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C in a Nutshell (In a Nutshell (O'Reilly)) 1st Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0596006976
ISBN-10: 0596006977
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"As with much of the Nutshell series, this book is aimed at the competent programmer who needs a quick reference, not at the beginner. As a teacher of C programming, I had been looking for a reference work which covered the C99 version of the language standard, and did so in a readable format free of omissions and errors. "C in a Nutshell" did not disappoint, and the utility of the standard library reference was a welcome surprise." - Graham Lee, news@UK, June 2006 "This excellent book should have been written years ago." - Paul Hudson, Linux Format, November 2006 - 8/10

About the Author

Peter is a seminar leader and key course developer, teaching courses to thousands of software developers for Unix and Windows systems. As the chief developer and cofounder of the IT company Authensis AG in Germany, he has gained extensive experience in software development for computer telephony. Peter is also the author of several other books on software development in C/C++, most of them as co-author with Ulla Kirch-Prinz, including O'Reilly's "C Pocket Reference".

Tony Crawford is a technical-writer and freelance translator with a strong C background based just outside Berlin, Germany. In addition to regular software localization projects, he has translated books on network administration and ATM. A US native, Tony completed undergraduate work at Occidental College, Los Angeles; Universit de Perpignan, France; and Technische Universit t, Berlin. Tony translates from German into English.

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Product Details

  • Series: In a Nutshell (O'Reilly)
  • Paperback: 622 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (December 23, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596006977
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596006976
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #696,467 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
every day there are fewer reasons to purchase computer books. so much documentation is online or included as "man" or "info" pages that reference manuals have almost become extinct. "c in a nutshell" proves there can be real value in a book, even on a topic as "settled" as c. the reference is exhaustive, and there are many examples. but there is more to this book than just a c reference...this book really addresses the entirety of developing with common c tools like gcc and make, as well as adding discussion for memory management, pointers, and other thornier topics. the nice thing is that because the world of c isn't likely to change radically from this point, you can likely get use out of this book for another decade.
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Format: Paperback
Chapter Overview

01. C Basics

02. Types

03. Literals

04. Type Conversions

05. Expressions & Operators

06. Statements

07. Functions

08. Arrays

09. Pointers

10. Structures, Unions, and Bit Fields

11. Declarations

12. Dynamic Memory Management

13. Input & Output

14. Preprocessing Directives

15. Standard Headers

16. STL Functions Overview

17. STL Functions in Detail

18. Compiling with GCC

19. Using make to build C programs

20. Debugging with GDB

Book Review

For all new and experienced C programmers, this is an absolute must-buy reference to have at your side! Extremely well-written, laid out in a wise and efficient manner, this book will cover all the basics of C programming like function declarations, logic branches, looping methods, struct creation, etc etc etc. Aside from the basics of creating C programs, you will also learn how to use the GNU compiler, GDB debugger, make files, the whole shebang! Probably my favorite part of this book is the deep analysis of the standard library, so you can eliminate the basics of C programming altogether and avoid re-inventing the wheel when so much has already been done for you!!!

For anyone that is learning or wants to learn how to use C in the best way possible, pick up this book YESTERDAY, you won't regret it!!!

***** HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
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I'll admit that I'm a fan first and foremost of K&R, but this is a good reference too. It takes a little more time to explain some concepts than K&R, and does it in a way that can increase your learning. So while I wouldn't call this a drop-in replacement for K&R, it is definitely a good additional resource, one that I turn to almost as often as I turn to K&R.
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I had a years long on-off relationship with C, and - in order to spare myself some time while re-learning details when going from 'off' to 'on' state - I started writing a C reference-like notebook for my own usage. Somewhere in the middle of that writing process, while my writer's inspiration was at it's peak, I purchased this book and after two minutes of skipping through it's pages I just tossed my own reference notes in the trash.

If there's one thing I would change with this book it is that I would like there is a hardcover version; because once you develop obsessive-compulsive disorder of taking this book everywhere with you it would surely help if it was of maximal physical durability.
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Format: Paperback
C in a Nutshell is nearly a requirement for any serious C programmer. With a large portion of modern education being focused on objected oriented programming it can be difficult to strip away all the trimmings and get down to the nitty-gritty. This book is essentially the important details of C shoved into 600 pages. It includes a very decent introduction to C, but its real virtue is as a reference book.
The book is divided into two sections. The first is on the syntax of C and how to do basic tasks. Each subsection is clearly marked on the edge of the page, and contains a simple explanation of the concept, making it indispensable to look up simple tasks for the less frequent C programmer. Deeper into the section, some caveats to certain methods are explored, which can take hours out of difficult debugging. The real advantage of this book lies here in these lesser known features and functions of the C language.
The second primary section contains a very detailed reference of the C Standard Library. Each function is described along with usage examples, and a list of related functions. While very detailed, this section seems to be less useful compared to similar hyperlinked reference libraries available. When relevant, several gotchas are included in the section, but the majority of the functions are simply described and examples are shown.
Finally, there are several chapters on the commonly used tools for C development. GCC, make, and GDB are each explained in very good detail, with several lesser known options explored. These sections act as complimentary appendices to the bulk of the text, and round out the book into a very comprehensive reference on the C language.
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This is an excellent reference, one that I turn to almost every day. As one reviewer stated, this is not a book for those unfamiliar with C, but as a semi-experienced C programmer, I find it invaluable. I especially appreciate the little examples that it gives for many of the functions in the "Standard Library" section, they have helped me out of many a jam. I expect to be using this book for many years to come.
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