Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop All Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now DIYED Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Oasis Listen in Prime Shop now Shop now

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars14
4.6 out of 5 stars
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on 31 January 2001
Once you get past the first chapter, which states a lot of what anyone would consider to be obvious, it gets into an area which will make you reassess your practices.
It made me appreciate how much time saving later a little investment in practicing good programming style can make.
Although the book works through examples in C, C++ and Java, with a little perl, awk and Tcl for good measure, it is relevant to any language.
Ada programmers especially should read it instead of believing that the language does it all for them.
0Comment|10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 21 April 1999
Alas, we never got the chance to read "The Practice of Composition" by Bach and Zappa, or "The Practice of Painting" by Monet and Mondrian. However, we do have the chance to read "The Practice of Programming" by Kernighan and Pike and they're definitely in the same league as the names I've invoked earlier. No 300-page book can hope to make any reader a master of such a complex art but the chance to sit at the feet of the masters and catch the crumbs from their table is not to be missed. Covering all those things nobody ever bothered to teach you, but that most ambitious and creative programmers half-work-out, Kernighan and Pike discuss what makes good programs good, what makes bad programs bad, and what makes great programs truly great. The technical level fluctuates between the straightforward and the moderately esoteric, and examples are all drawn from mainstream programming languages, so the wealth of wisdom in the book should be accessible to almost all working or student programmers. No book can make you a great programmer, but this one can at least make some good suggestions about how not to be a bad one. If an evening spent reading this book doesn't teach you something useful, or at least make you think in a new way, about programming, you probably wrote it.
0Comment|4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 16 September 2002
This is a guide to how to program with style of the masters.
Every style point Brian makes is argued for convincingly and then backed up by his empirical experiences.
For an experienced programmer much of this will be common sense. Through codifying and naming these principles it may help quality coding become more common.
This book is not specific to any language. The example snippets are mainly C & Unix, but are universally applicable. They can be followed by any experienced coder.
This is both a great tutorial and reference. It is solid stuff but easy reading.
0Comment|5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 8 December 2012
I've been pushing this book onto my students ever since Amazon pointed it out to me, just after it came out.

As some have said. It's very low-level, but the principles it covers are still applicable with a little thought regardless of how high-level and glossy your coding is.

It is especially valuable in that the little details which most coders pick up via osmosis - or that we hope they do - are rendered explicit. I recall some hardcore coders complaining that my lecture (from this book) went into the naming of variables - but we never actually explain it! We just expect the students to glark it from context :-)

Similarly, the chapter on debugging is just so bloody good I'd like to marry it and have all its babies. An unconfident student sees us write up some Java on the board, and because we wrote it it must be right, and what they produce must be wrong, right? No, of course not, we've never tried compiling it, so I'm sure it won't actually work in anger.
But - we never explain what to do when your program just doesn't work at all. This book does. Buy it. Read it. RIP Bryan.
0Comment|2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 2 June 1999
The more experienced the programmer is, the more complex the code becomes: This book tries to simplify the way we do programming. Tons of time-wasting mistakes can be prevented just by reading this book. Lots of good suggestions, from the most obvious to some 'quite complex' ones... Every reader will surely find 90% (at least) of the book is useful.
0Comment|3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 28 August 2008
There is a lot of good advice in this book, from writing automatic testbench generators to using macros in C. However, the concepts are not always clearly illustrated and the examples suffer from the same drawback as other books by the same authors, in that they are too Computer Science oriented.

Could have been written better but then again, there are few books out there on this subject that are as well written.
0Comment|2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 19 August 2001
A must in these dark times of complex bloated programming with braindead operating systems and horrible APIs, disguised as "software engineering". A masterwork written by people who work in one of the few places where actual innovation is taking place, who have done substantial contributions to systems software research, and still doing them (Plan 9, for example). A sort of manifest against the current trends in software development, written by people who have worked (and presumably work) on critical systems such as phone switches. Read this book, then read "The Mythical Man-Month" by Fred P. Brooks and start to wonder why software quality is decreasing and the same errors in the past are repeated again and again. I repeat: This is a true masterwork.
0Comment|7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon 13 September 2007
This book is one of the (very few) classics of software development. It is written in a simple style that is easy to understand, but offers great truths. Many people with limited experience won't be able to fully appreciate what it has to offer; this is the collation of two lifetimes of experience in the field, written so that that anyone can follow, although some may lack the insight to understand.

For programming novices, they would be better to start with a book that addresses the concerns of beginners, like Code Complete. Once they have digested the lessons it has to offer, it is time to move on to a more advanced book, like The Pragmatic Programmer. In time, when the lessons offered have been fully comprehended, the novice may be able to start to become a serious professional - and read The Practice of Programming.
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 23 April 2012
I'm reading it for the second time now. It's one of those books that packs a lot of information in very few words. That means you have to pay attention constantly or you can miss something important. I like books like this, short and sweet. And, as it is short you can read it the times you want. Pick the lemma in its cover and make it yours.
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 16 April 2007
One can say that C is dead but how one should write programs keeps on being same. There is some basic things that one can think as methodology described by this book like; write code in consistent style, create good glues so that hunting bugs is easier etc. No matter will you write shell scripts or assembler methods described in the book are mostly valid.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.

Sponsored Links

  (What is this?)