"Let us C" vs. K&R's "The C programming language&#

Book comparison (entertainment reading).

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#1 AlbuquerqueApache  Icon User is offline

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"Let us C" vs. K&R's "The C programming language&#

Posted 30 September 2010 - 05:14 AM

I am interested in people's thoughts (preferably from people who have read these books) are on these two books.

I have heard dire warning about "Let us C" about being out-dated, overly simplistic, and not as comprehensive. It has essentially been named the worse C book possible. I considered reading this for entertainment purposes. However, I figured Id better have a better understanding of C first.

So that brings me to the next book.....

K&R's Second Edition "The C programming Language" which is largely touted as the best C book you could find. I have heard Linus Torvalds (the famous creator of the Linux kernel) say that this is the book he used and recommended. I have heard it called the C bible.

I am considering buying K&R's "The C programming language" brand new as well as the solutions manual.

I had considered also purchasing Let us C just to see what all the fuss is about (though I dont think I'll buy it new).

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Replies To: "Let us C" vs. K&R's "The C programming language&#

#2 baavgai  Icon User is offline

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Re: "Let us C" vs. K&R's "The C programming language&#

Posted 30 September 2010 - 06:18 AM

K&R is a classic. It's actually one of the few books I went out of my way to get, for something I already knew. It is a concise description of a concise language and leaves you feeling that C really is a simple language. It is, really. People just do brutally complex things with it.

"Let US C", in contrast, looks like any modern programming book. It seems logically laid out and explains the nature of programming to the novice, in addition to just language constructs. I really doesn't look bad at all. I've seen much worse.

They're quite different books. K&R explains the C language. It makes few concessions to the reader, but just lays out the fundamentals and assumes you'll go off and figure out how to program on your own. In a sense, it's the ideal format for the reader who already knows how to program.

The other book is written to the novice audience. If you already know how to program, that can seem tedious. However, if you need to know how to program, that can be invaluable.
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#3 Krishs  Icon User is offline

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Re: "Let us C" vs. K&R's "The C programming language&#

Posted 30 September 2010 - 06:57 AM

agree to @bhaavgai. getting on big language manual is only good idea if you know about what is programming. Any author is obviously think for his target audience and uses kind of language , thoughts to represent basic ideas.
K&R is big language manual & intended towards intermediate programmer who already know bit about programming & Let Us C is only for beginner who even don't know what is programming all about.
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#4 AlbuquerqueApache  Icon User is offline

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Re: "Let us C" vs. K&R's "The C programming language&#

Posted 30 September 2010 - 11:42 AM

View PostKrishs, on 30 September 2010 - 05:57 AM, said:

agree to @bhaavgai. getting on big language manual is only good idea if you know about what is programming. Any author is obviously think for his target audience and uses kind of language , thoughts to represent basic ideas.
K&R is big language manual & intended towards intermediate programmer who already know bit about programming & Let Us C is only for beginner who even don't know what is programming all about.


So if your familiar with control structures, algorithms, and understand computer and programming theory, go with the K&R's book?
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#5 JackOfAllTrades  Icon User is online

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Re: "Let us C" vs. K&R's "The C programming language&#

Posted 30 September 2010 - 12:00 PM

Let Us C? The book that advocates learning with Turbo C? Yeah...please don't. It's written for the Indian education system, which appears to be about 20 years behind in the CS world.
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#6 baavgai  Icon User is offline

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Re: "Let us C" vs. K&R's "The C programming language&#

Posted 30 September 2010 - 01:55 PM

View PostJackOfAllTrades, on 30 September 2010 - 01:00 PM, said:

The book that advocates learning with Turbo C?


Ack! I missed that. It just looked like a standard intro book on first glance.


In "Let Us C", Preface to the Fifth Edition:

Quote

In my opinion, even today there isn't any learning environment that can beat Turbo C/C++ for simplicity.


This is profoundly, inexcusably, and perhaps criminally, wrong. People who advocate using decades old development tools for writing software in modern environments are simply unfit to work in technology. To teach this to those wishing to enter the field is at best ignorant, but mostly just shameful.

The basics of C and programming haven't changed that much over the years. You can learn it from a dusty old volume off the bargain rack if you have the will. However, I find it hard to advocate following advice from someone so completely out of touch.

Turbo C is dead. If you can't accept that, then computers is the wrong place for you.
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#7 AlbuquerqueApache  Icon User is offline

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Re: "Let us C" vs. K&R's "The C programming language&#

Posted 30 September 2010 - 03:22 PM

View PostJackOfAllTrades, on 30 September 2010 - 11:00 AM, said:

Let Us C? The book that advocates learning with Turbo C? Yeah...please don't. It's written for the Indian education system, which appears to be about 20 years behind in the CS world.



Oh! thats right! Now I rememeber why everyone was saying Let us C was horrible.

I was just going to use the GCC to compile my C programs.

Any good free C compilers that are modern for the windows environment?
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#8 KYA  Icon User is offline

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Re: "Let us C" vs. K&R's "The C programming language&#

Posted 30 September 2010 - 05:40 PM

MSVC++ can "compile as C"
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#9 baavgai  Icon User is offline

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Re: "Let us C" vs. K&R's "The C programming language&#

Posted 30 September 2010 - 05:53 PM

Though the option is a challenge to find in VS 2008. I still haven't found it in VS 2010. :P

I mostly only do .NET languages on Windows. For all else, C, C++, Java, Python, etc, there's Linux.
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#10 anonymouscodder  Icon User is offline

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Re: "Let us C" vs. K&R's "The C programming language&#

Posted 30 September 2010 - 05:56 PM

I use "The C Programming Language" as reference, it's a really good book.

You also have MinGW that is a port for Windows of the GCC compiler.
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#11 newclearner  Icon User is offline

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Re: "Let us C" vs. K&R's "The C programming language&#

Posted 03 October 2010 - 10:07 AM

View PostJackOfAllTrades, on 30 September 2010 - 11:30 PM, said:

....It's written for the Indian education system, which appears to be about 20 years behind in the CS world.


Indian education system might be 20 years behind(though I don't agree with this), but engineers/doctors from India are doing better than their non-Indian counterparts. They say Sillicon Valley is full of Indians.

"Labeling the entire system as old just because a book is kind of out-dated is over generalization."

I would rather say that India has got a 'different' education system that US/European countries. And there is nothing wrong in having a different culture/system than others. Different doesn't neccessarily mean 20 years behind.

P.S. - I am an Indian.

Thanks.

This post has been edited by newclearner: 03 October 2010 - 10:11 AM

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#12 JackOfAllTrades  Icon User is online

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Re: "Let us C" vs. K&R's "The C programming language&#

Posted 03 October 2010 - 10:26 AM

Didn't necessarily mean it as a blanket condemnation of India or its people, but the fact is many others from your country have said that the use and teaching of Turbo C/C++ is AT LEAST an Indian secondary school standard when discussing this often talked about subject. I don't care how you slice it, mandating the use of that compiler is teaching to technology that is 20 years old, which is TOTALLY unnecessary given the plethora of free compiler options available in today's world, and is doing a grave disservice to the students.

Quote

I would rather say that India has got a 'different' education system that US/European countries. And there is nothing wrong in having a different culture/system than others. Different doesn't neccessarily mean 20 years behind.

Ah, so I see relativism is big in India as well. Technology changes so quickly that being 2 years behind is a great disadvantage. 20 years? Not different, but patently wrong, and wholly the product of laziness at the professorial and bureaucratic levels.
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#13 newclearner  Icon User is offline

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Re: "Let us C" vs. K&R's "The C programming language&#

Posted 03 October 2010 - 10:37 AM

View PostJackOfAllTrades, on 03 October 2010 - 09:56 PM, said:

Didn't necessarily mean it as a blanket condemnation of India or its people, but the fact is many others from your country have said that the use and teaching of Turbo C/C++ is AT LEAST an Indian secondary school standard when discussing this often talked about subject. I don't care how you slice it, mandating the use of that compiler is teaching to technology that is 20 years old, which is TOTALLY unnecessary given the plethora of free compiler options available in today's world, and is doing a grave disservice to the students.



1. Agree that some secaondary/small institues use TURBO but it doesn't mean all institutes do.
1. Education system doesn't include conputer science only. So again labeling an entire education system beacuse of a particular field(infact a part of that field, software development) is not right.

I respect your knowledge JackOfAllTrades, and hope to learn from your programming experience.

Thanks.
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#14 Munawwar  Icon User is offline

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Re: "Let us C" vs. K&R's "The C programming language&#

Posted 03 October 2010 - 11:07 AM

View Postnewclearner, on 03 October 2010 - 08:37 PM, said:

1. Agree that some secaondary/small institues use TURBO but it doesn't mean all institutes do.
2. Education system doesn't include conputer science only. So again labeling an entire education system beacuse of a particular field(infact a part of that field, software development) is not right.


You are right that, the education system doesn't only comprise of computer science subjects.But since this is a programming forum, we are referring to only the computer science subjects.

And it's true that the central board of secondary education (CBSE) computer science syllabus is outdated. I am not only talking about turbo c++. They use void main,iostream.h, they teach nothing about STL. In fact you can see the CBSE XII 2010 syllabus yourself.

I still have my 2007 final examination paper with void main and iostream.h written in the very first page.
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#15 newclearner  Icon User is offline

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Re: "Let us C" vs. K&R's "The C programming language&#

Posted 03 October 2010 - 11:14 AM

View PostMunawwar, on 03 October 2010 - 10:37 PM, said:

View Postnewclearner, on 03 October 2010 - 08:37 PM, said:

1. Agree that some secaondary/small institues use TURBO but it doesn't mean all institutes do.
2. Education system doesn't include conputer science only. So again labeling an entire education system beacuse of a particular field(infact a part of that field, software development) is not right.


You are right that, the education system doesn't only comprise of computer science subjects.But since this is a programming forum, we are referring to only the computer science subjects.



So don't lable the entire education system as 20 years old. And refer to point 1 in my last post.

And if one didn't use right books, didn't explore the things on his own, it is not the fault of education system. FYI - I used iostream in my college and it was almost 7 years back.

End of discussion from my side. No more replies to this post by me.

Thanks.

This post has been edited by newclearner: 03 October 2010 - 11:17 AM

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