Thread: Compare C reference books

  1. #1
    ... kermit's Avatar
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    Jan 2003

    Compare C reference books

    I am considering buying a C reference book. The two I have in mind are:

    • C: A Reference Manual, by Samuel P. Harbison and Guy L. Steele
    • The Standard C Library by P.J. Plauger

    Now I know both of these books usually are recommended, so in that light it seems hard to choose. For one thing are they fairly comparable, or is having both books worthwhile? (No sense in redundancy).


  2. #2
    Bob Dole for '08 B0bDole's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
    No sense in redundancy
    redundancy is your best friend

  3. #3
    Rad gcn_zelda's Avatar
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    Mar 2003
    Redundancy and repetion and redundancy are the keys to learning, my young Padawan.

  4. #4
    ... kermit's Avatar
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    Jan 2003
    Well for research purposes, cross referencing is never a bad idea...

  5. #5
    Toaster Zach L.'s Avatar
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    Aug 2001
    If you know the language and are just using them as references, there is no sense in too much redundancy. I'm not familiar enough with the books to recommend one over the other, though.
    The word rap as it applies to music is the result of a peculiar phonological rule which has stripped the word of its initial voiceless velar stop.

  6. #6
    unleashed alphaoide's Avatar
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    Sep 2003
    You just have to pick one and later either regret it or satisfied with it. Been there done that. You don't know the value of a book until you read it through, not just skim through it in the bookstore (have u done it btw?).
    source: compsci textbooks,, world wide web, common sense

  7. #7
    Registered User
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    Jul 2004
    Both are worth having simply because they serve different purposes. The former is a language reference that comes close to the C standard in accuracy while still maintaing an approachable air. There are subtle mistakes though, so it would also be wise to buy the standard for cross-referencing. The latter focuses exclusively on the C standard library, and rather than just giving definitions and simple examples, a full explanation is made on what the standard says (pre-C99), how each part should/could be used, and a full implementation. The source has mistakes here and there, but for the most part the code is of a high quality and can be learned from with confidence.

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