is C still viable?

This is a discussion on is C still viable? within the Tech Board forums, part of the Community Boards category; i'm sure most of you will answer "yes", but i just need some assurance that learning C won't be a ...

  1. #1
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    is C still viable?

    i'm sure most of you will answer "yes", but i just need some assurance that learning C won't be a waste of time when i could learn java or something else.

    i've done a lot of stuff with perl and php and vb, but never really delved into C because i thought it might be dying out.

    oh, and also, how about a few good C book recommendations? haven't seen many.

    thanks in advance for whatever input and/or enlightenment you can spare.

    - the red baron

  2. #2
    and the hat of wrongness Salem's Avatar
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    Depends what you're wanting to do
    If all you're interested in is creating Microsoft windows GUI programs and web pages, then C would be a waste of time. Stick to your perl, PHP and VB.

    But if you're wanting to say program for embedded systems, where your only other choice would be assembler, then C is pretty much the only show in town.

    > oh, and also, how about a few good C book recommendations? haven't seen many.
    Try a board search for "book" then
    It's been discussed many times before

    > C won't be a waste of time when i could learn java or something else.
    Something stopping you from learning both?

    The more languages you know, the more problems you will be able to tackle, and you'll be able to make a much more informed choice about which language(s) are best for a given problem
    If you dance barefoot on the broken glass of undefined behaviour, you've got to expect the occasional cut.
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    Like Salem said, there are better options for a lot of applications, but I don't think C will become obsolete any time soon. I believe it's already been worked into the .NET framework (I could be wrong though), and thanks to that, not only is it still easy to access, but that should make Windows and GUI programming in C a lot easier with their new system.

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    Registered User caroundw5h's Avatar
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    C++ is a superset of C, which means - in terms of learning - if you know C, C++ will come very easily. Also C++ is in many ways Java, which will help faciliate your Java learning. Just look at the syntax for simple corroboration on my point.
    So if you learn all three, just like salem says, you will be at an advantage. Different programming languages can do certain things better and take less time. And knowing all three will only make you that much more knowledgable and valuable.
    Also microsoft is a big advocate of C++ and as i said, C++ is a dirivitive, if you will, of C.
    Don't forget too, that most of the code out there today is still in C. Attempts are being made to convert legacy code, so if you know both you can become an invaluable asset.

    In regards to your tutorials. You should always start with google , however to help you out you can also start here .

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    I don't know which books are good for learning C. However, I've heard warning against anything written by Schlidt(sp?). Apparently lots of errors.

    As far as I know, the standard two C reference books are:

    C Programming Language (2nd Edition)
    by Brian W. Kernighan (Author), Dennis Ritchie (Author)

    C: A Reference Manual (5th Edition)
    by Samuel P. Harbison (Author), Guy L. Steele (Author)

    These books are thin and useful. They are on my desk whenever I'm programming.

  6. #6
    Code Goddess Prelude's Avatar
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    >Apparently lots of errors.
    Not so much anymore, he's beginning to learn what he's been trying to teach. Of course, I still wonder about an author that has so many books covering the same topic where older books were of such poor quality. It's not likely that he gives new and valuable information in each one, so the mistakes of the older books have likely propagated to the new ones.
    My best code is written with the delete key.

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