This Preface, in a few spare paragraphs, sums up much of the philosophy of C and the authors' philosophy about programming in general. Their comments in C's size and scope are fundamental, and though no one may have fully recognized it at the time (or yet), this unassuming approach to the design of the language is surely a significant factor behind C's success. I didn't have the first paragraph of the Preface to the First Edition in front of me when I wrote my notes (just above) on the Preface to the Second Edition, but it's not surprising that they're similar.
As the authors say, they assume some familiarity with basic programming concepts; other notes in this series will give you a bit of help with those concepts if you need it. The authors also anticipate another theme of theirs, which is that they will stress learning by doing. (I'll have more to say about this as the learning begins.)
Besides showing how to make effective use of the language, we have tried where possible to illustrate useful algorithms and principles of good style and sound design.The authors' advice on style is good, and their design is sound. Pay attention to the things they say which go beyond the nuts-and-bolts details of C: there's a lot to learn here about programming in general.
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This page by Steve Summit // Copyright 1995, 1996 // mail feedback