C books (was "K&R C book wanted")

Simon Fowler simon at himi.org
Sun Jul 28 22:15:56 EST 2002

On Sun, Jul 28, 2002 at 09:02:48PM +1000, Jason Stokes wrote:
> I think the assumption is that everyone these days will want to learn
> C++, which is almost (no holy war will correspondance will be entered
> into) a perfect superset of C anyway.   Most new pure C code I see (eg,
> everything in the GTK and Gnome project) which is coded in C seems to
> emulate C++ features like classes and polymorphism to a greater or
> lesser extent  -- indeed, the whole design of the basic Unix API could
> be considered an emulation of "object oriented" concepts (everything's a
> file, with various specialisations for particular /kinds/ of file)
> before C++ was available.
> So, ironically, you can gain a greater understanding of a lot of the C
> code you see by learning C++.
Or, alternatively, you could just learn OO concepts . . . And the
consensus on OO and C++ seems to be that it's very dodgy (I haven't
learned C++, so I can't comment directly).

I don't see any assumption that everyone will want to learn C++, at
least not among the people I talk to - C is a lot more popular, as
are scripting languages like Perl and Python, and Java (particularly
as an alternative to C++). 

In any case, I really don't think you can learn C properly from a
C++ book. And with K&R out there (even if it is a bit expensive
(though no more so than all the other programming books)), why would
you want to?


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