on 21 May 2001
Strangely comforting. Good points:
1) VERY easy and engaging to read.
2) An Excellent run down of UNIX for UNIX newbies.
3) What the GNU General Protection is all about explains situation for embedded programmers using GNU libraries ( you CAN use it/them.)
4) Help using EMACS editor - seemed arcane to me.
Bad points: 1) Tends to explain what is already documented on the internet - although it is MUCH more readable.
2) Somewhat out of date. e.g. only the optimiser switches -O0 to -02 were documented. No -O3, -O4.
3) Linker section says linker scripts are only for masochists! Then fails to cover them! I was hoping for enlightenment here. VERY Disappointing.
4) No explanation of sections named in linker scripts (found on the internet.) e.g. gcc_except_table. VERY Disappointing AGAIN.
5) Book and CD aimed at people using UNIX rather than Windows/DOS. However, Windows/DOS users CAN use GNU software by installing Cygwin1.Dll from Cygnus (as at 21-May-2001).
6) Assumes that reader is writing software to run on same PC that the compiler is run. Lists several dozen possible cross-compilation options but useless for someone actually using it a cross-compiler.
Since so many target platforms are supported it is unrealistic to expect details on using the software for each target with each host. However to virtualy ignore this seemed unforgivable.
Nevertheless, I like O'Reily books for their readbility and good intent and continue to hold them in high esteem.
Summary. Good for background info and getting GNU software into perspective.