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Nth request of book recommendations

 
 
Guido Mureddu
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      11-27-2004
Hello,

I'm a student in electronic engineering. I do know you've seen and answered this
sort of topic/request countless times, but I haven't found past threads as
helpful as I had hoped, and even though I have read them all and many reviews, I
prefer to ask directly to people who know the subject better than anyone else.

First of all, I'm not new to programming, and I have already had an
introductory course on C. I have an "intermediate C" course this semester.
Whatever "intermediate C" means, I intend to learn the language in much greater
detail than I did with the introductory course. The professor gave us choice
between two books: "C: The Complete Reference" by Herbert Schildt, and "A Book
on C" by Kelley/Pohl.
I have Schildt's. I started reading through it page by page, happy to have found
a deep and detailed - but readable - reference on the language. As you can
imagine, the book's inconsistencies started to make me suspicious after the
first few chapters. I searched here for threads about the book, and found a lot
of bashing and general dislike of the book, which confirmed my (sad) impression
that I was reading a very enjoyable, but misinforming, book.

I want a better book - one that I can rely on. At the same time, I don't want
another introduction to the language - I've gone through that already. And I
want something readable, not some sort of C encyclopedia. My searches narrowed
down possible candidates to these books:

- "A Book on C", by Kelley & Pohl. This seems to be recommended by many, but is
it good as a detailed reference? My general feeling is that it might be a little
too oriented towards the beginner.

- "The C Programming Language", well, K&R2. Definitely a book I will buy sooner
or later, but I feel that right now I'd like something more detailed. I know
it's still the best - but extracting informations from it may not always be
easy. Also I'm not sure about its value as a complete reference.

- "C: A Reference Manual" by Harbison & Steele. Do I need this for my studies?
Is it actually useful for learning, or is it only a reference? Is it readable
by someone who only knows the basics of the language? In general, can it be read
almost cover to cover?

If possible, I'd like to know about the quality of the binding/paper of these
books: because of their prices, I want them to last one decade, not one year.

To put it simply: I want a book like Schildt's, but correct, precise and
conforming to the ANSI standard.

If you've actually read through all this, thank you. I hope someone can help me.
Feel free to recommend another book if you think my three possible choices are
not adequate.


Guido Mureddu

_____________________________________________
Written with VIM - Vi Improved (www.vim.org)
 
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Merrill & Michele
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Posts: n/a
 
      11-27-2004

"Guido Mureddu" <
> Hello,
>
> I'm a student in electronic engineering. I do know you've seen and

answered this
> sort of topic/request countless times, but I haven't found past threads as
> helpful as I had hoped, and even though I have read them all and many

reviews, I
> prefer to ask directly to people who know the subject better than anyone

else.
>
> First of all, I'm not new to programming, and I have already had an
> introductory course on C. I have an "intermediate C" course this semester.
> Whatever "intermediate C" means, I intend to learn the language in much

greater
> detail than I did with the introductory course. The professor gave us

choice
> between two books: "C: The Complete Reference" by Herbert Schildt, and "A

Book
> on C" by Kelley/Pohl.
> I have Schildt's. I started reading through it page by page, happy to have

found
> a deep and detailed - but readable - reference on the language. As you can
> imagine, the book's inconsistencies started to make me suspicious after

the
> first few chapters. I searched here for threads about the book, and found

a lot
> of bashing and general dislike of the book, which confirmed my (sad)

impression
> that I was reading a very enjoyable, but misinforming, book.
>
> I want a better book - one that I can rely on. At the same time, I don't

want
> another introduction to the language - I've gone through that already. And

I
> want something readable, not some sort of C encyclopedia. My searches

narrowed
> down possible candidates to these books:
>
> - "A Book on C", by Kelley & Pohl. This seems to be recommended by many,

but is
> it good as a detailed reference? My general feeling is that it might be a

little
> too oriented towards the beginner.
>
> - "The C Programming Language", well, K&R2. Definitely a book I will buy

sooner
> or later, but I feel that right now I'd like something more detailed. I

know
> it's still the best - but extracting informations from it may not always

be
> easy. Also I'm not sure about its value as a complete reference.


Absolutely necessary. Go directly to bookstore. Do not pass Go, unless it
is to 5*PRICE.

> - "C: A Reference Manual" by Harbison & Steele. Do I need this for my

studies?
> Is it actually useful for learning, or is it only a reference? Is it

readable
> by someone who only knows the basics of the language? In general, can it

be read
> almost cover to cover?
>
> If possible, I'd like to know about the quality of the binding/paper of

these
> books: because of their prices, I want them to last one decade, not one

year.
>
> To put it simply: I want a book like Schildt's, but correct, precise and
> conforming to the ANSI standard.
>
> If you've actually read through all this, thank you. I hope someone can

help me.
> Feel free to recommend another book if you think my three possible choices

are
> not adequate.


C Unleashed. Don't be discouraged that they're light-years ahead of you on
most topics. Heathfield's crew has no match. MPJ


 
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Flash Gordon
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Posts: n/a
 
      11-27-2004
On Sat, 27 Nov 2004 20:26:55 +0100
Guido Mureddu <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> Hello,
>
> I'm a student in electronic engineering. I do know you've seen and
> answered this sort of topic/request countless times, but I haven't
> found past threads as helpful as I had hoped, and even though I have
> read them all and many reviews, I prefer to ask directly to people who
> know the subject better than anyone else.


Have you also checked the FAQ?

> First of all, I'm not new to programming, and I have already had an
> introductory course on C. I have an "intermediate C" course this
> semester. Whatever "intermediate C" means, I intend to learn the
> language in much greater detail than I did with the introductory
> course. The professor gave us choice between two books: "C: The
> Complete Reference" by Herbert Schildt,


I'm already less than impressed with your professor.

> and "A Book on C" by
> Kelley/Pohl. I have Schildt's. I started reading through it page by
> page, happy to have found a deep and detailed - but readable -
> reference on the language. As you can imagine, the book's
> inconsistencies started to make me suspicious after the first few
> chapters. I searched here for threads about the book, and found a lot
> of bashing and general dislike of the book, which confirmed my (sad)
> impression that I was reading a very enjoyable, but misinforming,
> book.


Good, you've got the correct impression. You could see if it works
better as fuel for a fire than it does as a C text book.

> I want a better book - one that I can rely on. At the same time, I
> don't want another introduction to the language - I've gone through
> that already. And I want something readable, not some sort of C
> encyclopedia. My searches narrowed down possible candidates to these
> books:


<snip>

> - "The C Programming Language", well, K&R2. Definitely a book I will
> buy sooner or later, but I feel that right now I'd like something more
> detailed. I know it's still the best - but extracting informations
> from it may not always be easy. Also I'm not sure about its value as a
> complete reference.


<snip>

I don't know the other books you mention, but I've found K&R2 easy to
read, although I had been developing SW proffesionally for a few years
before learning C. I believe some around here learnt to program from
K&R2. So, if I was you I would get K&R2 now even if you also get
something else.

> If possible, I'd like to know about the quality of the binding/paper
> of these books: because of their prices, I want them to last one
> decade, not one year.


My copy of K&R2 is old and a bit tatty. If it becomes unusable I'll
happily buy a new copy.

> To put it simply: I want a book like Schildt's, but correct, precise
> and conforming to the ANSI standard.


There are some errors in K&R2, but the errata is available on line. It
is close to complete and I believe the ommissions are minor.

> If you've actually read through all this, thank you. I hope someone
> can help me. Feel free to recommend another book if you think my three
> possible choices are not adequate.


The only C book I have ever owned is K&R2. There are some other good
works, but they can be hard to find amongst the rubbish.
--
Flash Gordon
Living in interesting times.
Although my email address says spam, it is real and I read it.
 
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fb
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      11-27-2004
Guido Mureddu wrote:

> Hello,
>

Hi

> I'm a student in electronic engineering. I do know you've seen and answered this
> sort of topic/request countless times, but I haven't found past threads as
> helpful as I had hoped, and even though I have read them all and many reviews, I
> prefer to ask directly to people who know the subject better than anyone else.
>
> First of all, I'm not new to programming, and I have already had an
> introductory course on C. I have an "intermediate C" course this semester.
> Whatever "intermediate C" means, I intend to learn the language in much greater
> detail than I did with the introductory course. The professor gave us choice
> between two books: "C: The Complete Reference" by Herbert Schildt, and "A Book
> on C" by Kelley/Pohl.
> I have Schildt's. I started reading through it page by page, happy to have found
> a deep and detailed - but readable - reference on the language. As you can
> imagine, the book's inconsistencies started to make me suspicious after the
> first few chapters. I searched here for threads about the book, and found a lot
> of bashing and general dislike of the book, which confirmed my (sad) impression
> that I was reading a very enjoyable, but misinforming, book.
>


Afraid so...It's not that Schildt is a bad writer, it's just that he's
ummm...Wrong and won't admit it...and a touch pious.

> I want a better book - one that I can rely on. At the same time, I don't want
> another introduction to the language - I've gone through that already. And I
> want something readable, not some sort of C encyclopedia. My searches narrowed
> down possible candidates to these books:
>
> - "A Book on C", by Kelley & Pohl. This seems to be recommended by many, but is
> it good as a detailed reference? My general feeling is that it might be a little
> too oriented towards the beginner.
>
> - "The C Programming Language", well, K&R2. Definitely a book I will buy sooner
> or later, but I feel that right now I'd like something more detailed. I know
> it's still the best - but extracting informations from it may not always be
> easy. Also I'm not sure about its value as a complete reference.
>


When using C, this is a must.

> - "C: A Reference Manual" by Harbison & Steele. Do I need this for my studies?
> Is it actually useful for learning, or is it only a reference? Is it readable
> by someone who only knows the basics of the language? In general, can it be read
> almost cover to cover?
>


I don't mind this book, though I don't know if I could recommend it as a
still learning the language type of book...But if you have the money,
pick it up.

> If possible, I'd like to know about the quality of the binding/paper of these
> books: because of their prices, I want them to last one decade, not one year.
>


Depends on use.

> To put it simply: I want a book like Schildt's, but correct, precise and
> conforming to the ANSI standard.
>
> If you've actually read through all this, thank you. I hope someone can help me.
> Feel free to recommend another book if you think my three possible choices are
> not adequate.


Though I have not read the C version of Dietel and Deitels "C: How to
program" I have heard some good things about it. The C++ version has
some excellent examples for the student and is often used as a textbook.
If we assume the C version is similiar, it should be a fairly good book.

Years ago I read a Book called "C primer plus". I had a very good
learning experience with this book.

Finally, "C Programming: A Modern Approach" I've heard is also quite
good. Take your pick.

Bye!

 
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Merrill & Michele
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Posts: n/a
 
      11-28-2004

> "fb"
> >Guido Mureddu wrote:

[snipped all to heck to highlight a point]

> > between two books: "C: The Complete Reference" by Herbert Schildt, and

"A Book

> Afraid so...It's not that Schildt is a bad writer, it's just that he's
> ummm...Wrong and won't admit it...and a touch pious.


> > - "C: A Reference Manual" by Harbison & Steele. Do I need this for my

studies?

I was in mortal danger of confusing H S with H & S on my next text purchase.
thanks MPJ


 
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Mark L Pappin
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Posts: n/a
 
      11-28-2004
Guido Mureddu <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:

> I'm a student in electronic engineering.


As a reference point: I was in your shoes 15 years ago. I'm now
working on C cross-compiler development for embedded systems (I get to
define undefined behaviour .

> I want a better book - one that I can rely on. [...] My searches
> narrowed down possible candidates to these books:


> - "A Book on C", by Kelley & Pohl. This seems to be recommended by
> many, but is it good as a detailed reference? My general feeling is
> that it might be a little too oriented towards the beginner.


This was the required text for my first C class. I think I agree that
it's targeted to the beginner. I don't have it any more.

> - "The C Programming Language", well, K&R2. Definitely a book I will
> buy sooner or later, but I feel that right now I'd like something
> more detailed. I know it's still the best - but extracting
> informations from it may not always be easy. Also I'm not sure about
> its value as a complete reference.


I bought this at the same time as the previous one; it lives with me.
I find it easy to use and valuable as a reference - get some Post-It
notes to mark sections you need regularly, and the index is great.

The current printing is a bit fatter, I seem to recall.

> - "C: A Reference Manual" by Harbison & Steele. Do I need this for
> my studies?


Your lecturer doesn't think so.

I can't offer a personal opinion on H&S (never read it) but I've heard
it's comparable to K&R with deeper discussion of hows and whys.


> If possible, I'd like to know about the quality of the binding/paper
> of these books: because of their prices, I want them to last one
> decade, not one year.


My K&R2 (the first printing, without the red "ANSI C" marking, but
with the black diagonal "Based on Draft-Proposed ANSI C") is in pretty
good condition for a paperback text that's been regularly consulted
for 15 years. The edges of the reference section pages in the back
are a bit discoloured, but otherwise it's still fine. Prentice-Hall
seem to do a decent job with textbooks.

Sitting inside the front cover is a printout of Dan Pop's posting from
1996 containing Dennis Ritchie's Dec 1994 list of errata - Google has
it, Message-ID <(E-Mail Removed)>.

mlp
 
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jjr2004a
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      11-28-2004
> - "The C Programming Language", well, K&R2. Definitely a book I will buy sooner
> or later, but I feel that right now I'd like something more detailed. I know
> it's still the best - but extracting informations from it may not always be
> easy. Also I'm not sure about its value as a complete reference.
>

Any C programmer needs to read this book.

When I first wanted to learn C in depth the Kochan & Wood books (it was a
series) were excellent. Some of the info was not available anywhere else.
The books are old, some have been updated, some are out of print, some are
available on their website (just google them). I comment on three below.

They have a "Programming in C" which I never read since I was already past the
stage of learning the basics of the language. It seems to been updated and
is in print.

"Topics in C Programming" was invaluable for details that are left out of most
books. For instance, what ALL the flags for printf are and mean. I think this
is out of print.

The real eye-opener is "Advanced C Tip and Techniques". This has alot of great
stuff but the two chapters on advanced pointer use and sequence guarantee
points is worth the price alone. I don't think this has been updated but it
looks like it's available in PDF format.
 
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Merrill & Michele
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      11-29-2004

"jjr2004a" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) om...
> > - "The C Programming Language", well, K&R2. Definitely a book I will buy

sooner
> > or later, but I feel that right now I'd like something more detailed. I

know
> > it's still the best - but extracting informations from it may not always

be
> > easy. Also I'm not sure about its value as a complete reference.
> >

> Any C programmer needs to read this book.
>
> When I first wanted to learn C in depth the Kochan & Wood books (it was a
> series) were excellent. Some of the info was not available anywhere else.
> The books are old, some have been updated, some are out of print, some are
> available on their website (just google them). I comment on three below.
>
> They have a "Programming in C" which I never read since I was already past

the
> stage of learning the basics of the language. It seems to been updated

and
> is in print.
>
> "Topics in C Programming" was invaluable for details that are left out of

most
> books. For instance, what ALL the flags for printf are and mean. I think

this
> is out of print.
>
> The real eye-opener is "Advanced C Tip and Techniques". This has alot of

great
> stuff but the two chapters on advanced pointer use and sequence guarantee
> points is worth the price alone. I don't think this has been updated but

it
> looks like it's available in PDF format.


Would you buy ACTaT before H & S ? MPJ

-------
..pdf is workproduct


 
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jjr2004a
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      11-29-2004
>
> Would you buy ACTaT before H & S ? MPJ
>

I'm not familiar with the H & S book but I just looked at the table of
contents online. It seems to cover ALL of the C syntax and libraries and
looks like an good reference.

Advanced C Tips and Techniques looks like it covers some things that aren't in
the H & S book. But that's because it covers a few techniques in depth and
does not try to be a refernece manual. It's aimed at intermediate to advanced
programmers.

Buy both.
 
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Merrill & Michele
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      11-29-2004

"jjr2004a" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) om...
> >
> > Would you buy ACTaT before H & S ? MPJ
> >

> I'm not familiar with the H & S book but I just looked at the table of
> contents online. It seems to cover ALL of the C syntax and libraries and
> looks like an good reference.
>
> Advanced C Tips and Techniques looks like it covers some things that

aren't in
> the H & S book. But that's because it covers a few techniques in depth

and
> does not try to be a refernece manual. It's aimed at intermediate to

advanced
> programmers.
>
> Buy both.


I'll take that as a direct order. MPJ


 
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