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Re: OT: Language War (Re: "C" Manual)

On Thu, Jan 03, 2002, Phil Beder wrote:
> Thank you!!
> The diversity of point of view and depth of knowledge of the participants
> of this group is truly phenomenal.  A simple question (in essence "where
> should I start") yielded me not only an interesting variety of response to
> that question, but a road map, complete with pitfalls and milestones and a
> vision of where I should end-up.  
> Questions I would have never though to ask were answered, as the ping pong
> ball of opinion flew around.  Why use a low level language like "C" for GUI
> applications -vs.- why not when one language will do the trick.  The
> benefits of being able to allocate and access memory locations directly.
> Old standards -vs.- ANSI 99. Types, Classes,  Portablilty!!   . . .  WOW
> I understand now why "C" was creating such a stir back in 1989 when I first
> started into programming.  It's abilities both as a low level and high
> level language are, I believe, what make it so universally accepted.  With
> "C" a programmer enjoys the flexibility to write a function many different
> ways, which means I don't think I would look forward to maintaining "C"
> code written by a bunch of programmers with diverse views (but I guess I
> sure would learn a lot).  
> Thanks for your help, . . . all of you.  I'll be sure to avoid the rest of
> Herb Schildts books (I got a small inexpensive programmers reference of "C"
> keywords & functions and some common "C++" functions that has comes in
> handy for figuring-out usage and syntax).  After what you guys said, I?ll
> bet his ears are ringing.  I haven't found the Kernighan and Ritchie book
> in my local bookstore. I have been using a "C for Linux" book which seems
> to get right to the point and I appreciate the direct application to Linux
> and the gcc compiler.


No comments to add about the language wars, but as far as books go, I
find often the easiest method by which to determine what books are
worth looking at and what are junk, is by publisher.  I don't think
it's an anomoly that out of 30+ computer science books I have around,
almost all are published by O'Reilly, Addison Wesley, PTR/Prentice
Hall, John Wiley, and New Riders.  These publishers, IMHO, uniformlly
produce much higher quality CS/IT books than most others.  I've found
generally that Que, Sams, IDG/Hungry Minds, and others (I can't
remember right now) are significantly worse, and rarely even consider
them.  I suggest a similar strategy might prove useful to you as well.
I also recommend bookpool.com (standard no affiliation disclaimer) as
a great place to shop online, especially for price and customer



> I wish I was a good enough programmer to contribute to this great project.
> Maybe one day when I understand more about Linux I could write a more user
> friendly help interface with clear syntax, option, and flag usage.
> Thanks again
> -- 
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Daniel A. Freedman
Laboratory for Atomic and Solid State Physics
Department of Physics
Cornell University

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