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In the beginning man created computers and software.
And the software was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the programmer.
And Kernighan and Ritchie said, Let there be light: and there was light.
Although biblical references are somewhat cliché when speaking of this book, the temptation is just impossible to resist: I consider the K&R to be the single most valuable book in my library. It may not be the most effective single reference for learning C (though it will do in a pinch), but used in tandem with a more contemporary text it will impart a strong understanding of the C language and procedural programming in general. In my first Computer Science class I often found myself turning to the K&R for a clear, concise, and logical explanation of concepts that my CS textbook did a poor job of explaining.
Furthermore, this book is a beautiful illustration of the principle of elegance in simplicity. From the way it uses only as many words as are necessary to illuminate a topic, to the way it presents simple solutions to problems and combines those simple solutions to solve more complex problems, to the way the code is written in a manner that is concise and easy to follow, this book serves as a model for good software engineering.
I highly recommend for anyone who does a significant amount of programming to spend some time with this book.
Review: The C Programming LanguageUser Review - David Scholefield - Goodreads
For any computer professional, or anyone interested in programming languages, this is the definitive book. Although to an age of object oriented this, and web 2.0 that, it may not seem so relevant ... Read full review
A Tutorial Introduction
Types Operators and Expressions
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