- Paperback: 760 pages
- Publisher: No Starch Press; 2 edition (March 1, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1593272073
- ISBN-13: 978-1593272074
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.8 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 19 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #588,206 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Art of Assembly Language, 2nd Edition 2nd Edition
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"My flat-out favorite book of 2003 was Randall Hyde's The Art of Assembly Language."
- Software Developer Times
"You would be hard-pressed to find a better book on assembly out there."
"If you want to use assembly language, or add it to your list of programming skills, this is the book to have."
- Book News (Australia)
"The text is well authored and easy to understand. The tutorials are thoroughly explained, and the example code segments are superbly commented."
About the Author
Randall Hyde is the author of Write Great Code Volumes 1 and 2 (No Starch Press) and the co-author of MASM 6.0 Bible (The Waite Group). He has written for Dr. Dobb's Journal, Byte, and various professional journals. Hyde taught assembly language at the University of California, Riverside for over a decade.
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I think this book would be much more appropriate if it was titled "The Art of High Level Assembly." The current title borders on false advertising.
Why should i spend my time learning a random language that is not used in practice, that is not going to help me read or understand actual assembly code that i come across in the wild? Book should be called “art of HLA” so it doesn’t mislead any other people into buying it.
I blithely assumed Art of Assembly would take things a step further, but it is not that book. It covers High Level Assembly, a software package of Hyde's invention that probably makes it easier for high-level language programmers to adapt to assembly code. The reader could learn enough HLA, Hyde proposes, to write low-level assembly directly. I think this point is questionable, and easily lost on some number of readers who are drawn in by the title. Not because it can't be done, but because most people adopting technologies on the go don't have the time or the need for small first steps into a complex, technically demanding topic. And why would you do this with HLA anyway, when you could immediately start doing this with C and the proper compiler switch?
The technical discussion is sometimes overwrought, as if to assuage the nervous reader that things are ok. I found this style distracting, sometimes to the point of irritation. The technical understanding expected also appears quite uneven, as if much of the book was cobbled together from technical notes with lots of brainstorming marginalia. One minute we're looking at each element of a simple HLA program, then adding and noting unsurprising "new concepts." The next minute we're reading a very brief overview of the Intel 80x86, then a table of acceptable operands to the mov instruction. Then back to HLA and its control structures. Where are we going? The question came up more than a few times for me throughout the book.
This book could benefit from some sentence editing and section re-ordering, yes. But it mostly needs a clear, singular vision on teaching the subject at hand, and principles to guide that vision with exceptions only when straying off-course is the only way to make an essential point.
I think the bulk of objections I have read from others could be removed by two means. One, clarify who the audience really is. It can't be both serious programmers and people who need to be told where the Start button is on a Windows machine, or how to get to a command-line console. If the book is meant to address someone with non-academic experience on a computer, why not start with object code they can generate with a simple compiler switch? To me that's much easier that learning a sugaring language, then eventually working one's way down an arguably broader path. Two, call this book what it is: it is a guide to learning HLA. That really belongs in the title of this book.
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