C++ Lambda Story
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C++ Lambda Story

Everything you need to know about Lambda Expressions in Modern C++!

About the Book

This book guides you through the evolution of C++ Lambda Expressions so that you can learn it step by step. We'll start with C++03 and a motivation to have "ad-hoc" functors, and then we'll move into the latest C++ standards:

  • C++11 - early days of the feature. You'll learn about all the essential aspects of lambdas and several tricks you might apply. This is the longest chapter as we need to cover a lot of topics.
  • C++14 - updates. See how to use generic lambdas and captures with an initialiser.
  • C++17 - more improvements, especially by handling `this` pointer and allowing `constexpr`. You'll also learn about the overloaded pattern and how to derive from lambda.
  • C++20 - in this section you'll see all of the new features adopted for C++20 like template lambdas and how to use them with concepts and constexpr algorithms.

Additionally, throughout the chapters, you'll learn about the following techniques:

  • Immediately Invoked Functional Expressions (IIFE)
  • How to instrument a default functor to gather extra information
  • Replacing std::bind1st, std::bind2nd and removed functional stuff
  • The Overloaded Pattern and how to inherit from a lambda
  • Passing C++ captureless lambda as a function pointer to C API
  • LIFTING with lambdas
  • Storing lambdas in a container
  • Variadic templates and arguments packs
  • Lambdas and asynchronous execution
  • and many more

While the book is 100% ready, I might release some "hot-fixes" smaller releases. All existing readers get new updates for free.

The book is inspired by two articles that appeared at cppstories.com:

The articles also are based on a live coding presentation given by C++ Expert Tomasz Kamiński at our local Cracow C++ User Group.

Readers Feedback & Reviews

Below, you can find the GoodReads page for the book with the readers' feedback:

C++ Lambda Story @GoodReads

And a review at Adam Sawicki Blog:

Book Review: C++ Lambda Story


I'm a beginner in C++? Is that book for me?

The book assumes that you have a basic knowledge of C++. I suggest taking some elementary course first.

I'm an expert, and I know everything about C++? Is that book for me?

Yeah... you know all about C++? Is this possible? :)

Anyway, in your case, the book will give you a good refresher and even will show you some new tricks.

I'm not a beginner nor an expert...?

Perfect! So the book will show you lots of examples that will expand your knowledge and also remind you things that you may already know.

Additionally, throughout the book, you'll see other techniques and features related to modern C++ like, `constexpr`, exceptions, fold expressions, `std::thread`, perfect forwarding using callable objects and many more.

Is this a historical book with lots of boring descriptions?

The flow of the book focuses on the background behind lambda expression and its evolution. But it's meant to teach you practical things. You'll learn the lambdas step by step, understanding new capabilities that lambdas got with each C++ revision.

Will I get free updates?

Yes! While the book is 100% ready, I might add some more updates in the future, mainly bug fixes.

That's why it's best to buy the book as early as possible; for example, the earliest version of the book was completely free.

The content looks like copied directly from the blog, so what's the point to buy it?

The very early version of the book was adapted directly from the blog... but then most of the content was rewritten and heavily updated. Now, you get at least 4x of what's available on the blog, not to mention the better quality and a nice-looking pdf/ebook (there's no need to click and jump between separate blog articles).

On the Internet there's lots of free content about lambdas, so why buy the book?

Sure! Even on my blog, you can find lots of articles about lambda expression. The C++ draft is also free, so you can read the specification on your own. Or have an additional explanation from great cppreference pages.

But the book will save you lots of your precious time looking for those quality content, extra examples, extended descriptions. What's more, by having a nice learning flow, you can understand this powerful C++ feature much faster at a super low price.

Is there a refund option?

Yes! if you buy the Book through Leanpub, then you have a 45-day guarantee. (Not applicable with Kindle direct Publishing though).

You can also download a preview with almost 60 pages.

Did I miss something?

If you have more questions, then please ask directly and write at bartek AT cppstories.com.


About the Author

Bartłomiej Filipek
Bartłomiej Filipek

Bartłomiej (Bartek) Filipek is a C++ software developer from the beautiful city of Cracow in Poland He started his professional coding career in 2007. In 2010 he graduated from Jagiellonian University in Cracow, Poland, with a Master's Degree in Computer Science.

Bartek currently works at Xara, where he develops features for advanced document editors. He also has experience with desktop graphics applications, game development, large-scale systems for aviation, writing graphics drivers and even biofeedback. In the past, Bartek has also taught programming (mostly game and graphics programming courses) at local universities in Cracow.

Since 2011 Bartek has been regularly blogging at bfilipek.com and cppstories.com. Initially, the topics revolved around graphics programming, but now the blog focuses on core C++. He's also a co-organiser of the C++ User Group in Cracow. You can hear Bartek in one @CppCast episode where he talks about C++17, blogging and text processing.

Since October 2018, Bartek has been a C++ Expert for the Polish National Body, which works directly with ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 22 (C++ Standardisation Committee).

In the same month, Bartek was awarded his first MVP title for the years 2019/2020 by Microsoft.

In his spare time, he loves assembling Lego models with his little son.

See his blog at cppstories.com.

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Reader Testimonials


C++ Software Developer, San Diego

Just like in his previous book and his blog, Bartłomiej explains very well the details of lambda basics, the usage of lambda in your C++ code and goes all the way to the expert domain of this topic. Great read and very comprehensive (e)book to keep on your desk.

Jonathan Boccara
Jonathan Boccara


This is a great piece of work, stuffed with details and practical examples, and very easy to read. A must-read to know how to make the most of lambdas in your C++ code.

Table of Contents

  • About the Book
    • Roots Of The Book
    • Who This Book is For
    • How To Read This Book
    • Reader Feedback & Errata
    • Example Code
    • Code License
    • Formatting And Special Sections
      • Syntax Highlighting Limitations
      • Special Sections
    • Online Compilers
  • About the Author
  • Acknowledgements
  • Revision History
  • 1. Lambdas in C++98/03
    • Callable Objects in C++98/03
      • What is a “Functor”?
    • Issues with Function Object Class Types
    • Composing With Functional Helpers
    • Motivation for a New Feature
  • 2. Lambdas in C++11
    • The Syntax of Lambda Expression
      • A Few Examples of Lambda Expressions
    • Core Definitions
      • Compiler Expansion
    • The Type of a Lambda Expression
      • Constructors and Copying
    • The Call Operator
      • Overloading
      • Attributes
      • Other Modifiers
    • Captures
      • Generated Code
      • Capture All or Explicit?
      • The mutable Keyword
      • Invocation Counter - An Example of Captured Variables
      • Capturing Global Variables
      • Capturing Statics
      • Capturing a Class Member And the this Pointer
      • Moveable-only Objects
      • Preserving Const
      • Capturing a Parameter Pack
    • Return Type
      • Trailing Return Type Syntax
    • Conversion to a Function Pointer
      • A Tricky Case
    • IIFE - Immediately Invoked Functional Expression
      • One Note About the Readability
    • Inheriting from a Lambda
    • Storing Lambdas in a Container
    • Summary
  • 3. Lambdas in C++14
    • Default Parameters for Lambdas
    • Return Type Deduction
    • Captures With an Initialiser
      • Limitations
      • Improvements for Existing Issues
    • Generic Lambdas
      • Variadic Generic Arguments
      • Perfect Forwarding with Generic Lambdas
      • Deducing the Correct Type
    • Replacing std::bind1st and std::bind2nd with Lambdas
      • Using Modern C++ Techniques
      • Function Composition
    • LIFTing with lambdas
    • Recursive Lambdas
      • With std::function
      • Internal Lambda and a Generic Parameter
      • More Tricks
      • Is a recursive lambda the best alternative?
    • Summary
  • 4. Lambdas in C++17
    • Lambda Syntax Update
    • Exception Specification in the Type System
    • constexpr Lambda Expressions
      • Examples
      • Capturing Variables
      • constexpr Summary:
    • Capture of *this
      • Some Guides
    • Updates To IIFE
    • Extracting Functions with IIFE
    • Updates to Variadic Generic Lambdas
    • Deriving from Multiple Lambdas
      • Custom Template Argument Deduction Rules
      • Extension to Aggregate Initialisation
      • Example with std::variant and std::visit
    • Concurrent Execution Using Lambdas
      • Lambdas with std::thread
      • Lambdas with std::async
      • Lambdas and Parallel Algorithms from C++17
      • Lambdas And Async - Wrap Up
    • Summary
  • 5. Lambdas in C++20
    • Lambda Syntax Update
    • A Quick Overview of the Changes
    • consteval Lambdas
    • Capturing a Parameter Pack
    • Template Lambdas
    • Concepts and Lambdas
    • Changes to Stateless Lambdas
      • Even more with unevaluated contexts
    • Lambdas and constexpr Algorithms
    • C++20 Updates to the Overloaded Pattern
    • Summary
  • Appendix A - List of Techniques
  • Appendix B - Six Advantages of C++ Lambda Expressions
    • 1. Lambdas Make Code More Readable
    • 2. Lambdas Can Compile 7x Faster than std::bind!
    • 3. Lambdas Improve Locality of the Code
    • 4. Lambdas Allow Storing State Easily
    • 5. Lambdas Allow Several Overloads in the Same Place
    • 6. Lambdas Get Better with Each Revision of C++!
  • References
  • Index
  • Notes

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