C Programming Language, 2nd Edition 2nd Edition
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This book is a feisty little devil! I had heard of this book before diving in (it is a classic), but its size and table of contents lead me to believe I would breeze right through it. Wrong! Picking up the syntax wasn't too difficult and I have a fairly good handle on more advanced concepts like pointers already, but this book is absolutely packed with exercises and many of them are quite challenging!
"Write a program to check a C program for syntax errors like unbalanced parenthesis, brackets and braces. Don't forget about quotes, both single and double, escape sequences, and comments."
This is a chapter 1 exercise! Chapter 1 is just a tutorial introduction chapter and this is one 1 of 24 exercises in this chapter! No wonder it takes people years to work through this tiny book. I'm only about halfway through as I write this review.
This book is the perfect blend of reference material, practical knowledge and challenging exercises. There is absolutely no fluff and not a single word is wasted. I grow tired of pouring through 1,000+ page tomes. The appendices are also very well structured and extremely helpful.
Although I do virtually no C coding professionally, I can say for certain that this book has leveled up my skill-set. Working through these exercises has helped me with logical thinking and having a better understanding of coding closer to the machine has improved me as a developer overall. I'm one who believes that this book is great for all programmers, even if you never write a line of C after working through this book. I'm really loving the C language!
Whether you are a beginner or experienced it's worth having this book. Though this will be quite tough for total beginners, I say it's still work picking up and pairing it with a more beginner-friendly book. Unfortunately I cannot recommend such a book at this time because this is the only C book I've worked through.
If you pay attention to the details on this book, you will pick-up the most important area of C that will save you from scratching your head while debugging your code like side effects of infix/postfix increments, precedence of statement evaluation etc..
The authors also discussed some of the best practices in order to optimize the use of language such as efficient manipulation of pointers, style on delaring variables and initializations. Some of the coding style of this book was also used by coding guidelines found in official website of linux kernel.
This book is commendable not only because it was written by the Kernihan and the creator of the language itself(Richie) but how the book was organized and well explained. This is a small book with big information.
Some users here have mentioned that the authors were absolute legends in the fields, but bad teachers. I respectfully disagree. While I don't think that their style of teaching is for everyone, I will say that it is by no means a reflection of them being bad teachers. I have not seen a single exercise that cannot be solved with the provided material in one way or another, the real challenge? More experienced developers will know that there are other functions or constructs that can better solve the exercise at hand without making it far as manual as they would normally be, yet the trick and learning experience is in doing each one of them with the provided material, and to drive the point even further come back right after you are done with the book to keep playing. It is the only real way to work with a language such as C.
Are you a total novice? Absolutely nothing wrong with that, but do save yourself the headache and start somewhere else, C Programming Absolute Beginner's Guide by Greg Perry is an excellent choice, another great book is Head First C. Once you are done with them, then come back, purchase this absolute gem of a book, and get you more well acquainted with what might be the most important programming language in the entire world, shown to you by the creators themselves.
Top international reviews
Approaches of new chapters or topics are to direct that you cant get it.
They could make book more detailed version but their focus is to make it as precise as they can and as for that they made it a non begginer friendly book.
I hope this would help you to choose you a better book than this.
I am rereading the book now because I just bought it for my daughter who just completed her first year of programming classes for college in the States using C++ (amazingly enough) but who will be learning C next year so she can "learn how computers actually work".
It's hard to overstate just how good this book is. It's written by computer scientists who also grok programming, by one of the creators of the language itself. It contains countless useful bits of information you can use as a reference the rest of your life. I used to interview supposed C programmers by asking them the simple question: "Do you know how to implement strcmp or strcpy" and if they had ever read this book, the answer would always be yes. And if you do know how those are implemented, you are well on your way to understanding how computers do what they do, how amazing it all is.
From 35+ years ago I can remember that from this book you will learn how strcmp works, how to write a simple memory allocator, how to implement printf, a beautifully simple implementation of quick sort, and how to write the stdio library, and many others. These things have all helped me be a better than average programmer with a lower average IQ than many of the people I have worked with in Silicon Valley over the years.
It is a beautiful example of concise, accurate writing.
And for me it also brings back incredibly fond memories of my high school years and the excitement that has continued ever since.
This is a good book if you're interested in C, and a great book if you combine that with a strong interest in Linux. Otherwise, you might look elsewhere for a more modern approach to C programming. You won't find much guidance in the way of developing large software projects in C, but playing around and implementing command line tools is all here.
If you want to be an expert I'd definitely recommend this book. This book also gives example programs and tutorials and explains every line it writes, but don't over explain it, as in they come back to some things later on in the book as not to distract from the main thing being taught at the point you are at. This book also tries not to do too much hand holding and gives you exercises to write programs for yourself and lets you figure out some stuff by yourself as it acknowledges that the best way to learn to program is to actually do it rather than just read about it. I haven't ran into any compatibility issues yet meaning that none of the things the books have taught me so far hasn't worked because of the age of the book, all the things I've learnt so far you are still able to apply when coding without running into errors when compiling and running, if you do they're usually minor and can be fixed with a quick google search but its rare when you do. Anyhow this book has a nice clear contents page and references to things like useful libraries and functions you can include when coding, so you can find the section relevant to you if you wish.
This book also has a lot of content to cover so you'll always be learning new things and getting better, it starts of with a nice tutorial introduction to ease you in. Other books I've read on C are usually very very basic and underwhelming and you end up already knowing like 90% of the things taught, whereas this book actually shows you everything. Although don't expect it to constantly hold your hand. If you have a drive for learning and you're determined to write programs this book is definitely for you if you're lazy and want a (Learn programming language in 24hrs or 7days) guide and shortcuts this isn't for you, neither is that even realistic.
I'm definitely gonna stick with this book!
I wish I'd never binned my original copy
Thank you so much.
I feel as though with my understanding of C I am making great leaps with my game development skills.
The best C Programming tutorial? Maybe / Maybe not!
A Classic IT book? Certainly!
Should it be in your Programming book collection? DEFINITELY!
I believe that NO professional Windows / Unix / Web programmer should be without a copy of this book (or, i believe, a passing knowledge of C) if only to realise what you owe these two guys as far modern programming Languages like Java, C++ and C#, and your career are concerned!
OK, I admit it, I'm a fan!
Would I recommend this book to someone just starting out to learn the basics off programming? Probably not; the book makes no point in hiding that readers should at least know the basic fundamentals of programming before attempting to read this book, and for those readers I would recommend "C All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies", another truly excellent book on C. But, even for novice readers, it is still significantly better than the majority of other books available, and for slightly more advanced readers completely unbeatable.
There's a reason this book served as the absolute standard on C for many years - the late Dennis Ritchie wrote the language in the first place, not just this book, and I wholeheartedly believe he left behind one of the greatest legacies in Computer Science. If you don't already own this, I can't recommend it highly enough.
In 260 pages the authors explain exactly how C can be used to write powerful but compact programs in a language in which it is possible to do literally anything.
The fact that the book is relatively brief is a huge advantage and is a pleasant change from the enormous volumes currently on offer about C++.
I recommend this book to anyone learning C.
You must own this book in order to be taken seriously as a C programmer.