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Code complete electronic version ?

 
 
post400
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      09-03-2003
Hi,

apparently there is a very famous book that every developer should
read: Code complete by Steve McConnell !

Is there an electronic version freely downloadable ? After all, the
book was released in 1993 , it should have been public domain by now !
It would be nice to have a try before ! 50 is not exactly cheap !
What do you think ? Is it worth the money or not ?

Thanks !
post400
 
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Jim Dabell
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      09-03-2003
post400 wrote:

> apparently there is a very famous book that every developer should
> read: Code complete by Steve McConnell !
>
> Is there an electronic version freely downloadable ?


Not that I've heard.


> After all, the book was released in 1993 , it should have been public
> domain by now !


Works don't pass into the public domain for a hell of a lot longer than a
single decade, although I agree that for fast-moving industries like this,
copyright terms should be closer to ten years than 75, or whatever the
current terms are.


> It would be nice to have a try before !


Use a library.


> 50€ is not exactly cheap !


Your newsreader is claiming to encode articles as ISO-8859-1, although it
appears it's actually sending out cp1250 (I'm guessing that was meant to be
a Euro sign).


> What do you think ? Is it worth the money or not ?


Well people value money differently. A hard-up student might not think so,
but a professional programmer might. In my opinion, £20 [1] for this book,
compared with the prices of other books in the field, is very good value.
If it's too much, buy it second-hand. It's a good book, and although
plenty of it is just common sense, it's the type of common sense that's
easy to miss

[1] I bought mine new for about £20 a couple of years ago, Amazon UK has it
for £19.72 new, or £13.75 used.

<URL:http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/1556154844/>


--
Jim Dabell

 
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A.M. Kuchling
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      09-03-2003
On Wed, 03 Sep 2003 13:40:48 +0100,
Jim Dabell <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> If it's too much, buy it second-hand. It's a good book, and although
> plenty of it is just common sense, it's the type of common sense that's
> easy to miss


Isn't it mostly concerned with C, though? McConnell's _Rapid Development_
is pretty good, though, and examined the development process more than
language-related things.

--amk
 
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Jim Dabell
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      09-03-2003
A.M. Kuchling wrote:

> On Wed, 03 Sep 2003 13:40:48 +0100,
> Jim Dabell <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>> If it's too much, buy it second-hand. It's a good book, and although
>> plenty of it is just common sense, it's the type of common sense that's
>> easy to miss

>
> Isn't it mostly concerned with C, though?


Ah, forgot which group I was in for a minute .

It does give plenty of examples in C, and a lot of the issues discussed
don't apply to Python, but then again, there are plenty that are universal,
like good coding habits, project management, and so on.


> McConnell's _Rapid Development_ is pretty good, though, and examined the
> development process more than language-related things.


In a similar vein, if you want to focus on the project management side,
Peopleware and the Mythical Man-Month are good reads, and if it's more
software architecture you are after, then go for Design Patterns,
Refactoring or Antipatterns.


--
Jim Dabell

 
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Alan Gauld
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      09-03-2003
On Wed, 03 Sep 2003 09:03:57 -0500, "A.M. Kuchling" <(E-Mail Removed)>
wrote:
> On Wed, 03 Sep 2003 13:40:48 +0100,
> > If it's too much, buy it second-hand. It's a good book, and although
> > plenty of it is just common sense, it's the type of common sense that's
> > easy to miss

>
> Isn't it mostly concerned with C, though?


Not really, he gives examples in BASIC, ADA, Pascal and Fortran
as well as C./C++ The latter pair dominate as a reflection on
where the industry was in 1992. But the basic tenets apply
regardless of language - code layout, variable naming, control
structures etc.

Code Complete is essential reading for any prpfessional
programmer IMHO, but it may not be essential for non pros...

Alan G.
Author of the Learn to Program website
http://www.freenetpages.co.uk/hp/alan.gauld
 
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Syver Enstad
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      09-04-2003
http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed) (Alan Gauld) writes:

> On Wed, 03 Sep 2003 09:03:57 -0500, "A.M. Kuchling" <(E-Mail Removed)>
> wrote:
> > On Wed, 03 Sep 2003 13:40:48 +0100,
> > > If it's too much, buy it second-hand. It's a good book, and although
> > > plenty of it is just common sense, it's the type of common sense that's
> > > easy to miss

> >
> > Isn't it mostly concerned with C, though?

>
> Not really, he gives examples in BASIC, ADA, Pascal and Fortran
> as well as C./C++ The latter pair dominate as a reflection on
> where the industry was in 1992. But the basic tenets apply
> regardless of language - code layout, variable naming, control
> structures etc.
>
> Code Complete is essential reading for any prpfessional
> programmer IMHO, but it may not be essential for non pros...


I agree that Code Complete is a very good book, but I also think it is
getting somewhat long in the tooth. For once it doesn't cover
object-orientation. On the topic of coding I wonder if people are not
better off buying Refactoring by Martin Fowler and Kent Beck. On the
topic of project managment and development practices I would think
that the XP white book would be more up to date.

 
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post400
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      09-04-2003
(E-Mail Removed) (John J. Lee) wrote in message news:<(E-Mail Removed)>...
> (E-Mail Removed) (post400) writes:
>
> > apparently there is a very famous book that every developer should
> > read: Code complete by Steve McConnell !

>
> It's an interesting book, I agree, certainly well worth a read.
>
>
> > Is there an electronic version freely downloadable ? After all, the
> > book was released in 1993 , it should have been public domain by now !

>
> Clearly not, since you're contemplating buying it



----------------------
Actually yes ,I'm contemplating buying it but I just hate it when I
see how expensive some books are in Europe compared to US.(Ex: code
complete is 47 in Europe and 23$ in USA which is like 21 ! And it's
the same situation with many other IT-related products.And the problem
is that most american sites don't ship to Europe or the taxes are
enourmous.

bye,
post400

>
> It's not a narrowly-focused technical book, so it hasn't gone out of
> date (even though it says almost nothing about object orientation --
> in fact, that's part of what makes it interesting).
>
>
> > It would be nice to have a try before ! 50? is not exactly cheap !
> > What do you think ? Is it worth the money or not ?

>
> Do you have access to a public library? In North America and Western
> Europe, they're quite likely to be able to lend you a copy (even if
> it's not in your local library, they can borrow it from a larger
> library).
>
>
> John

 
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Alan Gauld
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      09-04-2003
On 4 Sep 2003 06:01:21 -0700, (E-Mail Removed) (post400)
wrote:
> see how expensive some books are in Europe compared to US.


Where in Europe? I'm in the UK and prices on Amazon.co.uk are not
significantly higher than the US site (ie nothing like double!)

> is that most american sites don't ship to Europe or the taxes are
> enourmous.


I've bought several books from the US(Barnes & Nobles,
Amazon.Com, and others). Taxes have never been significant. The
only real snag is the 4-6 week wait for shipment.

Alan g.
Author of the Learn to Program website
http://www.freenetpages.co.uk/hp/alan.gauld
 
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Peter Hansen
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      09-04-2003
Syver Enstad wrote:
>
> I agree that Code Complete is a very good book, but I also think it is
> getting somewhat long in the tooth. For once it doesn't cover
> object-orientation. On the topic of coding I wonder if people are not
> better off buying Refactoring by Martin Fowler and Kent Beck. On the
> topic of project managment and development practices I would think
> that the XP white book would be more up to date.


Although the XP white book (Kent Beck's) is quite out of date itself,
at least relative to the state-of-the-XP.

I'm not sure what I'd suggest as more current, unless it's to jump
directly to the TDD book, but while that would teach some *very good*
coding practices, it sort of gets away from the area covered by
Code Complete enough to be a questionable response to the OP.

-Peter
 
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Alan Gauld
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      09-04-2003
On 04 Sep 2003 10:09:21 +0200, Syver Enstad <(E-Mail Removed)>
wrote:

> > Code Complete is essential reading for any prpfessional
> > programmer IMHO, but it may not be essential for non pros...

>
> I agree that Code Complete is a very good book, but I also think it is
> getting somewhat long in the tooth. For once it doesn't cover
> object-orientation.


Thats a deliberate choice, OO was well established when McConnell
wrote the book. And apart from trivial details (usually language
specific ones) there is no difference between coding in an OO
language or a procedural one. That is the real issues of naming,
layout, control structures, data structures, testing and
debugging remain constant.

> On the topic of coding I wonder if people are not
> better off buying Refactoring by Martin Fowler and Kent Beck.


These books are more about design than coding IMHO.

> topic of project managment and development practices I would think
> that the XP white book would be more up to date.


Code Complete doesn't cover these, but Rapid Development covers
the principles behind XP etc quite well given that XP per se
wasn't invented then. (But pair programming and several other
features of XP have been around for 20+ years so McConnell was
well aware of them.) XP is also not universally accepted as being
suitable for all projects, particularly big ones, and McConnell
tries to cover all bases.

The other coding centred books that are worth considering in a
similar vein (IMO!) are

The Practice of Programming by Kernighan & Pike

and

The Pragmatic Programmer by Hunt & Thomas

And for an overview of all the different development
lifecycle/methodologies I recommend the book:

Wicked Problems, Righteous Solutions by DeGrace & Stahl

Its pre XP but most of XP can be found there in one form or
another.

Alan G.
Author of the Learn to Program website
http://www.freenetpages.co.uk/hp/alan.gauld
 
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