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The Definitive Guide to GCC (Definitive Guides) [Kindle Edition]

William von Hagen

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Book Description

The GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) offers a variety of compilers for different programming languages including C, C++, Java, Fortran, and Ada. The Definitive Guide to GCC, Second Edition has been revised to reflect the changes made in the most recent major GCC release, version 4. Providing in-depth information on GCC’s enormous array of features and options, and introducing crucial tools such as autoconf, gprof, and libtool, this book functions as both a guide and reference.



This book goes well beyond a general introduction to GCC and covers key programming techniques such as profiling and optimization that, when used in conjunction with GCC’s advanced features, can greatly improve application performance. This second edition will prove to be an invaluable resource, whether youre a student seeking familiarity with this crucial tool or an expert who uses GCC on a daily basis.


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About the Author

William von Hagen holds degrees in computer science, English writing, and art history. William has worked with UNIX systems since 1982, during which time he has been a system administrator, systems programmer, software developer, development manager, computing facilities operations manager, writer, documentation manager, and (now) content manager.

William has written a number of books, including Linux Filesystems, Installing Red Hat Linux 7, and SGML For Dummies, and he contributed to writing Red Hat 7 Unleashed. Most recently, Hagen coauthored Mac OS X Power User's Guide with Brian Proffitt.

William has written articles and software reviews for publications including Linux Magazine, Linux Format (UK), Maximum Linux, Mac Tech Magazine, Mac Home Magazine, and Mac Directory, and he has written extensive online material for CMP Media, Linux Planet, and Corel.


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Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Reference 1 May 2007
By Harold McFarland - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The Definitive Guide to GCC covers the ways to use the GCC Compiler to compile programs written in C, C++, Fortran, and Java. For each of these languages the author discusses how it is implemented within the GCC compiler. While all the sections of the book are good the parts I found the best were the ones on optimizing and analyzing code as well as troubleshooting GCC. These are very well done sections and cover stuff that is often left out of other texts or not explained nearly as well.

This can be a dauntingly technical book for those unfamiliar with programming and compiling but that is also what makes it so perfect for the experienced user. It is an extensive reference that includes not only the common options but also some of the more obscure options and switches that can be highly useful in the right circumstances.

The Definitive Guide to GCC is typical of the "Definitive Guide" series by Apress and does not disappoint in terms of expertise, detail, and easy to follow explanations. If you want to know the GCC compiler, the details of how to use it, and troubleshoot compilation problems you will find this book to be one of the best resources you can find. The Definitive Guide to GCC is highly recommended.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate GCC Book 31 Mar. 2007
By Kenneth Hess - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Wow. Von Hagen hit a home run with this one. Most programming books are a great answer for insomnia but the well written style of this book almost makes it a "page turner" and that says something for this man's style. I typically shy away from such subjects but was sufficiently impressed enough to delve deeper.

It is apparent from the very beginning when the discussion opens with C compilers that this guy knows just about everything there is to know about GCC.

I don't agree with the Beginner to Intermediate level as I think it is probably an Intermediate book. You really should know something about programming to be successful in understanding and enjoying the book.

Apress is known for highly technical and very well-written books and this one is no different. They certainly seem to find the experts in the field to write their books.

GCC will certainly put you one up on the competition but you may have to read it twice because it is very packed with information. Keep it handy as an invaluable reference.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great reference for GCC 10 Dec. 2006
By C. Madden - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Actually, this book does cover the FORTRAN and Java aspects of GCC for a couple of chapters, but yes it is mostly for C/C++ programmers. Anyway, if you want to learn about all of GCC's different switches, optimization techniques, and warnings then this book has it all. It also covers the "helper" tools like gcov.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book, needs more content review 3 July 2008
By T. Conant - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is fine book, it's well written and easy to follow.. My only grip is with inaccuracies in the compile option appendix. The defined effect of certain options is the reverse from there actual effect. This caused me a bit of trouble when I tried to use the options and wasn't getting the results I expected. The online documentation was consistent with my results. My suggestion is double check the options against the gnu online reference. Hopefully in the following editions (if there will be any) this will be cleared up.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All you wanted to know about GCC and much much more 19 Oct. 2010
By Neil G. Matthews - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The ubiquitous GNU Compiler Collection is one of the fundamental underpinnings of Open Source and after a quarter of a century of development it is a formidable development tool. William von Hagen has done a masterful job in the second edition of the Definitive Guide to GCC in showing how to make the most of Richard Stallman's gift to the world. Occasionally the Author's sense of humour breaks up what can be a rather dry subject.

After a brief introduction to GCC, the author gets right into how to use GCC to compile C, C++, Fortran and Java respectively in the first four chapters of the book. While most of the book uses C code in examples of compiler usage, the Java chapter contains a good section on creating and using Jar files and Shared Libraries along with a brief section on how GCC supports Java and C++ interoperability. You quickly learn how to correctly use compiler flags to get the results you intend with these languages and gain an understanding of how they should be used. Importantly, without this understanding, it is easy to define flags that do not work as you expect, so the right off, this book can prove its worth. If you don't know what options are being passed to the gcc compiler in your makefile or know exactly what they do, then you aren't really in control of the build process for your code.

A significant change to the first edition was moving the first chapter of that edition, which covers the general use of the GCC compilers, into Appendix A. At 81 pages, this is the real meat in this book and I'm not sure that this was a good move, but it does align better with Appendix B, which covers machine and processor-specific options for GCC and hence can be considered an extension of Appendix A. The appendixes are rounded out with one on how to use GCC's On Line Help plus additional GCC support resources are provided in chapter 10.

My recommendations on how to get the most out of this book:
Read Appendix A, then check out Appendix B for the use of GCC extensions relevant to your particular machine/processor, then read the relevant chapter of the first four chapters for your specific language of interest. If you need to optimise or wish to debug your code using GCC's debugger and the use of gcov and gprof, check out chapters 5 and 6 respectively; I found these chapters particularly interesting. If you have problems that you suspect may be compiler related, chapter 9 covers troubleshooting. If your use of GCC isn't on an x86 IBM PC based computer, then check out Chapter 14, which covers building cross compilers with GCC and use Appendix B as necessary. If your target is an embedded design, this chapter, plus the optimisation chapter 5 along with chapter 13, which covers using alternate C libraries, will give you the background you need to use GCC for your project. Autoconf, automake and Libtool are covered in detail in chapters 7 and 8 and if you are interested in compiling GCC and building and installing Glibc (the author includes some valid reasons to do this), then these are covered in chapters 11 and 12.

Personally, I found the index frustrating to use, which I guess isn't surprising given the difficulty of covering the "1.3 zillion options" provided by GCC. If you heavily use the book, you may be better off purchasing the eBook, so you can search the book directly.
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