- Paperback: 533 pages
- Publisher: Pearson; 5 edition (March 3, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 013089592X
- ISBN-13: 978-0130895929
- Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 1.1 x 9.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 77 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #467,260 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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C: A Reference Manual, 5th Edition 5th Edition
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From the Back Cover
This best-selling, authoritative reference manual provides a complete description of the C language, the run-time libraries, and a style of C programming that empha_sizes correctness, portability, and maintainability.
Describing the C language more clearly and in more detail than any other book, authors Samuel P. Harbison and Guy L. Steele Jr. provide in a single manual:
- Standard C (1999) - the new revison of the C Standard supports complex and Boolean types, variable length arrays, precise floating-point programming, and new libraries for portability and internationalization.
- Standard C (1989)- the version of C used by most of today's programmers.
- Traditional C-common practice before 1990, with millions of lines of code in use every day.
- C++ compatible C-code that can be used as C or C++.
- The complete C run-time libraries for all C versions.
C: A Reference Manual is the only book that describes all the details of C-past and present. It is the single must-have reference for all C programmers and implementors.
Thoroughly revised and updated, the expanded Fifth Edition includes a complete description of the latest C Standard, ISO/IEC 9899:1999, with its powerful language extensions and new libraries.
New! Visit the Web site. www.CAReferenceManual.com contains source code for the longer examples in the book, expanded discussions on language issues, the latest ISO/IEC language corrigenda, and links to other C resources.
About the Author
From 1996-present Harbison led SDS infrastructure team and defined a software framework architecture across all TI DSPs and dev't tools, worked to make it fit with TI businesses, help negotiate alliances and acquisitions to make it happen. (Rollout and proudcts will appear in 1998.) Developed long-term vision in SDS and helped develop technology roadmaps. From 1995-96 as CTO Harbison set Tartan's technical direction. He defined and ran a new engineering organization and product development process that gave project managers more authority. He helped spearhead Tartan's long-term growth strategy by defining new products for C and Assembly programming on DSPs. Harbison managed the technical due diligence for TI merger. In 1992, he founded and directed the C/C++ Division, Tartan's first business unit and key to diversifying into commercial markets. Developed first PC-hosted products and first C++ product, for TI DSPs. Created a line of DSP math functions. Pioneered world-wide distribution channels using TI and 3rd parties. (Direct sales used elsewhere.)In 1990, Harbison founded a company, Pine Creek Software, funded by Digital Equipment Corp. to create a market for the Modula-3 programming language. Wrote the first Modula-3 textbook, exhibited at trade shows, wrote software, and published a newsletter. Still recognized as an authority, he was contracted by CRC in 1997 for a Modula-3 chapter in forthcoming Handbook of Object Technology.From 1982-1989, Harbison held various senior positions at Tartan, including Vice President. He led the software QA team & developed company-wide QA policies (1989). He managed several technology groups (1985-89). He was the project manager for Tartan's first commercial product (1984), and program manager for a contract with IBM to develop compilers for their RT PC (precursor to RS/6000). He designed and led development of Tartan's debugger (AdaScope). He developed the C compiler front end, and other internal tools (1981-1984). From 1980-82 Harbison was part of the SPICE research project at Carnegie-Mellon, which evangelized the concept of a "personal workstation" before most companies thought it was feasible. From 1974-80, he helped to develop the Hydra object-oriented, multiprocessor operating system, whose concepts were later used in the Intel 432 microprocessor.
Top customer reviews
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Complaint 1: The organization is terrible.
Example: From the first page of Chapter 4: "...some aspects of C's declarations are difficult to understand without a knowledge of C's type system, which is described in Chapter 5." So why not reverse the order of chapter 4 and 5???? I've never seen a book for any programming language that discusses declarations before type systems. Just stupid! Also, right off the bat the book comes out with full program examples in Chapter 2. So the fact that Chapters 4 and 5 take steps backwards to talk about the type system and declarations makes no sense at all.
Complaint 2: Most of the examples are so abstract they're hardly worth publishing.
Complaint 3: Absolutely cryptic layout.
Example: Pages 388-400 contain the most unreadable tabular breakdown of output format specifiers I've every seen. I'm better off just using my C++ book by Herbert Schildt.
Complaint 4: Target audience confusion.
Example: Every chapter is concluded by an "exercises" section, as if this book is supposed to be a full-blown tutorial. However, the title of the book is "Reference Manual" and, as I said in Complaint 2, the sample code is very abstract. This book in no way qualifies as a tutorial. The "exercises" section is just wasted pages.
I bought this book because of its high ratings from other reviewers. I have generally had good luck with this approach over the years, but not this time. STAY AWAY FROM THIS BOOK. It is not suitable either as a tutorial or reference manual.
I've used this since the 2nd edition getting each new edition as soon as released, one copy for the office and one for home. I prefer it over K&R by leaps and bounds. It's much easier to read and find information than K&R. The examples are better and are much more explanatory.
The only problems are that it needs updating, reformatting and modernization (styling to MISRA and/or CERT-C standard would be nice).
It also doesn't cover all the features of the language, as an example "volatile" is missing so you'll still need K&R. If the above were resolved, I'd dump K&R altogether and give it 5 stars.
Be forewarned, this is not a tutorial. It's aimed at someone who already knows the language, and needs a detailed description for those nagging questions you can't answer anyplace else.