[CLUG-chat] Intro into programming.

marc marc at welz.org.za
Thu Aug 3 14:56:07 SAST 2006

> To change the slant of the thread slightly.. If one wanted to learn C
> - and to be able to use it in a useful way - where woudl one start?
> It seems to me there's a ton of basic tutorials online and beginner
> books that tell you what a variable is and how to write 'hello world'.
> Then there's a bunch of books that are pretty advanced and assume you
> know a bit already.. I find it difficult to find any reference or self
> learning material that is suffciently advanced to take you to the
> point that you can be useful in C, but is still aimed at someone who
> has not done a CS degree nor has any working programming experience.
> Does anyone know of anything more or less at this level? (A book
> available on amazon would be first prize)

The C FAQ has an answer with which I agree:

18.10:  What's a good book for learning C?

A:      There are far too many books on C to list here; it's impossible
        to rate them all.  Many people believe that the best one was
        also the first: _The C Programming Language_, by Kernighan and
        Ritchie ("K&R," now in its second edition).  Opinions vary on
        K&R's suitability as an initial programming text: many of us did
        learn C from it, and learned it well; some, however, feel that
        it is a bit too clinical as a first tutorial for those without
        much programming background.

So: Do the online examples, tutorials, etc - but move on to the K&R book
as soon as it becomes comprehensible. There is also a Linux application 
development book (Linux Application Development by Michael K. Johnson 
and Erik W. Troan) which introduces you to the APIs needed to do useful
work - though these are also documented in the C libarary info pages
(the real ones, not the ones which say: "these are the manual pages, look
at the info page").



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