Our bookshelf: C a Reference Manual

Every now and then we need a good general reference while programing in C. C a Reference Manual, coauthored by Samuel Harbison 3rd. and Guy Steele Jr. is a great addition to any software hacker’s bookshelf. now in its fifth edition it covers c from the c standard (c1989) to the more current standard (C1999).

The majority of micro controller projects are programmed using some flavor of C, weather its GCC for an ARM9, or SDCC for an 8051. and while every C compiler has its own personality, they all originated from some form of standard C.

This book is not meant to teach you about programming in C, it will however help you build more efficient and more portable code.

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  1. I still have my first edition Harbison and Steele, published 1984. I always found it far more accessible than K&R.

  2. K&R 2nd is still really good for the c language itself you will see every aspect of the ansi “C” , but it is not well written i think for a beginner who likes 400 pages book ! …
    i also bought long time ago a book explaining in detail the standard “C” librairies a really good complement to K&R.
    of course their is also C++ from Stroustrup, cause often we used C++ compiler :o) I have one of the first version of C++ who give great implementation details :o) i also download documentation for no ansi C compiler extensions from some gcc site …
    :-) i might take a peek at Harrison & Steel ‘s book too …

  3. I’m a late-adopter – have the 3rd edition… :-) great reference — use it more than K&R

  4. I prefer as few words as necessary to get directly to the accurate details. K&R hits the mark in this respect. I’m tired of having the same beginner information tacked onto every book that I buy, padding the page count for sales. Why read 400 pages when a little more than 200 pages has all the information you should ever need?

  5. I think K&R and H&S hit different people. K&R is for programmers new to C. H&S is for C programmers who don’t have time to read the standards.

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