- Paperback: 984 pages
- Publisher: Sams Publishing; 5 edition (December 3, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0672326965
- ISBN-13: 978-0672326967
- Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 2 x 9.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (440 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #387,349 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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C Primer Plus (5th Edition) 5th Edition
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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.
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Top Customer Reviews
As a word of advice, do the review questions and programs. It will help you understand the topics presented in this book. Imagining yourself doing them doesn't count, open a notepad program and actually write your answers/code.
I don't think any book I've ever read starts at zero then walks you through every logical construct and how programming decisions so fundamentally impact hardware / memory allocation so completely.
This book is a gem for both beginners and pros.
This book is outstanding. It so well written that it serves as a complimentary guide to basic C++ skills.
You learn about all the cool things the language is capable of without being overwhelmed or intimidated.
I find myself reading chapters more than once just for fun. - I guess I need to get a life.
I guess it's back to the dead tree edition.
Prata's writing is clear and concise without being dry. He sprinkles puns as he goes, which is rather nice. The information is laid out in a logical fashion. He goes into a good deal of detail and so you have a feeling for why things work in addition to knowing how things work. There's a lot to take in and important information presented more than once. Many things (e.g. file IO) are introduced early on with minimal detail but expanded in later chapters. This approach keeps the text flowing and helps you remember what you've learned. The example code and explanations of it are good.
Some things could do with more explanation. For example, if you've been programming in a language that doesn't use pointers then it may not be obvious why they are necessary. In instances such as these it would be nice to have a paragraph or two catering to readers who come from a higher-level language.
My main criticism of the book (and why it doesn't get 5 stars) is that the chapters are somewhat long and questions to test comprehension are only at the end. For instance, chapter 4 deals with strings, unions, enumerations, structures, and pointers. That's a lot of stuff. However, most of the programming questions at the end deal with strings and structures. Not enough questions on pointers. With shorter chapters there could be more chapter review questions. This would help the reader to understand and remember the material.
Another issue is that there are no solutions or hints to the programming exercises (there are answers to the review questions). If you get stuck or feel that your answer isn't elegant then you have to spend a while Googling for possibilities. It would be great to have hints or even answers at the end of the book.
The book itself is rather hefty (almost 1,400 pages) so the paper is a little thin and delicate. I suppose that's ok since thicker paper would have mean an even heavier book. The typefaces are clear but on my copy some pages look a little washed out (the ink is more gray than black). The kerning is distracting in places because some characters (e.g. "A") and up too close to the periods at the end of sentences. The binding seems reasonable.