cout object is handed a series of arguments via the ‘<<’ operators. It prints out these arguments in left-to-right order. The special iostream function endl outputs the line and a newline. With iostreams, you can string together a series of arguments like this, which makes the class easy to use.

In C, text inside double quotes is traditionally called a “string.” However, the Standard C++ library has a powerful class called string for manipulating text, and so I shall use the more precise term character array for text inside double quotes.

The compiler creates storage for character arrays and stores the ASCII equivalent for each character in this storage. The compiler automatically terminates this array of characters with an extra piece of storage containing the value 0 to indicate the end of the character array.

Inside a character array, you can insert special characters by using escape sequences. These consist of a backslash (\) followed by a special code. For example \n means newline. Your compiler manual or local C guide gives a complete set of escape sequences; others include \t (tab), \\ (backslash), and \b (backspace).

Notice that the statement can continue over multiple lines, and that the entire statement terminates with a semicolon

Character array arguments and constant numbers are mixed together in the above cout statement. Because the operator << is overloaded with a variety of meanings when used with cout, you can send cout a variety of different arguments and it will “figure out what to do with the message.”

Throughout this book you’ll notice that the first line of each file will be a comment that starts with the characters that start a comment (typically //), followed by a colon, and the last line of the listing will end with a comment followed by ‘/:~’. This is a technique I use to allow easy extraction of information from code files (the program to do this can be found in volume two of this book, at The first line also has the name and location of the file, so it can be referred to in text and in other files, and so you can easily locate it in the source code for this book (which is downloadable from

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