- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Prentice Hall; 2 edition (April 1, 1988)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0131103628
- ISBN-13: 978-0131103627
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.7 x 9.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 684 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,995 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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C Programming Language, 2nd Edition 2nd Edition
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Just about every C programmer I respect learned C from this book. Unlike many of the 1,000 page doorstops stuffed with CD-ROMs that have become popular, this volume is concise and powerful (if somewhat dangerous) -- like C itself. And it was written by Kernighan himself. Need we say more?
From the Publisher
This second editon describes C as defined by the ANSI standard. This book is meant to help the reader learn how to program in C. The book assumes some familiarity with basic programming concepts like variables, assignment statements, loops, and functions. A novice programmer should be able to read along and pick up the language.
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C as a language is nice for an introduction to lower level programming, especially once you start getting towards the bottom with the many different assembly languages out there. I'd recommend the book to someone who is interested in programming at a low-level and is looking to get their feet wet.
In short, this book is a classic in the field of computer programming, but it is no less relevant today. Kernigham and Ritchie start the reader from the very beginning with discussions of variables and functions, and keep their discussion of C in very stripped down and simple terms. Using C libraries can get you very far these days as a programmer, but if you want to know how those functions work, you will enjoy a very nice introduction in this book. You will make your own functions like strcat, atoi and so on using the most basic C commands. This approach to programming really helps the new programmer think for themselves.
I also like the problems and questions throughout the book. Kernigham and Ritchie definitely want the reader to be actively learning C and not just be a passive reader.
In short, this book is an excellent starting point for someone wanting to learn C, or for someone who is starting out in programming. Its also a classic that should definitely be on any career programmer's shelf.
K&R manages to teach an entire programming language in but a few lessons. As they say, C is a small language: it doesn't need a 1000 page book! Short, easy-to-understand, and right to the point, this books teaches the syntax of C, the usage of C, common paradigms of C, and so on. Possibly confusing practices ( while((int c = getchar()) != EOF) ) are well-explained, and you come away with a fantastic foundation of this language.
The exercise are fantastic, and some are quite difficult, forcing you to think and apply yourself. My one complaint is that solutions are not provided, but these are easily found online.
Even once you've read this book, it can be a fantastic reference. There are tomes out there dedicated to C reference, those may be better for, say, writing a kernel. But for most people, this book works fantastically.
I cannot recommend this book enough for learning C.
What this book is not for, but people seem to propagate it for: this isn't for a person who has never programmed before or who has no idea about basic program constructs or programming concepts. It's really meant as an introduction to a language, not an introduction to programming.