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C: A Reference Manual (Prentice-Hall software series) Paperback – 1 Dec 1986

4.7 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice-Hall; 2Rev e. edition (1 Dec. 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0131098020
  • ISBN-13: 978-0131098022
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 17.8 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,028,313 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book has it all. To begin with, it modestly calls itself "C: A Reference Manual". They might as well come right out with it and say "C: The Reference Manual". If you have a question about C, it will be answered here. This is not the ordinary thick and heavy tome hastily cobbled together against a deadline, but a refreshing example of old-fashioned, obstinate dedication to quality. It is lean and terse; every line carries meaning, and you will be expected to pay attention. That is not much of an exaggeration; just about every single line in the book, with the possible exception of the page numbers, is important: The examples don't just repeat the obvious; they are well chosen to point up important points, and at the end of each chapter you will find exercises that are cleverly crafted to make you cry and say "How could I have missed that!". That is also why, although the book calls itself a reference manual, it is at the same time a lesson in pedagogy. A small warning, though, just for the sake of balance: the weak point of C is also the weak point of this book, if it has one. If you are thinking of buying it just because you want an authoritative source on C declarations, this could be what you want if you have a truly superior intellect - Harbison and Steele don't miss anything, and sure enough it is all here - but most of us will need another source on that particular subject before we realize that; a more hand-holding, tear-wiping sort of source. However, in summary: I was thinking just now of whether to add the line "This is the best book ever written on any subject.", but I decided against it, as I have not read all books.
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Format: Paperback
As a C programmer I found this book very useful at every stage of my academic studies. The book overviews all the topics in ANSI standard in a systematic way. Every topic in C programming language is explained without going into every detail of the language; rather focuses on the ANSI C libraries and functions. This book is not a good resource for beginners. However exprienced C programmers may find it very useful when trying to find a function, for example, to carry out a specific task. In other words, it provides easy way of understaning the concept of each C Library.
However, C++ concepts are missing in this book. A newer version should provide new concepts like new ANSI C/C++ standards and Object-oriented programming using C++.
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Format: Paperback
This is a good reference on ANSI standard C, although I wouldn't try
to start learning the language from it. Either Harbison or Steele or
both were on the committee that set the standard, and they often
describe *why* a feature was included in the language. There are also
examples of using and mis-using most parts of the language, and points
about writing for clarity and letting the (modern) compiler optimize
for speed. New in the 4th edition are some brief discussions of C++
compatability (e.g. differences in scoping of some declarations).
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Format: Paperback
C programmers do it with small tools, and this relatively
small book is the best reference a programmer could have.
Thorough, complete, well-organized, and in my case, well-worn.

Of my hundreds of computer books, this is the one with
which I would never part. Heck, of all my books, this
is second only to "To Kill A Mockingbird", and were it
not for Unix's man pages, Harbison and Steele's book
would be the more indispensable of the two.
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Format: Paperback
C is my language of preference and whilst looking for a good ANSI reference I came across this book.
In my opinion this is the best. I use C professionally and not only is this book a great reference to the modern ANSI standard BUT also has along side ANSI syntax traditional syntax. This allows for easy translation.
In three words BUY THIS BOOK. It never leaves my side and is in constant use as both a reference AND to settle arguments on format.
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