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C: A Reference Manual, 5th Edition

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Book Overview

This authoritative reference manual provides a complete description of the C language, the run-time libraries, and a style of C programming that emphasizes correctness, portability, and... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

A desktop reference for the rest of us

This book only gets better with age. While this book is not meant to teach the C language to beginners, it is one you can keep on your desk and refer to, even if you are moderately familiar with C. If you have any questions about topics like overflow, underflow, and anything else related to standard C, then this book is for you. The authors explain the complexities of the ANSI and C99 standards in lucid detail. You don't have to be a compiler writer to get useful and practical information from this book. My only complaint with this book is that the index totally sucks. Many of the topics/words I wanted to look up either didn't have an index entry or only referenced a page or two, when the topic was actually on many more pages. But this doesn't take away from the book, because if you read the contents, you can figure out where you need to look for something.

A reference + more

My friend borrowed this book from me about two weeks ago and won't give it back, I have since turned to my left side over 20 times looking for it to no avail (serious). If I was to describe this book in one word it would be "Clean", everything in this book is just beautiful, from the ease of use, to the technical details, to even it's fonts and thickness of the pages, everything is so clean and precise that the book makes you want to read it and perhaps even keep it on a pillow next to you at night (but enough about my sheltered life).One thing that I did not expect before receiving this book was the amazing language overview that comes with the book, they could have sold the book with just that part and it would have still been great. The overview goes into great detail and is really good at pointing out things that other C books miss and the fact that the author is well versed on all the features of the latest C99 Standard adds even more to the wealth of information. My favorite part of the book is the part on the C Pre-processor, which had a great deal of information that I was not previously aware of.Apart from that, there is the reference side which has all the detail you could ever want in a standard library reference book, all in a very simple to search format (Oh yeah and I should mention, the index kicks ....).So long story short, if you want a single book that you can turn to for 99.9% of your standard C problems, divorce your wife and give that spot in your bed to "C: A Reference Manual (5th Edition)"... or 6th if it's out by the time you read this review.ps. If your looking for this book in a bookstore make sure the lady types in "C: A Reference Manual (5th Edition)" and not "See: A Reference Manual (5th Edition)", long story, I'll tell you another time.Hope you enjoyed reading this

The Best Book on C

This is absolutely the best book on the C language I've ever seen. The coverage is complete and detailed, the appendices accurarately and succinctly detail the ANSI standard C libraries. Basically, if you're writing C code, you need this book. It's displaced K & R on my desk as my C reference; it's easier to read and better organized.Be forewarned, this is not a tutorial. It's aimed at someone who already knows the language, and needs a detailed description for those nagging questions you can't answer anyplace else.

Essential reference for C (and C++) programmers

I've never understood why this book hasn't gotten more attention, so I'll add my vote to the others.I'm a professional software developer (MFC, C++, and C). I first learned C in about 1992 using Kernighan and Ritchie, the only other C book you ever need to buy.I own several other C books, but have found that C ARM is the only one I ever use. Everything is there, in enough detail to answer every question I've ever had about C. The book even covers earlier versions of the language, if you're stuck with an older compiler (or need to port some older code).Secondly, the book is detailed and strict. Short of checking the actual standards documents, I know of no better way to answer those nit-picky language-lawyer questions that _will_ pop up sooner or later. I use a reference for those things that _don't_ pop up every day, and hence aren't usually covered in a tutorial book. They're in C ARM.C++ programmers should own a copy of C ARM, too. C is, after all, a "subset" of C++. However, C++ is such a huge language that the standard C++ reference/tutorials like Stroustrup (my preference), or Lippman and Lajoie, leave full coverage of C to other books. That's where C ARM comes in. No, you're not supposed to use printf() in C++ applications, but people do and you may well have to debug their code. If that's not convincing, recall that level of detail that I mentioned above. Stroustrup doesn't even have an ASCII table.Again, this is definitely not a primer. It is a reference for experienced C programmers. Buy K & R if you want to learn C.

This book has no equal

This book has no equal. If you need exact information about any fine point of C, the depth and precision of this book is unique. Also, I'm not aware of any other reference on C that clearly tracks the differences between K & R (original) C, traditional C, and ISO C. If you have to deal with legacy code, it can be invaluable to understand why older code does certain things the way it does. (You thought your predecessor did something stupid, only to find that it only looks that way because of a change in the language.) Finally, the 4th edition includes advice on writing C code that will be compatible with the C subset of C++. In a market jammed with 1200 page piles of padded garbage (and the only useful content pirated from the documentation that comes with the compilers), this book really stands out. It's an amazing piece of work. I've owned the 2nd, 3rd, and now the 4th editions, and if there should be a 5th I'll buy it without hesitation. I actually have two copies of the 4th edition: one at work and one at home. What more can I say? Note that the only negative reviews are because someone didn't read the title -- this is a REFERENCE manual, not a tutorial for beginners.
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