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am 14. Juli 1999
If you are at all familiar with O'Reilly computer books, you know that they typically put out a good product. This book is no exception. It is not a book for "dummies" or "idiots" in that it does not present the material in 5 sentence paragraphs and have zillions of useless pictures. In addition, it does not purport to teach you something as complex a C programming in an exorbitantly short period. What is DOES do, is teach you C Programming in a straight forward and through manner. The O'Reilly books -- and this one is no exception -- are no nonsense technical books. They get to the heart of the subject matter and deal with it. You don't have to be a computer guru; but you must posses some basic common sense and a willingness to learn a subject, and not just expect to be an expert by reading a book. Programming is learnt by doing, Period!. This book acts as your guide as you practice and learn this wonderful skill. All the source code in the book (i.e. the examples) can be downloaded from O'Reilly's web site. If you want to learn C, get this book.
(P.S. No, I do not have any vested interest or personal stake in O'Reilly Publishing... I am just tired of sub-standard books in the computer industry and applaud this company's quality work.)
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am 3. Februar 2000
The bottom line is that I used this book to learn C and I program a lot in C now. However, I felt the section on arrays was insufficient. The book reads pretty well, but then once you try to sit down and code, you realize that the wool was being pulled over your eyes, that the description wasn't adequate enough, especially with regards to arrays. Steve Oualline does not devote enough time to these and doesn't place enough emphasis on the various forms that a pointer (and it's value) can take on. The examples on recursion are also very ambiguous.
I haven't read any other books on learning C so I can't compare it with others, but in an absolute sense, I don't feel this book was all that great. This is my feeling nearly 2 years after having initially digested it for a class. I believe that there are some very important parts of ANSI C that were not discussed, like how to pass over a field with sscanf using the "%*_" instead of "%_". I think a better book would have saved me a lot of hours of debugging because it would have highlighted the areas that easy to make mistakes in,(for instance, counterintuitively having to use strcpy() instead of illegally reassigning a string once it's been intialized.)
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am 4. Januar 1999
Through out the book, the author pops new materials with out really explaining the background, leaving me confused (often times I needed to look at other c books to understand). Although this book is not for true beginners, it has the best explaination and easy to understand chapters on pointers. probably the best book on pointers I've seen. If you are confused about pointers, get this book.
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am 18. Juni 1999
Looks like someone who doesn't know there's a difference between "Practical C" and "Practical C++" has managed to mix up which reviews go on which page, and has even repeated the same review on BOTH pages. Chances are that most reviewers were not confusing the languages: just someone at Amazon.
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am 21. Juni 2000
This is by far the best book I've ever read on C, everything is nicely illustrated and easy to understand, like all books by ORA. This book made all the ambiguities of C go away. I enjoyed the chapter he devoted to style. TWO THUMBS UP FOR STEVE OUALLINE!
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am 3. Februar 1999
Steve Oualline gives a lot of useful information in this book, not only explaining C features and pitfalls but also pointing out typical mistakes and problems. His style is rather that of an "old hand" guiding a new colleague through the first days on the job, than that of a systematic training course. This has the advantages of being nicer to read than many other books and of giving a lot of the "secondary" information you need in practice but too often not told. The disadvantage is a partially unsystematic presentation of quite far reaching material. Sometimes it's really like your local C-guru explaining you some basics and then suddenly saying "and by the way, you also have to know that ...". You might also be put off by Steve's very strong views on clean, readable coding. On the positive side, I really liked his many "debugging" examples with answers and the examples giving the basis for some actually useful code.
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am 12. Juni 2000
This book provides excellent and clear explanations of three key C programming concepts: pointers, bit manipulation, and structures. If you are new to C programming, and do not know anything about these three concepts, you will after reading this book. Or if, as in my case, you are knowledgeable in C programming, this book is an excellent reference when you forget some of the syntax and constructs of pointers, bits, and structures.
If you are an expert programmer and already know everything there is to know about pointers etc., this book will show you nothing new. On the same token, if you are starting from the very beginning and know nothing about C, you would probably be better served with a beginning book.
If you have been through the "Hello, World" programs, are starting to deal with functions and variables, then this book will round you out and turn you into a skilled programmer.
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am 23. Juli 2000
The author has many good points about style, many valid. Except that I find his over use of comments unessicary, especially when commenting declarations of variables. Simply unneeded (most of the time) If you name variables correctly. While I definitely do not subscribe to the idea that hard code to write should be hard code to read. Some basic literacy, in common variable names such as I or j for integer counters. I am about ½ way though the book, I particularly liked chapter 7 (Programming process). My only other criticism of this good book, is it doesn't prepare the reader much to some of the common bad conventions and bad habits some people have, and likely will see. The book is pretty easy to read and it's a good beginner book, if not the preferred beginner book, just mildly over hyped. I learned some new things, a good read.
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am 1. August 1999
Reading other people's reviews for most of the O'Reilly series books, what most people are forgetting is that O'Reilly books are not for the faint hearted. These books are written by people who use these languages for a living. They teach people in the more advanced capabilities of the language and the proper ways to use it. In fact, several of the books are written by people who were developing the languages. Practical C Programming and all other books in the Nutshell series are for technicly enclined people, not for beginners to the area. These books have been ranked as the best of the best for a reason, their real. Any book that tells you your going to learn a language in 21 days is not going to teach you any details and turn you into a code copier, not a code programmer. But then again, that's MHO.
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am 26. Januar 1998
I own literally shelves full of C and C++ books, and I've been programming in C professionally for almost ten years. This is THE book to have on C. I insist that every junior programmer I work with has a copy! It addresses not only programming syntax but good software engineering practices, and it has the most realistic real-world types of problems I have ever seen. When he asks you to find the bug in a section of code, those are exactly the type of bugs I see in novice programmers' code again and again. C is not a language for people who need to be coddled, and this book doesn't hold your hand; it just gives you lots of great information on C and how to do good software engineering. If you are a serious C professional, you should own this book.
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