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Programming with GNU Software: Tools from Cygnus Support (Nutshell Handbooks) Paperback – December 8, 1996

ISBN-13: 978-1565921122 ISBN-10: 1565921127

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Product Details

  • Series: Nutshell Handbooks
  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media (December 8, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565921127
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565921122
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,282,285 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

One of the great benefits of Unix is the vast array of free and inexpensive software tools that are available for the platform. Programming with GNU Software provides an overview of how C and C++ programmers can use some of these tools: the source-code editor Emacs, the gcc compiler, gdb debugger, gprof profiler, and the RCS version-control system. The book offers a quick-paced tutorial that, unlike some introductions to Unix tools, is particularly focused on the needs of C programmers.

From the Publisher

The promise of having control over their environment draws programmers to UNIX. It offers powerful tools for the initiated within an operating system that can be customized and tuned in almost unlimited ways. Programmers use UNIX because it lets them do what they want. And they like to see the source code for the software they work with. So it's no surprise the most popular programming tools on UNIX are free. They're easy to get, easy to customize, and better than many tools put out by vendors. They also offer a great deal of power. And the source code is publicly available. This book and CD combination is a complete package for programmers who are new to UNIX or who would like to make better use of the system. The tools come from Cygnus Support, Inc., and Cyclic Software, companies that provide support for free software. The tools on the CD include: GNU Emacs, the legendary text editor gcc, the C and C++ compiler that immediately established itself as the best UNIX compiler for robustness and optimization GNU libraries (including C++ libraries) The gdb debugger RCS, a tool for backing up and maintaining multiple versions of source files GNU make, the most powerful version of that utility for managing builds the gprof profiler The book provides an introduction to all these tools for a C programmer. Previous experience with UNIX is not required. The CD-ROM in this book contains binaries for several popular UNIX systems, including Sun SPARC4 running SunOS 4.1.3, Sun SPARC4 running Solaris 2.4, HP 9000/700 running HPUX, IBM RS/6000 running AIX 3, SGI Iris/Indigo running Irix 5.3, and Alpha running Digital UNIX. Complete source code and scripts for configuration, building, and installation are also included.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Richard Kelley(richard-kelley@ufl.edu) on April 28, 1999
Format: Paperback
There is some very good material contained in this text. The problem is there is also a fair amount of "We're GNU, we're great, here are the other books which will explain how to use this tool."
Practical C++ Programming, another O'Reilly text has 500+ pages and lists for $32.95. It is a great example of solid writing and is a great bang for the bucks. Programming with GNU Software has less than 250 pages and lists for $39.95. The writing style is weak and the flow is not as strong. Programming with GNU could easily drop 75 pages worth of self warm fuzzies, work a bit more on the flow of instruction, and include a little more info.
Note: The three stars are for the content which was worth reading. This book is good for those who have little to no exposure to GNU environment. If you have some familiarity then get texts which address the specific tools.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Anatoly Korzun on December 9, 1999
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book collects the information usually scattered in different places.It covers the following tools: gcc, emacs, gdb, make, rcs, gprof. The explanation is pretty clear, necessary examples are given.
What I don't like in this book: too many words about benefits of free software, probably more technical topics and details would be more useful. E.g. the chapter about 'make' even doesn't mention pattern rules. I'd like also to see a section devoted to CVS. The level of details is good for an introductory course but is not sufficient for a reference book.
RESUME: if you are new to GNU tools and going to use them on a regular basis this book will help you, otherwise skip it.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 20, 2001
Format: Paperback
What I love about this book is that it covers subjects that you run into all the time in unix but none of my other books say much about. For example the link editor, libraries, c command line options. In particular I like the sections on gdb and gprof. Super useful. The intro has a section on unix and setting up your environmental variables, another neglected topic. The only section that didn't interest me is the section on emacs since I am a vi guy. But, it doesn't hurt to have it either... In sum, if you are a true UNIX guru, you may already know all this stuff, but, if you are an aspiring guru, like myself, this is pure gold.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By hnelson@ecst.csuchico.edu on February 1, 1999
Format: Paperback
When I first started programming, I used a Windows based PC. When I was told I was to develop on a Unix platform, I felt very intimidated. Windows based computers tend to use integrated development environments, while Unix based computers tend to use a synergenic collection of text based tools. I had a good understanding of how to write C/C++ code, but no understanding of the Unix tools. This book greatly helped me understand the advantages of the Unix programming envronment. Each of the essential Unix programming utilities was discribed in enough detail that I felt comfortable using them. Other O'Reilly books cover the utilities in great depth, while this book gets you started using the tools productively.
Hugh T. Nelson
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 29, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book collects all the little tidbits of info concerning compiling, writing make files, debugging and more into a hand reference book. It is good for people who know C/C++, but don't know the Un*x toolset.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 21, 1998
Format: Paperback
I would hardly have expected this book to be the most borrowed one in my collection at the office, but it is. It has a little of everything: EMACS commands, gcc, make, and source control. It's not exhaustive, but that's exactly the point. When you just want to refresh your understanding of how to write a make file, and don't feel like wading though reams of man and info documentation, this book comes in very handy. And it's portable...
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