The STL is a bit of a shock when you first come across it. C++ starts out as a kind of extended C, and then there’s this massive collection and algorithm library bolted onto the side of the language. It has a usage style that revolves around iterators and is highly dependent on templates which are another late addition to C++. That said, the library itself is very powerful and offers very good performance for typical CS container types. It even includes the idea of first class functions (via functors).
The book is divided into 7 chapters – containers, vector and string, associative containers, iterators, algorithms, functors and programming with the STL. Each chapter contains at least four tips associated with the subject of the chapter. These tips are very well chosen and shed light on the design and implementation of the STL.
This is a very informative book which should be accompanied with a good book on C++ templates. It will take several reads to get a good handle on the material that it covers, but I really enjoyed it.