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9 Reviews
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this book. It is one of the three best C books ever!, March 22, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: C Programming FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions (Paperback)
"C Programming Faqs : Frequently Asked Questions" by Steve Summit is an absolute must have. Not only is Mr. Summit an incredibly talented writer, but the contents are superbly accurate. This is a *very* rare quality in C books. Who can use this book? Anyone from the most raw-boned neophyte to the most incredibly talented expert. The questions in the book are "frequently asked" precisely because they are usually not intuitively obvious and because they do come up frequently in practice. This work is the culmination of many years of effort on the part of one of the most helpful, courteous, and knowledgeable experts on the C language. The book is much more extensive than the on-line C FAQ, and a lot easier to read in book format. I have a copy at my bedside, which is reserved for my true favorites. Buy it!!! That's an order. The rating stops at 5 stars, but if I could, I would give it an entire galaxy.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best programming books, July 25, 2003
This review is from: C Programming FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions (Paperback)
This is an essential book for any programmer. I remember buying it when it first came out in Fall 1995. I was an undergraduate senior at the time and thought I was a hotshot C programmer. How mistaken I was! Reading through this book was a humbling experience, as each page showed me fine details of C that I did not already know.
This is an excellent book. It is organised into chapters on different aspects of C, and in each chapter are dozens of FAQs that range from rather common to extremely fine-detailed. Three chapters which I particularly liked were Chapter 1 (declarations and initalisations), 3 (expressions and evaluation order), and 6 (arrays and pointers). Later chapters introduced new (at the time) concepts to me, including getopt, variable-length argument lists, and preprocessor tricks. The level of detail provided in each answer is extraordinary.
Other things I liked about the book: The index is excellent. There is a lot of discussion (spread across the FAQs) on the differences between K&R and ANSI C. (This was relevant to me because at the time, I was splitting my work between gcc and the proprietary cc compilers on DEC Ultrix and SunOS.) The style of writing is friendly and does not talk down to you. This is not a beginners' book!
Note that there is an online version, but it does not have nearly as many questions as in this book.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An essential addition to any C programmer's library., April 6, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: C Programming FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions (Paperback)
This book gives answers to those annoying problems that always seem to come up in C programming, and which are either not mentioned in the standard texts, or are explained in Standard legalese which is not always comprehensible to the average reader. Both beginning C programmers and seasoned experts will benefit greatly from this book.
It is also arguably the most thouroghly peer-reviewed technical book ever written.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A C programmer's must read, March 14, 2005
This review is from: C Programming FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions (Paperback)
Simply put, this book does a good job of condensing years of FAQs from the comp.lang.c new group. Some of the questions really get down into the nitty gritty of C. The answers are easy to read and understand.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great companion, September 23, 2002
By 
Tom Alsberg (Zürich, Switzerland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: C Programming FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions (Paperback)
Not intended as a reference or a tutorial for the C language, this book fills one niche well - the gory, often forgotten or differently understood, fine details. When writing code, and noticing some behaviour which doesn't look completely natural, this FAQ can often help clear some things out.
In my opinion it is also good to read it at least once from the beginning - this gives some good insight on the language that might not always be immediately visible to beginners, or intermediate programmers who do not have years of experience behind them.
Most every C compiler these days supports some extensions and non-standard features, and some of those might be difficult to notice as non-standard. This book will also help you program in a more portable manner, and think in more standardized C.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars references to MSDOS are long in the tooth, September 24, 2005
This review is from: C Programming FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions (Paperback)
Summit gives us an extensive test of our C knowledge. While C has a simple syntax, and lacks object oriented complexity in notation, there are many nuances that catch out unwary programmers.

A lot of the questions revolve around the assembly language-like constructs in C, for pointer arithmetic. Very easy to trip up here. And also in the related area of memory (buffer) allocation.

If that is not enough to keep you busy, Summit also talks about issues of portability across different operating systems or across different versions of the same operating system. At least you usually don't have to worry about the version of C itself. For system dependencies, Summit covers both unix and MSDOS. While C and unix grew up together, a reality is that much C programming goes on under Microsoft.

The references to MSDOS in the text reflect that the book was written in 95. Though even then, Microsft was deprecating DOS in favour of its newer Windows offerings. A newer version of this book might be overdue. Where Summit would no doubt discuss C under XP.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars quick nutshell, August 27, 2006
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This review is from: C Programming FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions (Paperback)
this is good companion to C in nutshell. answering your c question quickly and effectively.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It covers the bases wonderfully!, May 20, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: C Programming FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions (Paperback)
This book would be a chapter shorter if C didn't have "++", "--", "**", etc. operators, but that's C's fault.
C Programming FAQs explains so many things I've scratched my head at, and shows how to do them properly, and most importantly, portably. Anyone interested in programming C NEEDS this book!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A 'real' gem, November 11, 2008
By 
PC (L.A., CA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: C Programming FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions (Paperback)
Have you ever had one of those C language questions that nobody quite knows the answer of? Well, this book should help.

I have seen a lot of good books on C++ on the market but there are very few good C books and this is one of them. I will bet that fewer than 5% of the C developers out there will be able to answer some the FAQs in this book.

It's too bad that not that many people know about this book but it is a real gem.
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C Programming FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions
C Programming FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions by Steve Summit (Paperback - November 17, 1995)
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