C in a Nutshell (In a Nutshell (O'Reilly))

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9780596006976: C in a Nutshell (In a Nutshell (O'Reilly))

Learning a language--any language--involves a process wherein you learn to rely less and less on instruction and more increasingly on the aspects of the language you've mastered. Whether you're learning French, Java, or C, at some point you'll set aside the tutorial and attempt to converse on your own. It's not necessary to know every subtle facet of French in order to speak it well, especially if there's a good dictionary available. Likewise, C programmers don't need to memorize every detail of C in order to write good programs. What they need instead is a reliable, comprehensive reference that they can keep nearby. C in a Nutshell is that reference.

This long-awaited book is a complete reference to the C programming language and C runtime library. Its purpose is to serve as a convenient, reliable companion in your day-to-day work as a C programmer. C in a Nutshell covers virtually everything you need to program in C, describing all the elements of the language and illustrating their use with numerous examples.

The book is divided into three distinct parts. The first part is a fast-paced description, reminiscent of the classic Kernighan & Ritchie text on which many C programmers cut their teeth. It focuses specifically on the C language and preprocessor directives, including extensions introduced to the ANSI standard in 1999. These topics and others are covered:

  • Numeric constants
  • Implicit and explicit type conversions
  • Expressions and operators
  • Functions
  • Fixed-length and variable-length arrays
  • Pointers
  • Dynamic memory management
  • Input and output

The second part of the book is a comprehensive reference to the C runtime library; it includes an overview of the contents of the standard headers and a description of each standard library function. Part III provides the necessary knowledge of the C programmer's basic tools: the compiler, the make utility, and the debugger. The tools described here are those in the GNU software collection.

C in a Nutshell is the perfect companion to K&R, and destined to be the most reached-for reference on your desk.

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About the Author:

Peter is a seminar leader and key course developer, teaching courses to thousands of software developers for Unix and Windows systems. As the chief developer and cofounder of the IT company Authensis AG in Germany, he has gained extensive experience in software development for computer telephony. Peter is also the author of several other books on software development in C/C++, most of them as co-author with Ulla Kirch-Prinz, including O'Reilly's "C Pocket Reference".

Tony Crawford is a technical-writer and freelance translator with a strong C background based just outside Berlin, Germany. In addition to regular software localization projects, he has translated books on network administration and ATM. A US native, Tony completed undergraduate work at Occidental College, Los Angeles; Universit de Perpignan, France; and Technische Universit t, Berlin. Tony translates from German into English.

Review:

"As with much of the Nutshell series, this book is aimed at the competent programmer who needs a quick reference, not at the beginner. As a teacher of C programming, I had been looking for a reference work which covered the C99 version of the language standard, and did so in a readable format free of omissions and errors. "C in a Nutshell" did not disappoint, and the utility of the standard library reference was a welcome surprise." - Graham Lee, news@UK, June 2006 "This excellent book should have been written years ago." - Paul Hudson, Linux Format, November 2006 - 8/10

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