- Paperback: 661 pages
- Publisher: W W Norton & Co Inc; 1st edition (February 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0393969452
- ISBN-13: 978-0393969450
- Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 7.8 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 141 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #718,555 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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C Programming: A Modern Approach 1st Edition
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... this book will be well received because of its unique approach to the presentation of the material; it is full of examples and insights. King does not stop--as many others do--in merely explaining how the C programming language works. His well-written and well-organized book is full of advice and explanations of best practices in how to use the language most effectively. One of the most welcome aspects is that King identifies C programming 'idioms,' explains when the idioms are applicable, and shows why they are useful. The book is aimed at people with no prior programming experience, yet it is quite comprehensive in its treatment of the majority of C programming concepts. It is up-to-date in that it also covers the information needed by a C programmer in using the standard C library... -- Choice, September, 1996
A few years ago, I decided to switch from Fortran (which I had used for over 20 years) to C. I purchased about a dozen different books purporting to explain how to use the C language. Most were densely unreadable, few had a usable index, and some were riddled with errors. Now comes the book I really wanted... It is apparent that this book was written by someone who has spent time teaching the subject. The writing style is entertaining and clear. There are many good examples... Best of all, the index takes you right to the part of the book you need--it is not too sparse, and it is not cluttered with irrelevant references. The first time I picked up this book I quickly found the solution to a file-reading bug which had perplexed me for months. I am placing this book at the top of my heap of programming texts, and I am recommending it to all of my programming colleagues. -- Journal of Chemical Information and Computer Sciences, September/October, 1996
The exceptional value of the book lies in the fact that the material is well structured and is made accessible to anyone with minimal programming experience, to those unfamiliar with C, and even to those who do not know any programming language... The book accomplishes the author's stated goal of making it the ideal classroom textbook with examples... Reading this book was extremely useful, both because I have discovered new things in it and, first and foremost, because it has helped me to restructure my knowledge of C. -- Computing Reviews, February, 1997
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Later on in the book, KN King tackles on some C standard library specifics header by header. I appreciate how I can quickly figure out what each function of the standard library does after reading the back of the book reference. The chapter on the C Preprocessor has allowed me to make some pretty cool macros and understand how they all unwind. In addition, good practices are also mentioned, although not as frequent as in Zed Shaw's book. All in all KN King really does elucidate the language with this book.
However, if you already know how to program and you happen not knowing C, it might be a little to analytical and slow.
This book is a valuable learning and reference tool that I plan to keep on my desk for years to come.
In this second edition, I think that KNK is now the logical heir to K&R. That's not meant as blasphemy -- Kernighan and Ritchie's still great volume is around 20 years of age and it's unlikely they'll be getting together for K&R3. The C language has undergone enough changes (with the amendment of 1994) and C99, that a ``Modern Approach'' really is needed.
There's another author familiar to readers of the comp.lang.c newsgroup for his approachable, engaging writing style. That author is a wonderful writer but doesn't let the truth get in the way of good narrative. King, though, is an equally engaging writer but is obviously passionate about correctness and adhering to the C standard. He's also meticulous about portability so that the examples are written in pure C and not some platform-specific variant.
I've the entire book and can find hardly anything even nitpick. Aside from a minor style difference about using parentheses with the ``sizeof'' operator, which King explains his rationale for doing so, that's about it.
His explanation of C99 (and the differences from C90 are clearly indicated) made me aware of some really nice features of the current standard for the language (and makes me wonder why one very notable compiler implementer hasn't yet supported C99).
In short, get this book. The Q&A sections at the end of each chapter are very well done. The exercises and programming projects help to amplify the material presented. And King's examples will teach you more about barcodes and ISBN numbers than you ever thought possible.
If you can appreciate the work of a fine craftsman in film such as Martin Scorsese, you'll find that King is of that caliber in the realm of lucidly dealing with this technical subject.