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Leo Gomez
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Master Network Programming with Boost.Asio C++ Library: A Practical and Comprehensive Guide


Boost.Asio C++ Network Programming Cookbook: A Review




If you are a C++ developer who wants to learn how to create robust and highly-efficient cross-platform distributed applications with one of the most reputable C++ libraries, then you might be interested in reading Boost.Asio C++ Network Programming Cookbook by Dmytro Radchuk. This book is a collection of over 25 hands-on recipes that cover various aspects of network programming with Boost.Asio library. In this article, we will review the book and see what it has to offer for C++ network programmers.




boost asio c network programming cookbook



What is Boost.Asio?




A brief introduction to Boost.Asio library




Boost.Asio is a part of Boost C++ Libraries, a set of free, open-source, and peer-reviewed libraries that provide a wide range of functionality for C++ developers. Boost.Asio is a library that provides low-level access to operating system services for network communication, such as sockets, timers, buffers, and protocols. It also supports higher-level abstractions, such as streams, coroutines, and asynchronous operations.


The benefits of using Boost.Asio for network programming




Boost.Asio has several advantages over other network programming libraries or frameworks. Some of them are:


  • It is cross-platform, meaning that it can run on various operating systems, such as Windows, Linux, MacOS, etc.



  • It is scalable, meaning that it can handle a large number of concurrent connections and requests without compromising performance.



  • It is flexible, meaning that it can support various network protocols, such as TCP, UDP, HTTP, SSL/TLS, etc.



  • It is modern, meaning that it uses the latest features of C++11 standard, such as smart pointers, lambdas, move semantics, etc.



  • It is well-documented, meaning that it has a comprehensive online documentation that explains its usage and design.



What is the book about?




The structure and content of the book




The book consists of six chapters that cover different topics related to network programming with Boost.Asio. The chapters are:


  • The Basics: This chapter introduces the basic concepts and operations of Boost.Asio library, such as endpoints, sockets, resolvers, binders, connectors, acceptors, etc.



  • I/O Operations: This chapter explains how to perform input/output operations with Boost.Asio library, such as using fixed length or extensible buffers, writing and reading synchronously or asynchronously, canceling operations, shutting down and closing sockets, etc.



  • Implementing Client Applications: This chapter shows how to implement client applications with Boost.Asio library, such as synchronous or asynchronous TCP or UDP clients.



  • Implementing Server Applications: This chapter demonstrates how to implement server applications with Boost.Asio library, such as synchronous iterative or parallel TCP servers, or asynchronous TCP servers.



  • HTTP and SSL/TLS: This chapter teaches how to implement HTTP client and server applications with Boost.Asio library, and how to add SSL/TLS support to them.



  • Other Topics: This chapter covers some other topics that are useful for network programming with Boost.Asio library, such as using composite buffers for scatter/gather operations, using timers, getting and setting socket options, performing stream-based I/O, etc.



Each chapter contains several recipes that provide the statement and description of a particular practical problem, followed by a code sample that provides the solution to the problem, and a detailed step-by-step explanation. The recipes are grouped by topic into chapters and ordered by the level of complexity from basic to advanced.


The target audience and prerequisites of the book




The book is aimed at C++ developers who want to enhance their network programming skills using Boost.Asio library and understand the theory behind distributed application design and construction. The prerequisite for this book is experience with general C++11. To get the most from the book and comprehend advanced topics, some background experience in multithreading is also required.


What are the main features of the book?




Hands-on recipes for common network programming tasks




The book provides over 25 hands-on recipes that cover common network programming tasks with Boost.Asio library, such as creating endpoints and sockets, resolving DNS names, binding, connecting, accepting, writing, reading, canceling, shutting down, closing, etc. The recipes are concise and practical, and can be used as a reference or a starting point for further development.


Ready-to-use implementations of client and server applications




The book also provides ready-to-use implementations of client and server applications with Boost.Asio library, such as synchronous or asynchronous TCP or UDP clients or servers, HTTP client or server applications with or without SSL/TLS support, etc. The implementations are robust and highly-efficient, and can be used in real projects just out of the box.


Advanced topics such as HTTP, SSL/TLS, and chat application




The book also covers some advanced topics that are relevant for network programming with Boost.Asio library, such as implementing HTTP client and server applications with Boost.Asio library, adding SSL/TLS support to them using Boost.Asio SSL stream class, implementing a chat application using Boost.Asio coroutines feature, etc. The topics are interesting and challenging, and can help the readers to expand their knowledge and skills.


What are the pros and cons of the book?




The pros of the book




Practical examples and theoretical material




The book combines practical examples and theoretical material in a balanced way. The examples are based on real-world scenarios and problems that network programmers face every day. The theoretical material provides the necessary background and explanation for the examples. The book also includes some diagrams and tables that illustrate the concepts and data structures used in the examples.


Cross-platform and scalable solutions




The book shows how to create cross-platform and scalable solutions with Boost.Asio library. The solutions can run on various operating systems, such as Windows, Linux, MacOS, etc., without requiring any changes in the code. The solutions can also handle a large number of concurrent connections and requests without compromising performance.


Up-to-date with C++11 and Boost 1.60




The book is up-to-date with C++11 standard and Boost 1.60 version. It uses the latest features of C++11 standard, such as smart pointers, lambdas, move semantics, etc., to make the code more concise, readable, and efficient. It also uses the latest version of Boost.Asio library (1.60), which includes some new features and improvements over previous versions.


The cons of the book




Some typos and errors in the code




of line 70. These errors can be easily fixed by the readers, but they should have been avoided by the author or the editor.


Some recipes are too brief or complex




The book has some recipes that are too brief or complex for the readers to follow or understand. For example, in Chapter 3, Recipe 3 (Implementing an asynchronous TCP client), the author does not explain how the asynchronous operations are chained using lambda expressions and placeholders. In Chapter 6, Recipe 4 (Performing a stream-based I/O), the author does not explain how the streambuf class works and how it can be used with Boost.Asio streams. These recipes require more explanation and clarification from the author.


Some topics are not covered in depth




The book has some topics that are not covered in depth or detail by the author. For example, in Chapter 5, Recipe 1 (Implementing the HTTP client application), the author does not explain how to parse and handle different types of HTTP responses, such as redirects, errors, etc. In Chapter 6, Recipe 3 (Using timers), the author does not explain how to use different types of timers, such as deadline_timer, steady_timer, high_resolution_timer, etc. These topics require more information and examples from the author.


Conclusion




A summary of the main points of the article




In this article, we have reviewed Boost.Asio C++ Network Programming Cookbook by Dmytro Radchuk. This book is a collection of over 25 hands-on recipes that cover various aspects of network programming with Boost.Asio library. The book provides practical examples and theoretical material in a balanced way. The book shows how to create cross-platform and scalable solutions with Boost.Asio library. The book is up-to-date with C++11 standard and Boost 1.60 version.


A recommendation for the readers




We recommend this book to C++ developers who want to enhance their network programming skills using Boost.Asio library and understand the theory behind distributed application design and construction. The book is suitable for intermediate to advanced level C++ programmers who have some experience with general C++11 and multithreading. The book is not suitable for beginners who have no prior knowledge of network programming or Boost.Asio library.


FAQs




  • Q: Where can I buy this book?



  • A: You can buy this book from various online platforms, such as Amazon, Packt Publishing, Google Books, etc.



  • Q: How can I contact the author of this book?



  • A: You can contact the author of this book via his email address: dmytro.radchuk@gmail.com.



  • Q: What are some other books on network programming with Boost.Asio library?



  • A: Some other books on network programming with Boost.Asio library are:



  • Boost.Asio C++ Network Programming - Second Edition by John Torjo and Wisnu Anggoro



  • C++ Network Programming with Boost.Asio by Arunesh Goyal



  • C++ Reactive Programming by Rakesh Singh and Praseed Pai



  • Q: How can I learn more about Boost C++ Libraries?



  • A: You can learn more about Boost C++ Libraries from their official website: https://www.boost.org/.



  • Q: How can I improve my C++ network programming skills?



  • A: You can improve your C++ network programming skills by practicing with various online resources, such as tutorials, blogs, forums, videos, etc. You can also join online communities and groups of C++ network programmers and share your ideas and questions with them.



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