Geoff Chappell - Software Analyst
Many tasks that are typically required of a program are too substantial (and nowhere near sufficiently fundamental) to be supported as elements of the programming language yet present so common a need that they would be usefully standardised, at least to have them available in standard forms for those who want them.
The generalised provision for such standardisation in C and C++ comes through the language’s support for header files, which are common code at source level, and library files, which are common code at object level. Depending on design and need, it may suffice just to have the programmer’s own source code include header files and use their class definitions, inline functions, etc, but the general scheme has the compiled object files link with one or more library files, to pick up code and data whose implementations are too large for header files (or for which the author does not want to provide source code). The term library is typically applied to a package both of header files and library files.
Microsoft Visual C++ provides several libraries. Some of these libraries may get written about here, though probably never more than incidentally.