Code complete electronic version ?

Discussion in 'Python' started by post400, Sep 3, 2003.

  1. post400

    post400 Guest

    Hi,

    apparently there is a very famous book that every developer should
    read: Code complete by Steve McConnell !

    Is there an electronic version freely downloadable ? After all, the
    book was released in 1993 , it should have been public domain by now !
    It would be nice to have a try before ! 50€ is not exactly cheap !
    What do you think ? Is it worth the money or not ?

    Thanks !
    post400
    post400, Sep 3, 2003
    #1
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  2. post400

    Jim Dabell Guest

    post400 wrote:

    > apparently there is a very famous book that every developer should
    > read: Code complete by Steve McConnell !
    >
    > Is there an electronic version freely downloadable ?


    Not that I've heard.


    > After all, the book was released in 1993 , it should have been public
    > domain by now !


    Works don't pass into the public domain for a hell of a lot longer than a
    single decade, although I agree that for fast-moving industries like this,
    copyright terms should be closer to ten years than 75, or whatever the
    current terms are.


    > It would be nice to have a try before !


    Use a library.


    > 50€ is not exactly cheap !


    Your newsreader is claiming to encode articles as ISO-8859-1, although it
    appears it's actually sending out cp1250 (I'm guessing that was meant to be
    a Euro sign).


    > What do you think ? Is it worth the money or not ?


    Well people value money differently. A hard-up student might not think so,
    but a professional programmer might. In my opinion, £20 [1] for this book,
    compared with the prices of other books in the field, is very good value.
    If it's too much, buy it second-hand. It's a good book, and although
    plenty of it is just common sense, it's the type of common sense that's
    easy to miss :)

    [1] I bought mine new for about £20 a couple of years ago, Amazon UK has it
    for £19.72 new, or £13.75 used.

    <URL:http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/1556154844/>


    --
    Jim Dabell
    Jim Dabell, Sep 3, 2003
    #2
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  3. On Wed, 03 Sep 2003 13:40:48 +0100,
    Jim Dabell <> wrote:
    > If it's too much, buy it second-hand. It's a good book, and although
    > plenty of it is just common sense, it's the type of common sense that's
    > easy to miss :)


    Isn't it mostly concerned with C, though? McConnell's _Rapid Development_
    is pretty good, though, and examined the development process more than
    language-related things.

    --amk
    A.M. Kuchling, Sep 3, 2003
    #3
  4. post400

    Jim Dabell Guest

    A.M. Kuchling wrote:

    > On Wed, 03 Sep 2003 13:40:48 +0100,
    > Jim Dabell <> wrote:
    >> If it's too much, buy it second-hand. It's a good book, and although
    >> plenty of it is just common sense, it's the type of common sense that's
    >> easy to miss :)

    >
    > Isn't it mostly concerned with C, though?


    Ah, forgot which group I was in for a minute :).

    It does give plenty of examples in C, and a lot of the issues discussed
    don't apply to Python, but then again, there are plenty that are universal,
    like good coding habits, project management, and so on.


    > McConnell's _Rapid Development_ is pretty good, though, and examined the
    > development process more than language-related things.


    In a similar vein, if you want to focus on the project management side,
    Peopleware and the Mythical Man-Month are good reads, and if it's more
    software architecture you are after, then go for Design Patterns,
    Refactoring or Antipatterns.


    --
    Jim Dabell
    Jim Dabell, Sep 3, 2003
    #4
  5. post400

    Alan Gauld Guest

    On Wed, 03 Sep 2003 09:03:57 -0500, "A.M. Kuchling" <>
    wrote:
    > On Wed, 03 Sep 2003 13:40:48 +0100,
    > > If it's too much, buy it second-hand. It's a good book, and although
    > > plenty of it is just common sense, it's the type of common sense that's
    > > easy to miss :)

    >
    > Isn't it mostly concerned with C, though?


    Not really, he gives examples in BASIC, ADA, Pascal and Fortran
    as well as C./C++ The latter pair dominate as a reflection on
    where the industry was in 1992. But the basic tenets apply
    regardless of language - code layout, variable naming, control
    structures etc.

    Code Complete is essential reading for any prpfessional
    programmer IMHO, but it may not be essential for non pros...

    Alan G.
    Author of the Learn to Program website
    http://www.freenetpages.co.uk/hp/alan.gauld
    Alan Gauld, Sep 3, 2003
    #5
  6. post400

    Syver Enstad Guest

    (Alan Gauld) writes:

    > On Wed, 03 Sep 2003 09:03:57 -0500, "A.M. Kuchling" <>
    > wrote:
    > > On Wed, 03 Sep 2003 13:40:48 +0100,
    > > > If it's too much, buy it second-hand. It's a good book, and although
    > > > plenty of it is just common sense, it's the type of common sense that's
    > > > easy to miss :)

    > >
    > > Isn't it mostly concerned with C, though?

    >
    > Not really, he gives examples in BASIC, ADA, Pascal and Fortran
    > as well as C./C++ The latter pair dominate as a reflection on
    > where the industry was in 1992. But the basic tenets apply
    > regardless of language - code layout, variable naming, control
    > structures etc.
    >
    > Code Complete is essential reading for any prpfessional
    > programmer IMHO, but it may not be essential for non pros...


    I agree that Code Complete is a very good book, but I also think it is
    getting somewhat long in the tooth. For once it doesn't cover
    object-orientation. On the topic of coding I wonder if people are not
    better off buying Refactoring by Martin Fowler and Kent Beck. On the
    topic of project managment and development practices I would think
    that the XP white book would be more up to date.
    Syver Enstad, Sep 4, 2003
    #6
  7. post400

    post400 Guest

    (John J. Lee) wrote in message news:<>...
    > (post400) writes:
    >
    > > apparently there is a very famous book that every developer should
    > > read: Code complete by Steve McConnell !

    >
    > It's an interesting book, I agree, certainly well worth a read.
    >
    >
    > > Is there an electronic version freely downloadable ? After all, the
    > > book was released in 1993 , it should have been public domain by now !

    >
    > Clearly not, since you're contemplating buying it ;-)



    ----------------------
    Actually yes ,I'm contemplating buying it but I just hate it when I
    see how expensive some books are in Europe compared to US.(Ex: code
    complete is 47€ in Europe and 23$ in USA which is like 21€ ! And it's
    the same situation with many other IT-related products.And the problem
    is that most american sites don't ship to Europe or the taxes are
    enourmous.

    bye,
    post400

    >
    > It's not a narrowly-focused technical book, so it hasn't gone out of
    > date (even though it says almost nothing about object orientation --
    > in fact, that's part of what makes it interesting).
    >
    >
    > > It would be nice to have a try before ! 50? is not exactly cheap !
    > > What do you think ? Is it worth the money or not ?

    >
    > Do you have access to a public library? In North America and Western
    > Europe, they're quite likely to be able to lend you a copy (even if
    > it's not in your local library, they can borrow it from a larger
    > library).
    >
    >
    > John
    post400, Sep 4, 2003
    #7
  8. post400

    Alan Gauld Guest

    On 4 Sep 2003 06:01:21 -0700, (post400)
    wrote:
    > see how expensive some books are in Europe compared to US.


    Where in Europe? I'm in the UK and prices on Amazon.co.uk are not
    significantly higher than the US site (ie nothing like double!)

    > is that most american sites don't ship to Europe or the taxes are
    > enourmous.


    I've bought several books from the US(Barnes & Nobles,
    Amazon.Com, and others). Taxes have never been significant. The
    only real snag is the 4-6 week wait for shipment.

    Alan g.
    Author of the Learn to Program website
    http://www.freenetpages.co.uk/hp/alan.gauld
    Alan Gauld, Sep 4, 2003
    #8
  9. post400

    Peter Hansen Guest

    Syver Enstad wrote:
    >
    > I agree that Code Complete is a very good book, but I also think it is
    > getting somewhat long in the tooth. For once it doesn't cover
    > object-orientation. On the topic of coding I wonder if people are not
    > better off buying Refactoring by Martin Fowler and Kent Beck. On the
    > topic of project managment and development practices I would think
    > that the XP white book would be more up to date.


    Although the XP white book (Kent Beck's) is quite out of date itself,
    at least relative to the state-of-the-XP.

    I'm not sure what I'd suggest as more current, unless it's to jump
    directly to the TDD book, but while that would teach some *very good*
    coding practices, it sort of gets away from the area covered by
    Code Complete enough to be a questionable response to the OP.

    -Peter
    Peter Hansen, Sep 4, 2003
    #9
  10. post400

    Alan Gauld Guest

    On 04 Sep 2003 10:09:21 +0200, Syver Enstad <>
    wrote:

    > > Code Complete is essential reading for any prpfessional
    > > programmer IMHO, but it may not be essential for non pros...

    >
    > I agree that Code Complete is a very good book, but I also think it is
    > getting somewhat long in the tooth. For once it doesn't cover
    > object-orientation.


    Thats a deliberate choice, OO was well established when McConnell
    wrote the book. And apart from trivial details (usually language
    specific ones) there is no difference between coding in an OO
    language or a procedural one. That is the real issues of naming,
    layout, control structures, data structures, testing and
    debugging remain constant.

    > On the topic of coding I wonder if people are not
    > better off buying Refactoring by Martin Fowler and Kent Beck.


    These books are more about design than coding IMHO.

    > topic of project managment and development practices I would think
    > that the XP white book would be more up to date.


    Code Complete doesn't cover these, but Rapid Development covers
    the principles behind XP etc quite well given that XP per se
    wasn't invented then. (But pair programming and several other
    features of XP have been around for 20+ years so McConnell was
    well aware of them.) XP is also not universally accepted as being
    suitable for all projects, particularly big ones, and McConnell
    tries to cover all bases.

    The other coding centred books that are worth considering in a
    similar vein (IMO!) are

    The Practice of Programming by Kernighan & Pike

    and

    The Pragmatic Programmer by Hunt & Thomas

    And for an overview of all the different development
    lifecycle/methodologies I recommend the book:

    Wicked Problems, Righteous Solutions by DeGrace & Stahl

    Its pre XP but most of XP can be found there in one form or
    another.

    Alan G.
    Author of the Learn to Program website
    http://www.freenetpages.co.uk/hp/alan.gauld
    Alan Gauld, Sep 4, 2003
    #10
  11. post400

    Alan Gauld Guest

    On 4 Sep 2003 13:30:27 -0700, (post400)
    wrote:

    > Prix de vente conseillé au Royaume-Uni* :
    > £27.42 / EUR 39,61
    > Notre prix : EUR 39,61


    I just checked the UK site and it's 19 pounds or about 30 Euro.
    Have you tried buying from Amazon.uk? They presumably ship for
    less than the US and the tax problem should be non existent
    within the EC..

    Just a thought,

    Alan G
    Author of the Learn to Program website
    http://www.freenetpages.co.uk/hp/alan.gauld
    Alan Gauld, Sep 4, 2003
    #11
  12. post400

    Tayss Guest

    (post400) wrote in message news:<>...
    > Actually yes ,I'm contemplating buying it but I just hate it when I
    > see how expensive some books are in Europe compared to US.(Ex: code
    > complete is 47? in Europe and 23$ in USA which is like 21? ! And it's
    > the same situation with many other IT-related products.And the problem
    > is that most american sites don't ship to Europe or the taxes are
    > enourmous.


    On Amazon.de it's ~EUR 30 /new/. I don't know which country you're
    in, but often you can get free shipping. On other used sites or ebay,
    it's even cheaper.

    But asking McConnell about electronic versions might be fruitful. He
    seems like an openminded guy.

    Pretty unique book; I don't know many tech books that are as
    entertainingly written or do so well with such breadth. Goes from
    using whitespace for readability to project management. Many lessons
    apply directly to Python, despite his use of C/Pascal. It's really
    Lisp users that would have less use for code-related chapters, though
    I still think anyone should read it for being a complete programmer.
    The play with Socrates mediating an office argument about how much
    people should comment, sticks out in my mind.
    Tayss, Sep 5, 2003
    #12
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