The C Programming Language (2nd Edition)

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9780131103627: The C Programming Language (2nd Edition)

This book is meant to help the reader learn how to program in C. It is the definitive reference guide, now in a second edition. Although the first edition was written in 1978, it continues to be a worldwide best-seller. This second edition brings the classic original up to date to include the ANSI standard. From the Preface: We have tried to retain the brevity of the first edition. C is not a big language, and it is not well served by a big book. We have improved the exposition of critical features, such as pointers, that are central to C programming. We have refined the original examples, and have added new examples in several chapters. For instance, the treatment of complicated declarations is augmented by programs that convert declarations into words and vice versa. As before, all examples have been tested directly from the text, which is in machine-readable form. As we said in the first preface to the first edition, C "wears well as one's experience with it grows." With a decade more experience, we still feel that way. We hope that this book will help you to learn C and use it well.

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Review:

Just about every C programmer I respect learned C from this book. Unlike many of the 1,000 page doorstops stuffed with CD-ROMs that have become popular, this volume is concise and powerful (if somewhat dangerous)--like C itself. And it was written by Kernighan himself. Need we say more? --Amazon.com

Review:

About 5 years into my programming career, I was mildly interested in learning C, so I picked up this book. At the time, I was deterred - it was very brief, terse, and confusing, so I put it back down again. But now, years later, with many more languages under my belt, I find myself again drawn to C. So I picked up this book again (2nd edition), and finally, I see the light! It is a wonderful book, I agree with all the glowing comments people have written about it, BUT! It is a book written by a computer programmer, for other computer programmers, not a book written by a teacher for a beginning student. C is alive and well, and still in use today - it lives "at the core" of most popular languages. You can see its influence on C++, JavaScript, even Visual Basic. If you are ready for it, reading and working through the examples in this book will provide you with a solid base for understanding an amazing variety of 'newer' programming languages. You have to work through the examples, though. If you 'just read' this book, you'll comprehend and retain close to '\0' (null) of the information presented. It's only by going through the examples, that you really nail the subject matter. Yeah, I know, some of these examples are tough - but they're also real-life, and typical of routines every programmer writes and uses. I myself sweated blood over exercise 3-3, but hours later when I was done, the satisfaction of comparing my answer favorably to others was worth it. :-) I have the C For Dummies books 1 and 2, and after going through them, I was still a Visual Basic programmer. ;-D If you already are a computer programmer, and want to obtain serious knowledge in C without wasting your valuable time, learn from this book --By Amazon Customer on February 20, 2002

This book is not "for Dummies". It assumes that you already have some knowledge of structured programming languages (i.e. Pascal). For example, this book spends four well-written pages explaining everything you need to know about functions. If you don't know what a function is, this will clearly not be enough. However, if you do know about functions, this book will not drone on and on for an entire chapter or two on the subject like some of the foot-crunching tomes the size of an encyclopdia. The book is expensive ($40) for its size (approx. 250pgs.), but it is worth every penny. To quote the authors: "C is not a big language, and it is not served well by a big book." As a bonus, almost anything you need to know about C can be found in seconds using the excellent index. It should be noted that this is a language reference and will NOT tell you how to use your editing environment or compiler. In summary, intermediate or advanced programmers should be able to learn C with reasonable proficiency in a short amount of time. --By pem2@lehigh.edu on November 8, 1997

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