View Full Version : Best resource for intro to C?

08-30-2001, 11:12 AM
Like most of you already know I started college about two weeks ago studying programming. In the first semester they give you theory and help you learn the logic behind program design, so this semester we are not learning any languages. I'll be taking C 2nd semester though. I've seen a little bit on C but it feels like the tutorials on CProgramming.com expect you to know a little about C. I'm looking for a book/online tutorial that will explain everything to me. IE- What does all this mean?

#include <stdio.h>
#include <iostream.h>
#include <conio.h>
I know it includes the ability to use certain things within your code but what is it that you can include? It's the little things like this that I need to know and would appreciate anyone pointing me in the correct direction. Thanks!


08-30-2001, 11:18 AM
Well, aside from asking questions on here (which is always a great idea, provided you try to solve the problem yourself too), there's books online. A good place to start is informit.com - they have a bunch of free books online to check out. Also, http://www.ty.sx.cn/wenxue/diannao/lci21/index.html has all of Learn C in 21 Days. There's other boards similar to (but not nearly as good as... *g*) this one at programmerheaven.com. That help a little?

08-30-2001, 11:20 AM
I recommend you buy a good book or two rather than relying on online tutorials. Online tutorials are helpful but they rarely go into depth on any particular subject but are more likely to skim over things.

for beginning c something like c for dummies or the c primer would be ideal.Neither of these are too expensive.

08-30-2001, 11:21 AM
Are there any books you know of that I can buy and learn with? Thanks for all your help guys, I can tell this place will help me alot these next two years:D


08-30-2001, 11:22 AM
Oh cool, thanks for the books Stoned_Coder!


08-30-2001, 11:22 AM
You can't get a book that explains everything. If you want the definition of C than you can get it in a .pdf format, but this is a technical document, it's called ANSI ISO/IEC 9899.

The #include means that the compiler will include definitions from the specified libraries. Some libraries are essential such as 'standard input/output'. In order to get a technical understanding you might want to reference 9899 but you would also need to understand the internals of your operating system.

There are many good books that teach 'C'. Start by reading one of them. Go to this website: www.accu.org and look under the book reviews for information.

08-30-2001, 11:26 AM
Btw, the links I posted (for Learn C in 21 Days and informit.com) aren't online tutorials. They're copies of actual books that you can buy, except they've been transferred onto the web.

08-30-2001, 12:25 PM
C for dummies is great as a first step. The two books will guide you through loads of usefull things that youreally do need to progress with the language. IE

Pointers (oh yeah - pay attention to this)
File IO.........

The books are very "hand holding" - which is why many are turned off by them. But I thought they were good. And Gookin's site carrys extra lessons - link lists, system calls..... He also answers emailed questions - as long as you dont p#ss him off!

08-30-2001, 01:04 PM
Teach Yourself C in 24 Hours by Tony Zhang

best starting book there is...

but be warned it only introduces you by teaching the VERY BASICS.

08-30-2001, 01:49 PM
While it is basic , it has several inaccuaracies starting out with confusion about the return type of main. It's more like teach yourself c for java. There are better
beginning books out there.

The teach yourself c++ by Jessy Liberty (c# traitor!) is better and does not
assume any programming expeirence. After finishing that book you might
want to look at Stroustrups book.

08-30-2001, 02:52 PM
A C++ book would be okay if he was taking C++ but that is not the case. I know lots of good C++ books but what is the point?

08-30-2001, 03:58 PM
>>The teach yourself c++ by Jessy Liberty (c# traitor!) is better and does not
assume any programming expeirence

I've bought that in an effort to wean me off straight C and onto C++. It is quite a good book I must admit, but I have only managed to do a few chapters (other things coming up and stealing my attention - Java, Delphi, Winsock.....)

Herb Schildt's book "C - the complete reference" is also good. Loads of functions, intro to Winapi (well a very bare one at least), linked lists, search & sort techniques....... My only problem with the book is its binding - the damn thing is held together with sticky tape and elastic bands!

08-30-2001, 04:52 PM
I have been using C: How to Program by Deitel and Deitel to teach myself and its not a bad book (but i have no college tutoring to back me up) - it has lots of very good programming exercises to do. However as it is primarily used as a college textbook it contains no answers (i created a fuss with the publishers in the US and UK and managed to get a copy of the instructors answers though - i swear i answer the questions first and only use these to check my results off)... it also comes with chapters on introducing java and c++

08-30-2001, 05:32 PM
i started programming with C++.
i do not understand, why bother to learn C first?
learn C++ and you will know C.
am i mistaken?

08-30-2001, 05:46 PM
I'm in college so I have to follow a certain path.

I just bought "C Primer Plus". It looks just like the book a saw in our college bookstore so I'm praying it will be the one I'll need for the class. That would be one less book I need to buy:D


08-30-2001, 05:53 PM
I read The Waite Groups 'C Primer Plus' 3rd edition. It was a very good book. It goes into a good amount of depth. There are easier books to start out with but if you can handle this one than you will have a good understanding of 'C' by the time you finish reading it.

08-30-2001, 07:08 PM
That's the same book I just got. I'm into chapter 2 already:D


08-31-2001, 12:33 AM
The "Teach Yourself in 24hrs/21days" series are good to have as a reference, but they are limited in terms of what they can teach you. Still Check out "Teach Yourself C"/C++" as they are great when you want to look up something quickly.

I used "C: How to Program" 2nd Ed. by Deitel and Deitel to learn the basics. It was okay, but it did tend to move a bit quickly for the beginner. The other book I used was "Data Structures and Program Design in C" 2md Ed. by Kruse et al. I don't recommend this book to anyone who does not already have a thorough understanding of C program structure and syntax, as it makes the assumption that you are a software engineer in training.