Rectangle 27 414

  • C Traps and Pitfalls by A. Koenig (1989). Very good, but the C style pre-dates standard C, which makes it less recommendable these days. Some have argued for the removal of 'Traps and Pitfalls' from this list because it has trapped some people into making mistakes; others continue to argue for its inclusion. Perhaps it should be regarded as an 'expert' book because it requires a moderately extensive knowledge of C to understand what's changed since it was published.

Computer Systems: A Programmer's Perspective (3rd Edition) - Randal E. Bryant and David R. O'Hallaron (2015). Explains the C language in a disjointed narrative style, like Pulp Fiction.

Abstraction and Specification in Program Development - Barbara Liskov and John V. Guttag (1986) (not the newer Java-based version by Liskov alone). This is an undergraduate text, with some ideas worth thinking about.

Composite/Structured Design - Glenford J. Myers (1978). This and other books from the late 1970s and early 1980s by Yourdon and Myers provide excellent insights on structured design.

  • MISRA-C - industry standard published and maintained by the Motor Industry Software Reliability Association. Covers C89 and C99. Although this isn't a book as such, every experienced C programmer should read and implement as much of it as possible. MISRA-C was originally intended as guidelines for safety-critical applications in particular, but it applies to any area of application where stable, bug-free C code is desired (who doesn't want less bugs?). MISRA-C is becoming the de facto standard in the whole embedded industry and is getting increasingly popular even in other programming branches. There are (at least) three publications of the standard, one from 1998, one from 2004, and one from 2012, where the last is the currently active, relevant one. There is also a MISRA Compliance Guidelines document from 2016, and MISRA C:2012 Amendment 1 Additional Security Guidelines for MISRA C:2012 (published in April 2016). Note that some of the strictures in the MISRA rules are not appropriate to every context. For example, directive 4.12 states "Dynamic memory allocation shall not be used". This may well be appropriate in the embedded systems for which the MISRA rules are designed; it is not appropriate everywhere. (Compilers, for instance, generally use dynamic memory allocation for things like symbol tables, and to do without dynamic memory allocation would be difficult, if not preposterous.)

Archived lists of ACCU-reviewed books on Beginner's C (116 titles) and Advanced C (76 titles). Most of these don't look to be on the main site anymore, and you can't browse that by subject anyway.

Be wary of books written by Herbert Schildt. In particular, you should stay away from C: The Complete Reference, known in some circles as C: The Complete Nonsense.

Also be wary of the book "Let Us C" by Yashwant Kanetkar. It is a horribly outdated book that teaches Turbo C and has lot of obsolete, misleading and downright incorrect material.

To summarize my views, which are laid out below, the author presents the material in a greatly oversimplified and misleading way, the whole corpus is a bundled mess, and some of the opinions and analyses he offers are just plain wrong. I've tried to view this book through the eyes of a novice, but unfortunately I am biased by years of experience writing code in C. It's obvious to me that either the author has a flawed understanding of C, or he's deliberately oversimplifying to the point where he's actually misleading the reader (intentionally or otherwise.)

"Learn C The Hard Way" is not a book that I could recommend to someone who is both learning to program and learning C. If you're already a competent programmer in some other related language, then it represents an interesting and unusual exposition on C, though I have reservations about parts of the book. Jonathan Leffler

Is it time to add Modern C by @JensGustedt (Active committee member and SO contributor)? icube-icps.unistra.fr/index.php/File:ModernC.pdf

The Definitive C Book Guide and List - Stack Overflow

c
Rectangle 27 412

  • C Traps and Pitfalls by A. Koenig (1989). Very good, but the C style pre-dates standard C, which makes it less recommendable these days. Some have argued for the removal of 'Traps and Pitfalls' from this list because it has trapped some people into making mistakes; others continue to argue for its inclusion. Perhaps it should be regarded as an 'expert' book because it requires a moderately extensive knowledge of C to understand what's changed since it was published.

Computer Systems: A Programmer's Perspective (3rd Edition) - Randal E. Bryant and David R. O'Hallaron (2015). Explains the C language in a disjointed narrative style, like Pulp Fiction.

Abstraction and Specification in Program Development - Barbara Liskov and John V. Guttag (1986) (not the newer Java-based version by Liskov alone). This is an undergraduate text, with some ideas worth thinking about.

Composite/Structured Design - Glenford J. Myers (1978). This and other books from the late 1970s and early 1980s by Yourdon and Myers provide excellent insights on structured design.

  • MISRA-C - industry standard published and maintained by the Motor Industry Software Reliability Association. Covers C89 and C99. Although this isn't a book as such, every experienced C programmer should read and implement as much of it as possible. MISRA-C was originally intended as guidelines for safety-critical applications in particular, but it applies to any area of application where stable, bug-free C code is desired (who doesn't want less bugs?). MISRA-C is becoming the de facto standard in the whole embedded industry and is getting increasingly popular even in other programming branches. There are (at least) three publications of the standard, one from 1998, one from 2004, and one from 2012, where the last is the currently active, relevant one. There is also a MISRA Compliance Guidelines document from 2016, and MISRA C:2012 Amendment 1 Additional Security Guidelines for MISRA C:2012 (published in April 2016). Note that some of the strictures in the MISRA rules are not appropriate to every context. For example, directive 4.12 states "Dynamic memory allocation shall not be used". This may well be appropriate in the embedded systems for which the MISRA rules are designed; it is not appropriate everywhere. (Compilers, for instance, generally use dynamic memory allocation for things like symbol tables, and to do without dynamic memory allocation would be difficult, if not preposterous.)

Archived lists of ACCU-reviewed books on Beginner's C (116 titles) and Advanced C (76 titles). Most of these don't look to be on the main site anymore, and you can't browse that by subject anyway.

Be wary of books written by Herbert Schildt. In particular, you should stay away from C: The Complete Reference, known in some circles as C: The Complete Nonsense.

Also be wary of the book "Let Us C" by Yashwant Kanetkar. It is a horribly outdated book that teaches Turbo C and has lot of obsolete, misleading and downright incorrect material.

To summarize my views, which are laid out below, the author presents the material in a greatly oversimplified and misleading way, the whole corpus is a bundled mess, and some of the opinions and analyses he offers are just plain wrong. I've tried to view this book through the eyes of a novice, but unfortunately I am biased by years of experience writing code in C. It's obvious to me that either the author has a flawed understanding of C, or he's deliberately oversimplifying to the point where he's actually misleading the reader (intentionally or otherwise.)

The Definitive C Book Guide and List - Stack Overflow

c