- Paperback: 353 pages
- Publisher: Prentice Hall; 1st edition (June 24, 1994)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0131774298
- ISBN-13: 978-0131774292
- Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.9 x 9.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 135 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #212,574 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Expert C Programming: Deep C Secrets 1st Edition
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Defying the stereotypical notion that technical books tend to be boring, Expert C Programming offers a lively and often humorous look at many aspects of C--from how memory is laid out to the details of pointers and arrays. The author reveals his points through invaluable anecdotes, such as stories of costly bugs, and through folklore, such as the contents of Donald Knuth's first publication. Each chapter ends with a section entitled "Some Light Relief," which discusses topics (topics that some may consider to be "recreational"), such as programming contests. A fabulous appendix on job interview questions finishes the book.
From the Back Cover
This is a very different book on the C language! In an easy, conversational style, Peter van der Linden, of Sun's compiler and OS kernel group, presents dozens of astonishing examples drawn from practical experience, including:
- Software that blew up the space probe to Venus
- The C bug that shut down the entire AT&T phone system
- C programmer job interview secrets
- Why programmers can't tell Halloween from Christmas day
- The C code for a complete BASIC interpreter
Expert C Programming reveals the coding techniques used by the best C programmers. It relates C to other languages, and includes an introduction to C++ that can be understood by an programmer without weeks of mind-bending study. Covering both the IBM PC and UNIX systems, it is an entertaining and educational romp through C showing how experts really use it. Expert C Programming is a must read for anyone who wants to learn more about the implementation, practical use, and folklore of C.
"Not just clearly written, but fun to read. The tone and style of this text should make this a popular book with professional programmers. However, the tone of this book will make it very popular with undergraduates. Appendix A alone would make the purchase of this book a must. It's filled with great advice."
Professor Jack Beidler, Chairman, Department of Computer Science, University of Scranton
"So that's why extern char *cp isn't the same as extern char cp. I knew that it didn't work despite their superficial equivalence, but I didn't know why. I also love the job interview test questions on C."
David S. Platt, Rolling Thunder Computing
"In Expert C Programming, Peter van der Linden combines C language expertise and a subtle sense of humor to deliver a C programming book that stands out from the pack. In a genre too often known for windy, lifeless prose, van der Linden's crisp language, tongue-in-cheek attitude, and real-world examples engage and instruct."
John Barry, author of Sunburst, Technobabble, and other books
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Not only are the pages very lightly bound (perfect binding style, not very perfect job), with pages having the top 20% pulling free of the binding the instant you open the book, but the left/right pages are different colors. The left pages have a gray / dirty / smudged look to them. The right hand pages are clean and look good. Makes it distracting to read, especially on the worst pages. I spend a lot more time trying to read what it says, instead of understanding. To bad, otherwise I'd have given it a higher rating.
I hope they publish an updated version of this for modern C and include chapters on topics like multithreading.
I enjoyed Peter's humor (sometimes laugh out loud, which makes anyone raise their eyebrow when they see the book title) and writing style. It was a very delightful text to read.
This book is an absolute must have for anyone that programs in C (as a second book on the subject). It should be required reading for anyone that teaches a course on C programming.
This book is full of little nuggets. I keep it by my desk, and when I have a free moment, I turn to a page at random and read the section that catches my eye. It is a great way to learn something new or reinforce something you know.
If you are looking for a "bag of tricks" book with canned routines, this is not the book for you. For a good bag of tricks, check out "Mastering Algorithms with C," ISBN 1-56592-453-3.
Some of the content is a bit dated and/or x86-centric, but since it will be a long time before the influence of C89 and x86 fade, this is not necessarily a negative.
And here is where I part with that reviewer. I find most of the humor to be both comprehensible and more to the point, funny. It does take a slightly twisted way at looking at the world. Most of the "wasted" paragraphs etc. are not actually wasted, if you're a mid lvl or beginner programer. Even some with experience can get some use out of this book. I do agree that this is probably a 3rd or 4th book for coders. As to the char** not being the same as const char**, just read it VERY carefully, after a bit you will understand. Though I do agree that the author could have been a bit clearer on that an a few other explanations.
I actually liked the varied topics, this book wasn't meant to be a reference encyclopedia nor a indepth analysis of some specific topic. AND personally I am tired of dry books. Which btw, this particular author has been just as guilty as most other computer book authors. Try his Java book and you will see what I mean.