Programming Book(s)

JD Arnold jdarnold at
Sun Jan 8 06:41:20 PST 2006

Giorgos Keramidas wrote:
> On 2006-01-07 15:25, JD Arnold <jdarnold at> wrote:
>> Danial Thom wrote:
>>> --- Nicolas Blais <nb_root at> wrote:
>>>> On January 2, 2006 04:52 pm, Sean wrote:
>>>>> Sean wrote:
>>>>>> Looking for recommendations on any Unix programming books.  I have
>>>>>> been out of things for a while so I would put my skill level back
>>>>>> to the beginning.
>>>>> I forgot to mention that I wish to work withC/C++
>>>> There's a free C++ book which is great:
>>>> You can also buy the hardcopy on Amazon.
>>> I'd recommend learning C before C++. In order to be an effective unix
>>> programmer you must master the C language, as you'll have to examine
>>> and modify code in C to do anything substantial.  Virtually all major
>>> programs and kernels are 'C' based.
>> I think, in general, this is wrong.
> I think, in general, this is right.
>> And I think many "professionals" also feel that learning C++ is the
>> way to go.  If you just learning, you might as well start with
>> C++. For many good reasons, see Stroustrup's answer himself:
> Which essentially boils down to "learn C++ it's better and easier to
> learn".  I very much disagree, but this is another flamewar, I guess.
> Danial is right that there are many large programs out there that are
> written in C, not C++.  This means that just learning C++ and hoping to
> "cope with it" when an 11,000,000-line monster, written in plain C,
> comes along is just not going to cut it.
> Thus, "learn both" is a good answer, but I understand that this may be
> quite impossible some times.

Jeez, you make it sound like the difference between C and C++ is like
the difference between learning English or learning Russian. I find it
difficult, if not impossible. to believe that someone who knew C++ would
be in any way shape or form be forced to "cope" with any gazillion line
C program. They'd probably be itching to do it better and more safely,
but if they were even the slightest bit proficient in C++, they'd know
pretty quickly what was going on in any C program. And the opposite is
absolutely not true.

Jonathan Arnold     (mailto:jdarnold at
Daemon Dancing in the Dark, a FreeBSD weblog:

UNIX is user-friendly. It's just a bit picky about who its friends are.

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