About the Author
Stephen Prata teaches astronomy, physics, and programming at the College of Marin in Kentfield, California. He received his B.S. from the California Institute of Technology and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. His association with computers began with the computer modeling of star clusters. Stephen has authored or coauthored over a dozen books, including C++ Primer Plus and Unix Primer Plus.
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C Primer Plus
C was a relatively little-known language when the first edition of C Primer Plus was written in 1984. Since then, the language has boomed, and many people have learned C with the help of this book. In fact, over 500,000 people have purchased C Primer Plus throughout its various editions.
As the language has grown from the early informal K&R standard through the 1990 ISO/ANSI standard to the 1999 ISO/ANSI standard, so has this book matured through this, the fifth edition. As with all the editions, my aim has been to create an introduction to C that is instructive, clear, and helpful.
Approach and Goals
My goal is for this book to serve as a friendly, easy-to-use, self-study guide. To accomplish that objective, C Primer Plus employs the following strategies:
Programming concepts are explained, along with details of the C language; the book does not assume that you are a professional programmer.
Many short, easily typed examples illustrate just one or two concepts at a time, because learning by doing is one of the most effective ways to master new information.
Figures and illustrations clarify concepts that are difficult to grasp in words alone.
Highlight boxes summarize the main features of C for easy reference and review.
Review questions and programming exercises at the end of each chapter allow you to test and improve your understanding of C.
To gain the greatest benefit, you should take as active a role as possible in studying the topics in this book. Don't just read the examples, enter them into your system, and try them. C is a very portable language, but you may find differences between how a program works on your system and how it works on ours. Experimentchange part of a program to see what the effect is. Modify a program to do something slightly different. Ignore the occasional warnings and see what happens when you do the wrong thing. Try the questions and exercises. The more you do yourself, the more you will learn and remember.
I hope that you'll find this newest edition an enjoyable and effective introduction to the C language.