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The Definitive Guide to GCC (Definitive Guides) Paperback – August 10, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-1590595855 ISBN-10: 1590595858 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Series: Definitive Guides
  • Paperback: 584 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 2 edition (August 10, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590595858
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590595855
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 7.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #879,923 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

From the reviews of the second edition:

"This book is a user’s guide for some of the more commonly used GNU compilers and their collection of supporting tools. … This would be useful for more advanced users. … It also provides a good starting point for anyone that needs more information than what is in this book." (J. Miller, ACM Computing Reviews, Vol. 49 (2), February, 2008)

About the Author

William von Hagen holds degrees in computer science, English writing, and art history. William has worked with UNIX systems since 1982, during which time he has been a system administrator, systems programmer, software developer, development manager, computing facilities operations manager, writer, documentation manager, and (now) content manager. William has written a number of books, including Linux Filesystems, Installing Red Hat Linux 7, and SGML For Dummies, and he contributed to writing Red Hat 7 Unleashed. He coauthored Mac OS X Power User's Guide with Brian Proffitt. William has written articles and software reviews for publications including Linux Magazine, Linux Format (UK), Maximum Linux, Mac Tech Magazine, Mac Home Magazine, and Mac Directory, and he has written extensive online material for CMP Media, Linux Planet, and Corel.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Harold McFarland HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on April 30, 2007
Format: Paperback
The Definitive Guide to GCC covers the ways to use the GCC Compiler to compile programs written in C, C++, Fortran, and Java. For each of these languages the author discusses how it is implemented within the GCC compiler. While all the sections of the book are good the parts I found the best were the ones on optimizing and analyzing code as well as troubleshooting GCC. These are very well done sections and cover stuff that is often left out of other texts or not explained nearly as well.

This can be a dauntingly technical book for those unfamiliar with programming and compiling but that is also what makes it so perfect for the experienced user. It is an extensive reference that includes not only the common options but also some of the more obscure options and switches that can be highly useful in the right circumstances.

The Definitive Guide to GCC is typical of the "Definitive Guide" series by Apress and does not disappoint in terms of expertise, detail, and easy to follow explanations. If you want to know the GCC compiler, the details of how to use it, and troubleshoot compilation problems you will find this book to be one of the best resources you can find. The Definitive Guide to GCC is highly recommended.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth Hess on March 30, 2007
Format: Paperback
Wow. Von Hagen hit a home run with this one. Most programming books are a great answer for insomnia but the well written style of this book almost makes it a "page turner" and that says something for this man's style. I typically shy away from such subjects but was sufficiently impressed enough to delve deeper.

It is apparent from the very beginning when the discussion opens with C compilers that this guy knows just about everything there is to know about GCC.

I don't agree with the Beginner to Intermediate level as I think it is probably an Intermediate book. You really should know something about programming to be successful in understanding and enjoying the book.

Apress is known for highly technical and very well-written books and this one is no different. They certainly seem to find the experts in the field to write their books.

GCC will certainly put you one up on the competition but you may have to read it twice because it is very packed with information. Keep it handy as an invaluable reference.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By C. Madden on December 10, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Actually, this book does cover the FORTRAN and Java aspects of GCC for a couple of chapters, but yes it is mostly for C/C++ programmers. Anyway, if you want to learn about all of GCC's different switches, optimization techniques, and warnings then this book has it all. It also covers the "helper" tools like gcov.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By T. Conant on July 3, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is fine book, it's well written and easy to follow.. My only grip is with inaccuracies in the compile option appendix. The defined effect of certain options is the reverse from there actual effect. This caused me a bit of trouble when I tried to use the options and wasn't getting the results I expected. The online documentation was consistent with my results. My suggestion is double check the options against the gnu online reference. Hopefully in the following editions (if there will be any) this will be cleared up.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Neil G. Matthews on October 19, 2010
Format: Paperback
The ubiquitous GNU Compiler Collection is one of the fundamental underpinnings of Open Source and after a quarter of a century of development it is a formidable development tool. William von Hagen has done a masterful job in the second edition of the Definitive Guide to GCC in showing how to make the most of Richard Stallman's gift to the world. Occasionally the Author's sense of humour breaks up what can be a rather dry subject.

After a brief introduction to GCC, the author gets right into how to use GCC to compile C, C++, Fortran and Java respectively in the first four chapters of the book. While most of the book uses C code in examples of compiler usage, the Java chapter contains a good section on creating and using Jar files and Shared Libraries along with a brief section on how GCC supports Java and C++ interoperability. You quickly learn how to correctly use compiler flags to get the results you intend with these languages and gain an understanding of how they should be used. Importantly, without this understanding, it is easy to define flags that do not work as you expect, so the right off, this book can prove its worth. If you don't know what options are being passed to the gcc compiler in your makefile or know exactly what they do, then you aren't really in control of the build process for your code.

A significant change to the first edition was moving the first chapter of that edition, which covers the general use of the GCC compilers, into Appendix A. At 81 pages, this is the real meat in this book and I'm not sure that this was a good move, but it does align better with Appendix B, which covers machine and processor-specific options for GCC and hence can be considered an extension of Appendix A.
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16 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Paul Floyd on August 19, 2008
Format: Paperback
I'm not a big fan of GCC, and I don't think that opensource is the be all and end all. I'll try to be objective and not let my likes and dislikes colour this review.

The book seems to have a fairly good coverage of the main languages that GCC supports (C, C++, Java, Fortran, Objective C and Objective C++). I liked the coverage on optimisation and building GCC.

Now for some bad points. There is some annoying repetition - we get told far too many times that -pg is not the same as -p -g. The author proseletizes GNU software, and urges us to install GNU sed, awk, tar etc. In particular, I would not recommend GNU tar due to its nonstandard treatment of long filenames. I felt that the chapters on automake, autoconf, libtool and glibc were out of place in a book about a compiler suite. I try to avoid automake, autoconf and libtool (or autohell as they are collectively known as) like the plague as they are slow, unreliable when using platforms/compilers other than Linux/GCC and suffer chronic version dependency problems. I don't see any "amazing beauty" whatsoever (p. 185) in these three tools. I found the occasional digs at platforms such as VMS [which I've never used] somewhat unprofessional.

The glibc coverage adds to an overly Linux centric feel to the book (I learnt almost as much about Linux disaster recovery as I learnt about GCC on reading this book).

Rather than covering libtool, I would have preferred coverage of GNU ld (with a mention that the system link editor may be used on platforms that don't have GNU ld as the link editor).

There is no real comparison of GCC with other compilers.
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