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C Books and algorithm books

Questions for the major contributors to comp.lang.c.

What C books do you have?

What C books have you read?

Which algorithm book is your favorite?

What resources that you find particularly useful, beside comp.lang.c
and its FAQ?

I ask the above questions mainly to see what I lack. And the answer
may help other newbies as well by letting people know what "weapons"
have been proved to be useful. I might have asked too many questions
these days, but I promise I will reduce them to less than 2 daily from
now on.
Jun 27 '08 #1
41 1768
is*********@gmail.com wrote:
Questions for the major contributors to comp.lang.c.

What C books do you have?
"The C Programming Language," Kernighan and Ritchie (original)
"C: A Reference Manual," Harbison and Steele
"C Traps and Pitfalls," Koenig
"The Standard C Library," Plauger
What C books have you read?
As above.
Which algorithm book is your favorite?
"The Art of Computer Programming," Knuth
What resources that you find particularly useful, beside comp.lang.c
and its FAQ?
The wide world and all therein. (Really, the question
is too broad to admit of a useful answer.)
I ask the above questions mainly to see what I lack. And the answer
may help other newbies as well by letting people know what "weapons"
have been proved to be useful. I might have asked too many questions
these days, but I promise I will reduce them to less than 2 daily from
now on.
Learn Lisp. You may not use it much, but it will improve
your use of other programming languages.

--
Eric Sosman
es*****@ieee-dot-org.invalid
Jun 27 '08 #2
On Apr 12, 12:02 pm, Eric Sosman <esos...@ieee-dot-org.invalidwrote:
Which algorithm book is your favorite?

"The Art of Computer Programming," Knuth
My head ached when I read this book in a library. I quit after
reading several pages, feeling I was so intelligently inferior. I
could not understand why the author uses an assembly-like language to
describe algorithms. C would have been a much better choice.

I heard the author himself is a good programmer. I believe he must
have good reasons to do it. But I really cannot comprehend the
reasons outlined in the preface of his book.

What supported you to continue reading his book? I am thinking of
buying a copy of it though.
Jun 27 '08 #3
<is*********@gmail.comwrote in message news:
Questions for the major contributors to comp.lang.c.

What C books do you have?
What C books have you read?

Which algorithm book is your favorite?

What resources that you find particularly useful, beside comp.lang.c
and its FAQ?

I ask the above questions mainly to see what I lack. And the answer
may help other newbies as well by letting people know what "weapons"
have been proved to be useful. I might have asked too many questions
these days, but I promise I will reduce them to less than 2 daily from
now on.

Try Basic Algorithms, by me.
It's still in first edition so there are a few glitches, some of which have
been pointed out on this ng. However it covers a lot of practical material
you won't find in other algorithm books.

--
Free games and programming goodies.
http://www.personal.leeds.ac.uk/~bgy1mm
Jun 27 '08 #4
is*********@gmail.com wrote:
On Apr 12, 12:02 pm, Eric Sosman <esos...@ieee-dot-org.invalidwrote:
>>Which algorithm book is your favorite?
"The Art of Computer Programming," Knuth

My head ached when I read this book in a library. I quit after
reading several pages, feeling I was so intelligently inferior. I
could not understand why the author uses an assembly-like language to
describe algorithms. C would have been a much better choice.
Then you have failed to grasp his purposes, which include
(among other things) quantitative comparisons of implementations.
You may have heard that Quicksort and Heapsort are both O(N logN)
algorithms (on the average); this much needs only a rather loose
notion of "time." You may also have heard that Quicksort is
faster than Heapsort (usually), but how could you justify such a
statement by analyzing C implementations of both? Is ++i faster
than i++? Is x=a?b:c faster than x=bc[!a]? You cannot attack
such questions from the standpoint of the C language, but only
from particular implementations of it (and you will get different
answers each time).

In any case, though, you didn't ask for recommendations of
books that you would find easy to understand; you asked "Which
algorithm book is your favorite?" And I answered.
I heard the author himself is a good programmer.
Do you know of any other programmer who gives away code and
then pays money to people who find bugs in it? (I suppose that
in his case the financial hardship may not be severe; I've got
one of his checks in a frame on my wall, and I bet many others
go similarly uncashed.)
I believe he must
have good reasons to do it. But I really cannot comprehend the
reasons outlined in the preface of his book.

What supported you to continue reading his book? I am thinking of
buying a copy of it though.
I have been reading and re-reading and re-re-reading TAOCP
for more than thirty years, *because* my head sometimes aches
from the strain. (I admit, though, that I haven't had the nerve
to pick up "Concrete Mathematics.")

--
Eric Sosman
es*****@ieee-dot-org.invalid
Jun 27 '08 #5

<is*********@gmail.comwrote in message
news:03**********************************@k1g2000p rb.googlegroups.com...
On Apr 12, 12:02 pm, Eric Sosman <esos...@ieee-dot-org.invalidwrote:
Which algorithm book is your favorite?

"The Art of Computer Programming," Knuth

My head ached when I read this book in a library. I quit after
reading several pages, feeling I was so intelligently inferior. I
could not understand why the author uses an assembly-like language to
describe algorithms. C would have been a much better choice.
According to the author, the current language of choice changes every few
years, and he didn't want to have to keep revising all his examples. And at
the time it wouldn't have been C, probably some Algol-class language. There
were a few other reasons too.

But I agree, any proper language would have been a considerable improvement
on MIX or MIXAL.

--
Bart

Jun 27 '08 #6
On Sat, 12 Apr 2008 15:21:55 -0400, Eric Sosman wrote:
is*********@gmail.com wrote:
>On Apr 12, 12:02 pm, Eric Sosman <esos...@ieee-dot-org.invalidwrote:
>>>Which algorithm book is your favorite?
"The Art of Computer Programming," Knuth
(...)
>I heard the author himself is a good programmer.

Do you know of any other programmer who gives away code and
then pays money to people who find bugs in it? (I suppose that
in his case the financial hardship may not be severe; I've got
one of his checks in a frame on my wall,
That is impressive!

and I bet many others
go similarly uncashed.)
I'll bet there aren't *many* others. But of those that are, I would
very much doubt if any would be cashed at all.
--
ROT-13 email address to reply
Jun 27 '08 #7
On 4月12日, 下午11时54分, istillsh...@gmail.com wrote:
Questions for the major contributors to comp.lang.c.

What C books do you have?

What C books have you read?

Which algorithm book is your favorite?

What resources that you find particularly useful, beside comp.lang.c
and its FAQ?

I ask the above questions mainly to see what I lack. And the answer
may help other newbies as well by letting people know what "weapons"
have been proved to be useful. I might have asked too many questions
these days, but I promise I will reduce them to less than 2 daily from
now on.
I think the best algorithm book is "Introduction to Algorithms" by MIT
Press. It is my first algorithm book and it describe algorithms by
pseudo-code. It is easy to understand.

C book -- The C Programming Language, of cource.
Jun 27 '08 #8
Anand Hariharan said:
On Sat, 12 Apr 2008 15:21:55 -0400, Eric Sosman wrote:
<snip>
>>
Do you know of any other programmer who gives away code and
then pays money to people who find bugs in it? (I suppose that
in his case the financial hardship may not be severe; I've got
one of his checks in a frame on my wall,

That is impressive!

>and I bet many others
go similarly uncashed.)

I'll bet there aren't *many* others. But of those that are, I would
very much doubt if any would be cashed at all.
You are half-right.

--
Richard Heathfield <http://www.cpax.org.uk>
Email: -http://www. +rjh@
Google users: <http://www.cpax.org.uk/prg/writings/googly.php>
"Usenet is a strange place" - dmr 29 July 1999
Jun 27 '08 #9
On Apr 12, 3:21 pm, Eric Sosman <esos...@ieee-dot-org.invalidwrote:
I have been reading and re-reading and re-re-reading TAOCP
for more than thirty years
Is it really a good idea to do so: reading a book for more than 30
years?

Jun 27 '08 #10
is*********@gmail.com said:
On Apr 12, 3:21 pm, Eric Sosman <esos...@ieee-dot-org.invalidwrote:
> I have been reading and re-reading and re-re-reading TAOCP
for more than thirty years

Is it really a good idea to do so: reading a book for more than 30
years?
Any old book? No. This book? Yes, absolutely. Given the quality of the
reader, it shows just how much meat there is in TAOCP.

--
Richard Heathfield <http://www.cpax.org.uk>
Email: -http://www. +rjh@
Google users: <http://www.cpax.org.uk/prg/writings/googly.php>
"Usenet is a strange place" - dmr 29 July 1999
Jun 27 '08 #11
is*********@gmail.com wrote:
On Apr 12, 3:21 pm, Eric Sosman <esos...@ieee-dot-org.invalidwrote:
> I have been reading and re-reading and re-re-reading TAOCP
for more than thirty years

Is it really a good idea to do so: reading a book for more than 30
years?
Some of my acquaintances read and re-read an even older
book over even longer periods. One passage in that book says

A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and
a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels.

--
Eric Sosman
es*****@ieee-dot-org.invalid
Jun 27 '08 #12
Eric Sosman said:
is*********@gmail.com wrote:
>On Apr 12, 3:21 pm, Eric Sosman <esos...@ieee-dot-org.invalidwrote:
>> I have been reading and re-reading and re-re-reading TAOCP
for more than thirty years

Is it really a good idea to do so: reading a book for more than 30
years?

Some of my acquaintances read and re-read an even older
book over even longer periods. One passage in that book says

A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and
a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels.
On the other hand, the same book also says

Of making many books there is no end,
and much study wearies the body.

--
Richard Heathfield <http://www.cpax.org.uk>
Email: -http://www. +rjh@
Google users: <http://www.cpax.org.uk/prg/writings/googly.php>
"Usenet is a strange place" - dmr 29 July 1999
Jun 27 '08 #13
On Apr 13, 8:51 am, Richard Heathfield <r...@see.sig.invalidwrote:
istillsh...@gmail.com said:
On Apr 12, 3:21 pm, Eric Sosman <esos...@ieee-dot-org.invalidwrote:
I have been reading and re-reading and re-re-reading TAOCP
for more than thirty years
Is it really a good idea to do so: reading a book for more than 30
years?

Any old book? No. This book? Yes, absolutely. Given the quality of the
reader, it shows just how much meat there is in TAOCP.
I don't think any book is worth of reading for 30 years. Truth is
hidden in simplicity. Anything too complex is superfluous.

"$B8c@8LiM-36!$<)CNLiL536!(0JM-36n.L536!$KXbc!#(B", as Zhuangzi said.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zhuangzi
Jun 27 '08 #14
Richard Heathfield wrote:
Eric Sosman said:
>is*********@gmail.com wrote:
>>On Apr 12, 3:21 pm, Eric Sosman <esos...@ieee-dot-org.invalidwrote:

I have been reading and re-reading and re-re-reading TAOCP
for more than thirty years
Is it really a good idea to do so: reading a book for more than 30
years?
Some of my acquaintances read and re-read an even older
book over even longer periods. One passage in that book says

A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and
a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels.

On the other hand, the same book also says

Of making many books there is no end,
and much study wearies the body.
"The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose."
-- from a writing whose age is intermediate between
the abovementioned pair, also many times re-read

--
Eric Sosman
es*****@ieee-dot-org.invalid
Jun 27 '08 #15
is*********@gmail.com wrote:
On Apr 13, 8:51 am, Richard Heathfield <r...@see.sig.invalidwrote:
>istillsh...@gmail.com said:
On Apr 12, 3:21 pm, Eric Sosman <esos...@ieee-dot-org.invalid>
wrote:
> I have been reading and re-reading and re-re-reading TAOCP
for more than thirty years
Is it really a good idea to do so: reading a book for more than 30
years?

Any old book? No. This book? Yes, absolutely. Given the quality of
the reader, it shows just how much meat there is in TAOCP.

I don't think any book is worth of reading for 30 years. Truth is
hidden in simplicity. Anything too complex is superfluous.

"??????????????????????", as Zhuangzi said.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zhuangzi
But often you arrive at simple truths only after long deliberations.
Unfortunately, there are no simple truths in CS... yet.

Jun 27 '08 #16
santosh wrote:
But often you arrive at simple truths only after long deliberations.
Unfortunately, there are no simple truths in CS... yet.
I see computers and programming as problem-solving tools and
think I've recognized a common pattern in solution-seeking:

[1] Simple problem assessment (All ya hafta do is...)
[2] Movement toward maximum complexity (OMG - never thought about
all that...)
[3] Back to simplicity as ways are found to 'fold' everything
together.

Part three sometimes does take a while - and post-project
epiphanies seem to be fairly common.

--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
DeSoto, Iowa USA
http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/
Jun 27 '08 #17
On Sun, 13 Apr 2008 06:54:05 +0000, Richard Heathfield wrote:
Anand Hariharan said:
>On Sat, 12 Apr 2008 15:21:55 -0400, Eric Sosman wrote:
<snip>
>>>
Do you know of any other programmer who gives away code and
then pays money to people who find bugs in it? (I suppose that
in his case the financial hardship may not be severe; I've got
one of his checks in a frame on my wall,

That is impressive!

>>and I bet many others
go similarly uncashed.)

I'll bet there aren't *many* others. But of those that are, I would
very much doubt if any would be cashed at all.

You are half-right.
Knowing that you are one of the recipients of a cheque from Knuth and did
not cash it, I will ask you Richard: Are you saying there are a lot of
people who got cheques from Knuth?

How many are there? Surely not many more than say 27 people. I guess we
are debating the meaning of "many"?

--
ROT-13 email address to reply
Jun 27 '08 #18
is*********@gmail.com said:
On Apr 13, 8:51 am, Richard Heathfield <r...@see.sig.invalidwrote:
>istillsh...@gmail.com said:
On Apr 12, 3:21 pm, Eric Sosman <esos...@ieee-dot-org.invalidwrote:
> I have been reading and re-reading and re-re-reading TAOCP
for more than thirty years
Is it really a good idea to do so: reading a book for more than 30
years?

Any old book? No. This book? Yes, absolutely. Given the quality of the
reader, it shows just how much meat there is in TAOCP.

I don't think any book is worth of reading for 30 years.
That's absolutely fine - we disagree, but that's okay. In 30 years from
now, let's discuss the matter again.
Truth is
hidden in simplicity.
It can easily take thirty years to discover simplicity.
Anything too complex is superfluous.
Anything too anything is bad. That's what "too" means.

--
Richard Heathfield <http://www.cpax.org.uk>
Email: -http://www. +rjh@
Google users: <http://www.cpax.org.uk/prg/writings/googly.php>
"Usenet is a strange place" - dmr 29 July 1999
Jun 27 '08 #19
Anand Hariharan said:
On Sun, 13 Apr 2008 06:54:05 +0000, Richard Heathfield wrote:
>Anand Hariharan said:
<snip>
>>>
I'll bet there aren't *many* others. But of those that are, I would
very much doubt if any would be cashed at all.

You are half-right.

Knowing that you are one of the recipients of a cheque from Knuth and did
not cash it, I will ask you Richard: Are you saying there are a lot of
people who got cheques from Knuth?

How many are there? Surely not many more than say 27 people. I guess we
are debating the meaning of "many"?
According to Knuth, over 2,000 such cheques have been written.

--
Richard Heathfield <http://www.cpax.org.uk>
Email: -http://www. +rjh@
Google users: <http://www.cpax.org.uk/prg/writings/googly.php>
"Usenet is a strange place" - dmr 29 July 1999
Jun 27 '08 #20
On Sun, 13 Apr 2008 18:43:06 +0000, Richard Heathfield wrote:
Anand Hariharan said:
>On Sun, 13 Apr 2008 06:54:05 +0000, Richard Heathfield wrote:
>>Anand Hariharan said:
<snip>
>>>>
I'll bet there aren't *many* others. But of those that are, I
would very much doubt if any would be cashed at all.

You are half-right.

Knowing that you are one of the recipients of a cheque from Knuth
and did not cash it, I will ask you Richard: Are you saying there
are a lot of people who got cheques from Knuth?

How many are there? Surely not many more than say 27 people. I
guess we are debating the meaning of "many"?

According to Knuth, over 2,000 such cheques have been written.
I stand corrected. Until a few moments ago, I held the opinion that
the amount on the cheque doubled for every new error that was
detected. I thought the last advertised amount was $2.56, and the
next cheque would be $5.12 and so on (hence my estimate of 27
above).
--
ROT-13 email address to reply
Jun 27 '08 #21
Anand Hariharan wrote:
On Sun, 13 Apr 2008 18:43:06 +0000, Richard Heathfield wrote:
>Anand Hariharan said:
>>On Sun, 13 Apr 2008 06:54:05 +0000, Richard Heathfield wrote:

Anand Hariharan said:
<snip>
>>>>I'll bet there aren't *many* others. But of those that are, I
would very much doubt if any would be cashed at all.

You are half-right.
Knowing that you are one of the recipients of a cheque from Knuth
and did not cash it, I will ask you Richard: Are you saying there
are a lot of people who got cheques from Knuth?

How many are there? Surely not many more than say 27 people. I
guess we are debating the meaning of "many"?
According to Knuth, over 2,000 such cheques have been written.

I stand corrected. Until a few moments ago, I held the opinion that
the amount on the cheque doubled for every new error that was
detected. I thought the last advertised amount was $2.56, and the
next cheque would be $5.12 and so on (hence my estimate of 27
above).
He issues different categories of checks for different
circumstances. The doubling series are (if I understand
correctly) for bugs in the published programs TEX and
Metafont, and I think they began at $2.56 ("one million
cents, base two"). There's also a constant $2.56 for the
finders of errors in his published books, and $0.32 for
good suggestions. And he offered $3.00 for errors in pre-
print "fascicles" of books not yet published; it's worth
more to swat a bug before it's committed to paper than
after.

The check framed on my wall is of the last category, and
it's not a token of great genius but of eye for detail: I
spotted a truly tiny typo before the printing of the third
edition of "Seminumerical Algorithms." I don't have a sample
from which to judge severity, but I've always suspected that
mine may be the least significant tidbit (sorry) Knuth has paid.

--
Eric Sosman
es*****@ieee-dot-org.invalid
Jun 27 '08 #22
Op Sun, 13 Apr 2008 17:09:24 -0400 schreef Eric Sosman:
Anand Hariharan wrote:
>On Sun, 13 Apr 2008 18:43:06 +0000, Richard Heathfield wrote:
>>Anand Hariharan said:

On Sun, 13 Apr 2008 06:54:05 +0000, Richard Heathfield wrote:

Anand Hariharan said:
>
<snip>
>I'll bet there aren't *many* others. But of those that are, I
>would very much doubt if any would be cashed at all.
>
You are half-right.
Knowing that you are one of the recipients of a cheque from Knuth
and did not cash it, I will ask you Richard: Are you saying there
are a lot of people who got cheques from Knuth?

How many are there? Surely not many more than say 27 people. I
guess we are debating the meaning of "many"?
According to Knuth, over 2,000 such cheques have been written.

I stand corrected. Until a few moments ago, I held the opinion that
the amount on the cheque doubled for every new error that was
detected. I thought the last advertised amount was $2.56, and the
next cheque would be $5.12 and so on (hence my estimate of 27
above).

He issues different categories of checks for different
circumstances. The doubling series are (if I understand
correctly) for bugs in the published programs TEX and
Metafont, and I think they began at $2.56 ("one million
cents, base two").
One million cents, base two would be $0.64
A hunderd million cents, base two would be $2,56

<VERY OT>
2 BASE ! 1000000 DECIMAL . 64 ok
</OT>

--
Coos
Jun 27 '08 #23
I
is*********@gmail.com wrote:
Questions for the major contributors to comp.lang.c.

What C books do you have?
What C books have you read?
i like "c: the complete reference" a lot . it is very well written and
easy to understand and i totally learned a whole lot from reading it b/c
it explanes what goes on behind the scenes . very good revues on amazone

Jun 27 '08 #24
A subscriber describing himself as "I" said:
is*********@gmail.com wrote:
>Questions for the major contributors to comp.lang.c.

What C books do you have?
What C books have you read?

i like "c: the complete reference" a lot . it is very well written and
easy to understand
Both true. Unfortunately, it contains a vast number of technical errors.
Being very well written and easy to understand is *not* sufficient to
qualify a book as a good C tutorial.
and i totally learned a whole lot from reading it b/c
it explanes what goes on behind the scenes . very good revues on amazone
Presumably you would also recommend eating horse-manure, on the grounds
that ten trillion flies can't be wrong.

--
Richard Heathfield <http://www.cpax.org.uk>
Email: -http://www. +rjh@
Google users: <http://www.cpax.org.uk/prg/writings/googly.php>
"Usenet is a strange place" - dmr 29 July 1999
Jun 27 '08 #25
On 12 Apr, 17:02, Eric Sosman <esos...@ieee-dot-org.invalidwrote:
istillsh...@gmail.com wrote:
Questions for the major contributors to comp.lang.c.
What C *books do you have?

* * *"The C Programming Language," Kernighan and Ritchie (original)
great book
* * *"C: A Reference Manual," Harbison and Steele
great book. I think it is better for the standard library
than K&R and I've heard the latest edition a good reference for
C99 (if you are interested in it).
* * *"C Traps and Pitfalls," Koenig
never got on with this.

* * *"The Standard C Library," Plauger
great book! Not only does it document the library and
provide you with an implementation but it also guides
you through the design of a C library.

Lots of stuff on writing portable C.
>
What C books have you read?

* * *As above.
Which algorithm book is your favorite?

* * *"The Art of Computer Programming," Knuth
If you want more of a recipe book (less theory)
try Sedgewick
>
What resources that you find particularly useful, beside comp.lang.c
and its FAQ?
http://www.dinkumware.com/manuals/

* * *The wide world and all therein. *(Really, the question
is too broad to admit of a useful answer.)
I ask the above questions mainly to see what I lack. *And the answer
may help other newbies as well by letting people know what "weapons"
have been proved to be useful. *I might have asked too many questions
these days, but I promise I will reduce them to less than 2 daily from
now on.

* * *Learn Lisp. *You may not use it much, but it will improve
your use of other programming languages.

--
Nick Keighley

"There are two ways of constructing a software design: One way is to
make it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies, and the
other way is to make it so complicated that there are no obvious
deficiencies. The first method is far more difficult."
-- C.A.R. Hoare
Jun 27 '08 #26
Eric Sosman <es*****@ieee-dot-org.invalidwrote:
Richard Heathfield wrote:
Eric Sosman said:
is*********@gmail.com wrote:
On Apr 12, 3:21 pm, Eric Sosman <esos...@ieee-dot-org.invalidwrote:

I have been reading and re-reading and re-re-reading TAOCP
for more than thirty years
Is it really a good idea to do so: reading a book for more than 30
years?
Some of my acquaintances read and re-read an even older
book over even longer periods. One passage in that book says

A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and
a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels.
On the other hand, the same book also says

Of making many books there is no end,
and much study wearies the body.

"The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose."
-- from a writing whose age is intermediate between
the abovementioned pair, also many times re-read
"For every thing, turn, turn, turn,
there is a season, turn, turn, turn"
-- almost from one of those books

Richard
Jun 27 '08 #27
is*********@gmail.com wrote:
Questions for the major contributors to comp.lang.c.
I'm not a major contributor here but I am a gcc maintainer, so...
What C books do you have?
The most important ones:

ISO 9899:1999
ISO 9899:1990

also

K&R Second ed.
Harbison and Steele: C, A Reference Manual
What C books have you read?
as above.
Which algorithm book is your favorite?
Knuth, Algorithms + Data Structures = Programs

but there are dozens of algorithm books at home.

Andrew.
Jun 27 '08 #28
Andrew Haley <an******@littlepinkcloud.invalidwrites:
>
Knuth, Algorithms + Data Structures = Programs
It's from Wirth.

--
Jean-Marc
Jun 27 '08 #29
Jean-Marc Bourguet <jm@bourguet.orgwrote:
Andrew Haley <an******@littlepinkcloud.invalidwrites:

Knuth, Algorithms + Data Structures = Programs
It's from Wirth.
It is; sorry everyone. I even picked up the book and read the title
from the cover and I *still* got it wrong...

Andrew.
Jun 27 '08 #30
Richard Heathfield <rj*@see.sig.invalidwrites:
A subscriber describing himself as "I" said:
>is*********@gmail.com wrote:
>>Questions for the major contributors to comp.lang.c.

What C books do you have?
What C books have you read?

i like "c: the complete reference" a lot . it is very well written and
easy to understand

Both true. Unfortunately, it contains a vast number of technical errors.
Being very well written and easy to understand is *not* sufficient to
qualify a book as a good C tutorial.
Ah, yes, I didn't recognize the title at first glance (I confused it
with the excellent "C: A Reference Manual" by Harbison & Steele*).

In replies to the original question, I suggest posting both the title
*and* the author(s) of each book.

"C: The Complete Reference" is by Herbert Schildt, a prolific author
who, unfortunately, often doesn't know what he's talking about, but
seems to be quite skilled at passing his own ignorance on to his
readers. For a review of this particular book, see
<http://accu.org/index.php/book_reviews?url=view.xqy?review=c002173>.

[snip]

--
Keith Thompson (The_Other_Keith) <ks***@mib.org>
Nokia
"We must do something. This is something. Therefore, we must do this."
-- Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn, "Yes Minister"
Jun 27 '08 #31
On Apr 12, 10:21*am, istillsh...@gmail.com wrote:
On Apr 12, 12:02 pm, Eric Sosman <esos...@ieee-dot-org.invalidwrote:
Which algorithm book is your favorite?
* * *"The Art of Computer Programming," Knuth

My head ached when I read this book in a library. *I quit after
reading several pages, feeling I was so intelligently inferior. *I
could not understand why the author uses an assembly-like language to
describe algorithms. *C would have been a much better choice.
You can learn MIX in one day. You could never do that with C.
I heard the author himself is a good programmer. *I believe he must
have good reasons to do it. *But I really cannot comprehend the
reasons outlined in the preface of his book.
A lot of people have trouble with TAOCP. But it is definitely worth
while to stick to it.
What supported you to continue reading his book? *I am thinking of
buying a copy of it though.
It was easy for me, but I had a lot of math and so the notation of the
book reads naturally for me.
If the math part throws you off (it does for most of the people who
have trouble with it) then just read his descriptions and ignore the
math.
Jun 27 '08 #32
On Apr 12, 12:21*pm, Eric Sosman <esos...@ieee-dot-org.invalidwrote:
istillsh...@gmail.com wrote:
On Apr 12, 12:02 pm, Eric Sosman <esos...@ieee-dot-org.invalidwrote:
>Which algorithm book is your favorite?
* * *"The Art of Computer Programming," Knuth
My head ached when I read this book in a library. *I quit after
reading several pages, feeling I was so intelligently inferior. *I
could not understand why the author uses an assembly-like language to
describe algorithms. *C would have been a much better choice.

* * *Then you have failed to grasp his purposes, which include
(among other things) quantitative comparisons of implementations.
You may have heard that Quicksort and Heapsort are both O(N logN)
algorithms (on the average); this much needs only a rather loose
notion of "time." *You may also have heard that Quicksort is
faster than Heapsort (usually), but how could you justify such a
statement by analyzing C implementations of both? *Is ++i faster
than i++? *Is x=a?b:c faster than x=bc[!a]? *You cannot attack
such questions from the standpoint of the C language, but only
from particular implementations of it (and you will get different
answers each time).

* * *In any case, though, you didn't ask for recommendations of
books that you would find easy to understand; you asked "Which
algorithm book is your favorite?" *And I answered.
I heard the author himself is a good programmer.

* * *Do you know of any other programmer who gives away code and
then pays money to people who find bugs in it? *(I suppose that
in his case the financial hardship may not be severe; I've got
one of his checks in a frame on my wall, and I bet many others
go similarly uncashed.)
Mine has a frame around it and it sits above my desk. I didn't even
do that with my degree.
I believe he must
have good reasons to do it. *But I really cannot comprehend the
reasons outlined in the preface of his book.
What supported you to continue reading his book? *I am thinking of
buying a copy of it though.

* * *I have been reading and re-reading and re-re-reading TAOCP
for more than thirty years, *because* my head sometimes aches
from the strain. *(I admit, though, that I haven't had the nerve
to pick up "Concrete Mathematics.")
I am going over the preprints of his new book that come in PDF format.
Jun 27 '08 #33
On Apr 13, 7:33 am, istillsh...@gmail.com wrote:
On Apr 13, 8:51 am, Richard Heathfield <r...@see.sig.invalidwrote:
istillsh...@gmail.com said:
On Apr 12, 3:21 pm, Eric Sosman <esos...@ieee-dot-org.invalidwrote:
> I have been reading and re-reading and re-re-reading TAOCP
>for more than thirty years
Is it really a good idea to do so: reading a book for more than 30
years?
Any old book? No. This book? Yes, absolutely. Given the quality of the
reader, it shows just how much meat there is in TAOCP.

I don't think any book is worth of reading for 30 years. Truth is
hidden in simplicity. Anything too complex is superfluous.

"$B8c@8LiM-36!$<)CNLiL536!(0JM-36n.L536!$KXbc!#(B", as Zhuangzi said.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zhuangzi
Things should be made as simple as possible -- but no simpler. - A.
Einstein

Maybe that book is not for you.
I have quite a few books I read and re-read.
I guess that there are not a lot of others that enjoy an hour and a
half in:
http://www.iopb.res.in/~somen/abramo...stegun/toc.htm

I read the Bible once per year (I have also read the Koran as well as
Buddist and Hindu works).
I read Ghandi and Lincoln and Plato, let them sit for a while and then
read them again.
Plato has to be the best debater of all time. He will argue something
that I absolutely, positively know is wrong, but I can't find an easy
way to poke a hole in his arguement.

There is defintely something to be said for simplicity (witness:K&R2).
I like philosophy that is simple (Will Rogers is right up my alley).

I think that sometimes programming requires something beyond the
elementary.
IMO-YMMV.
Jun 27 '08 #34
I
Richard Heathfield wrote:
A subscriber describing himself as "I" said:
>is*********@gmail.com wrote:
>>Questions for the major contributors to comp.lang.c.

What C books do you have?
What C books have you read?

i like "c: the complete reference" a lot . it is very well written and
easy to understand

Both true. Unfortunately, it contains a vast number of technical errors.
Being very well written and easy to understand is *not* sufficient to
qualify a book as a good C tutorial.
before i bought it i checked all comments from people who bought the same
book and they all said it's very good . How can a book be well written and
still contain a vast number of technical errors ? what errors ? is there
some errata listing ? i checked the author's and publisher's web sites and
found nothing .
>
>and i totally learned a whole lot from reading it b/c
it explanes what goes on behind the scenes . very good revues on amazone

Presumably you would also recommend eating horse-manure, on the grounds
that ten trillion flies can't be wrong.
are you like saying this is like not a very good book ?
>
Jun 27 '08 #35
Keith Thompson wrote:
>
.... snip ...
>
"C: The Complete Reference" is by Herbert Schildt, a prolific
author who, unfortunately, often doesn't know what he's talking
about, but seems to be quite skilled at passing his own ignorance
on to his readers. For a review of this particular book, see
<http://accu.org/index.php/book_reviews?url=view.xqy?review=c002173>.
For reference, Schildts output is generally known as 'bullschildt'.

--
[mail]: Chuck F (cbfalconer at maineline dot net)
[page]: <http://cbfalconer.home.att.net>
Try the download section.

** Posted from http://www.teranews.com **
Jun 27 '08 #36
I <no@spam.comwrites:
Richard Heathfield wrote:
>A subscriber describing himself as "I" said:
>>is*********@gmail.com wrote:
Questions for the major contributors to comp.lang.c.

What C books do you have?
What C books have you read?

i like "c: the complete reference" a lot . it is very well written and
easy to understand

Both true. Unfortunately, it contains a vast number of technical errors.
Being very well written and easy to understand is *not* sufficient to
qualify a book as a good C tutorial.

before i bought it i checked all comments from people who bought the same
book and they all said it's very good . How can a book be well written and
still contain a vast number of technical errors ? what errors ? is there
some errata listing ? i checked the author's and publisher's web sites and
found nothing .
It's safe to assume that any book by Herbert Schildt is technically
inaccurate. He's apparently a reasonably skilled writer, but he
doesn't know C. See <http://www.lysator.liu.se/c/schildt.htmlfor a
fairly detailed point-by-point review of another of his books. See
<http://www.seebs.net/c/c_tcr.htmlfor a list of *some* of the errors
in "C: The Complete Reference". It probably refers to an earlier
edition, and another review I cited elsewhere in this thread implies
that more recent editions are a bit better. But there are plenty of
books written by authors who actually know the subject.
>>and i totally learned a whole lot from reading it b/c
it explanes what goes on behind the scenes . very good revues on amazone

Presumably you would also recommend eating horse-manure, on the grounds
that ten trillion flies can't be wrong.

are you like saying this is like not a very good book ?
That's the general idea, yes.

--
Keith Thompson (The_Other_Keith) <ks***@mib.org>
Nokia
"We must do something. This is something. Therefore, we must do this."
-- Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn, "Yes Minister"
Jun 27 '08 #37
Someone having only I as a name wrote:

Ibefore i bought it i checked all comments from people who
Ibought the same book and they all said it's very good . How can
Ia book be well written and still contain a vast number of
Itechnical errors ?

The people reviewing were apparently ignorant of C; most people who
are familiar with C have learned to avoid Schildt books, and would not
be buying it, let alone reviewing it positively.

It can be "well written" in the sense that the explanations are clear
and consistent, and "contain a vast number of technical errors" in
that it describes a language that only superficially resembles C.

Iare you like saying this is like not a very good book ?

It's a horrible book. You should buy two more copies and burn all
three of them.

Charlton

--
Charlton Wilbur
cw*****@chromatico.net
Jun 27 '08 #38
On Apr 14, 3:20*pm, I <n...@spam.comwrote:
Richard Heathfield wrote:
A subscriber describing himself as "I" said:
istillsh...@gmail.com wrote:
>Questions for the major contributors to comp.lang.c.
>What C *books do you have?
What C books have you read?
i like "c: the complete reference" a lot . it is very well written and
easy to understand
Both true. Unfortunately, it contains a vast number of technical errors.
Being very well written and easy to understand is *not* sufficient to
qualify a book as a good C tutorial.

before i bought it i checked all comments from people who bought the same
book and they all said it's very good . How can a book be well written and
still contain a vast number of technical errors ? what errors ? is there
some errata listing ? i checked the author's and publisher's web sites and
found nothing .
Do not assume that missing Schildt errata means that the books are
without defect. Rather, assume that the author doesn't care about it
and makes no attempts at repairs.
and i totally learned a whole lot from reading it b/c
it explanes what goes on behind the scenes . very good revues on amazone
Presumably you would also recommend eating horse-manure, on the grounds
that ten trillion flies can't be wrong.

are you like saying this is like not a very good book ?
I guess that you are trolling, but maybe not.
Anyway, this is the only place I know of to get accurate book reviews
on programming topics:
http://www.accu.org/index.php/book_reviews
Jun 27 '08 #39
Keith Thompson said:

<snip>
It's safe to assume that any book by Herbert Schildt is technically
inaccurate. He's apparently a reasonably skilled writer, but he
doesn't know C. See <http://www.lysator.liu.se/c/schildt.html>
Assuming you mean the Feather review, Clive has moved it, and it is now to
be found here: <http://www.davros.org/c/schildt.html>

Please update any Web links on any site where you have +w.

<snip>

--
Richard Heathfield <http://www.cpax.org.uk>
Email: -http://www. +rjh@
Google users: <http://www.cpax.org.uk/prg/writings/googly.php>
"Usenet is a strange place" - dmr 29 July 1999
Jun 27 '08 #40
A subscriber describing himself as "I" said:

<snip>
>
before i bought it i checked all comments from people who bought the same
book and they all said it's very good .
That's because it's very well-written and clear, and because the reviews
are written by people who don't know C (because they bought the book so
that they could learn C) and therefore aren't aware that what they have
been taught is wrong.
How can a book be well written
and still contain a vast number of technical errors ?
"Well-written" in the sense that it's engaging, interesting, even vibrant -
reading Schildt will not tire you out if you have even a passing interest
in programming. Nevertheless, it contains all these errors.
what errors ?
All of them, really.
is there some errata listing ?
Assuming you don't mean the book itself? :-)
i checked the author's and publisher's web sites and found nothing .
There are at least three reasons why you might fail to find an errata list:
(a) the book contains no errors, or (b) you looked in the wrong place, or
(c) the author and publisher don't give two hoots about letting you know
of errors in the book.

Others have pointed you to the Feather review and the Seebach review:

http://herd.plethora.net/~seebs/c/c_tcr.html
http://www.davros.org/c/schildt.html

I recommend that you follow those links and read those reviews.
>>and i totally learned a whole lot from reading it b/c
it explanes what goes on behind the scenes . very good revues on
amazone

Presumably you would also recommend eating horse-manure, on the grounds
that ten trillion flies can't be wrong.

are you like saying this is like not a very good book ?
To get at what I'm really saying:
{
EITHER
{
remove the word "very"
}
OR
{
remove the word "not", and change "good" to "bad"
}
}
AND
{
remove both occurrences of the word "like"
}

--
Richard Heathfield <http://www.cpax.org.uk>
Email: -http://www. +rjh@
Google users: <http://www.cpax.org.uk/prg/writings/googly.php>
"Usenet is a strange place" - dmr 29 July 1999
Jun 27 '08 #41
I wrote:
[...] How can a book be well written and
still contain a vast number of technical errors ? [...]
Recommended (sort of) reading:

"Worlds in Collision"
"The Protocols of the Elders of Zion"
"The Search for Bridey Murphy"

(A long-ago acquaintance took an advanced class in geology
while at college, and told me that the first of these was a
goodly part of the final examination. The exam paper quoted
a passage, and the task was to analyze -- i.e., refute -- the
arguments and claims therein.)

--
Eric Sosman
es*****@ieee-dot-org.invalid
Jun 27 '08 #42

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