C by Discovery, difference between newer and older edition?

This is a discussion on C by Discovery, difference between newer and older edition? within the C Programming forums, part of the General Programming Boards category; Hi, I'm thinking about taking a C class at my local community college. Due to financial restraints I am not ...

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    C by Discovery, difference between newer and older edition?

    Hi, I'm thinking about taking a C class at my local community college. Due to financial restraints I am not really able to get the 4'th edition to C by Discovery by W. D. Foster (Author) and L. S. Foster (Author) that my class requires. I'm wondering if anyone has used this book before and if the third edition differs from the fourth? Thanks.

    Also, should I just learn C on my own and then take the class at college? Is that better? Thanks.

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    well willowz your skills in c programming will depend on the number of hours you spend studying and practising the questions in your text.. well as for the classes the teacher will guide you but most of the work will be done by you if you really want to know. However in my case i learnt alone at home in front of my computer here in Africa and really grasping the concepts due to my self pace at home well its all depends on you and your study style

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    Tears of the stars thames's Avatar
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    read the classic C book The C Programming Language by Kernighan and Ritchie. It can be dauting at first, but it's an awesome book!
    Last edited by thames; 01-22-2013 at 11:40 AM.

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    well i think The C programming Language is not a good book for a beginner programmer but can be a very good reference for an intermediate or good programmer... well in my case you could try C A,Modern Approach by KN King

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    SAMARAS std10093's Avatar
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    The forum has a really good thread about books.
    Code - functions and small libraries I use


    It’s 2014 and I still use printf() for debugging.


    "Programs must be written for people to read, and only incidentally for machines to execute. " —Harold Abelson

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    Registered User ledow's Avatar
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    That particular book - overpriced and overrated. It's honestly not the thing for programmers, and even finding new copies can be difficult.

    Personally, I wouldn't touch it if I were you - just start yourself off and then it won't matter what book you need to do the exercises from.

    Throughout my entire degree, I purchased exactly one book that was "REQUIRED" by the course. The lecturer set marked exercises by telling you question numbers. Extremely lazy and ineffective teaching. After purchasing, I realised the book was a load of junk compared to something I found from my brother's library on the same subject (Calculus). I passed the book on to a student of the next year, and told them not to bother reading it, just do the exercises - so they wouldn't be caught out the same way.

    Given that I sat (and passed) dozens of courses to get the degree, they all recommended or "required" a certain book, but only one did I actually *need* to buy (and in the end, it would have been possible to just photocopy the exercise pages and do a better job), and that only because of a poor lecturer who was obviously profiting from that somehow. All the rest? I didn't even look at them but found and used my own resources that I understood, rather than a prescribed book that almost always indirectly profited the university or specific lecturer.

    Learning is a very personal thing. The only way to see is to try, and I bet that 90% of the people on any particular course will NEVER learn things from the course-prescribed book first. They will learn them elsewhere, and then just apply that knowledge as necessary.

    It's like saying that all kids in the world should only be taught how to do mathematics from a single book - it's ridiculous to think that's going to be the "best" way for all of them.

    - Compiler warnings are like "Bridge Out Ahead" warnings. DON'T just ignore them.
    - A compiler error is something SO stupid that the compiler genuinely can't carry on with its job. A compiler warning is the compiler saying "Well, that's bloody stupid but if you WANT to ignore me..." and carrying on.
    - The best debugging tool in the world is a bunch of printf()'s for everything important around the bits you think might be wrong.

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    SAMARAS std10093's Avatar
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    I would like to mention that studying only books is not enough for programming.. Actually it is not even the half work needed. You have to write code yourself, debug it and run it!!!

    @Ledow, the last sentence of your signature is very nice!
    Code - functions and small libraries I use


    It’s 2014 and I still use printf() for debugging.


    "Programs must be written for people to read, and only incidentally for machines to execute. " —Harold Abelson

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    I think the most important thing is the exercises: understanding and doing them. The trick is to find something that is not too complex but also not too easy. If it's not challenging enough then you won't learn anything new. If it's too hard then you'll give up and again won't learn anything new.

    If you take the class at school, most likely the professor will have exercises that are independent from the book, and thus you might not really need it, provided you are able to look up the required information yourself somewhere. Better to ask the professor directly, though.

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