process of learning C language

Discussion in 'C Programming' started by somenath, Sep 25, 2007.

  1. somenath

    somenath Guest

    Hi All,

    I have some questions about the process of learning C language.

    I see in this groups all expert most of the time quote from C
    standard.

    1) My question is do all of you study the C standard as the part of
    your learning C language?
    2) Is it very much required to study line by line of the C standard to
    gain expertise?

    I am trying to learn C language by studying K&R book thoroughly,
    daily reading this news group and I write code in C as part of daily
    work but I don't need to use most of the features of C for example bit
    wise operator. But I am passionate about gaining expertise in C
    language.
    So could you please tell me if I am in correct direction or I need to
    put extra effort?

    Regards,
    Somenath
     
    somenath, Sep 25, 2007
    #1
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  2. somenath

    user923005 Guest

    On Sep 24, 9:39 pm, somenath <> wrote:
    > Hi All,
    >
    > I have some questions about the process of learning C language.
    >
    > I see in this groups all expert most of the time quote from C
    > standard.
    >
    > 1) My question is do all of you study the C standard as the part of
    > your learning C language?


    Only if you want the right answers.

    > 2) Is it very much required to study line by line of the C standard to
    > gain expertise?


    No. But you will have to study the part that you do not understand
    clearly if you want to know what the C language is supposed to do.

    Very few people will just pick up the C standard and read it. But if
    you use it for answering questions eventually you will understand the
    whole thing.

    >
    > I am trying to learn C language by studying K&R book thoroughly,
    > daily reading this news group and I write code in C as part of daily
    > work but I don't need to use most of the features of C for example bit
    > wise operator. But I am passionate about gaining expertise in C
    > language.
    > So could you please tell me if I am in correct direction or I need to
    > put extra effort?


    I think you have chosen a good course of action.

    I suggest the following:
    1. Read the C FAQ. You won't understand most of it, but it will help
    to get an idea of what is a good idea and what is a bad idea. You
    should also refer back to the C FAQ from time to time. What you hope
    to gain most from reading it is to remember where certain types of
    questions are posed so when you see those questions you will remember
    where to look.
    2. Read the book K&R2 as you have planned. As you come to each
    exercise, work it out carefully. Set your compiler to the maximum
    warning level. At first, it will seem a big pain in the rear, but
    after you get used to it you will be glad of all the warnings it gives
    because it will save you a lot of time.
     
    user923005, Sep 25, 2007
    #2
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  3. somenath

    CBFalconer Guest

    somenath wrote:
    >

    .... snip ...
    >
    > I am trying to learn C language by studying K&R book thoroughly,
    > daily reading this news group and I write code in C as part of
    > daily work but I don't need to use most of the features of C for
    > example bit wise operator. But I am passionate about gaining
    > expertise in C language.


    You will do fine with K&R, provided it is K&R2. You can get a
    relatively recent approximation to the C standard, such as N869.
    For a bzip2 compressed text version try:

    <http://cbfalconer.home.att.net/download/n869_txt.bz2>

    and then you can join in on the amusing hair splitting that goes on
    around here.

    --
    Chuck F (cbfalconer at maineline dot net)
    Available for consulting/temporary embedded and systems.
    <http://cbfalconer.home.att.net>



    --
    Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com
     
    CBFalconer, Sep 25, 2007
    #3
  4. somenath

    Eric Sosman Guest

    somenath wrote:
    > Hi All,
    >
    > I have some questions about the process of learning C language.
    >
    > I see in this groups all expert most of the time quote from C
    > standard.
    >
    > 1) My question is do all of you study the C standard as the part of
    > your learning C language?


    The Standard is not a teaching tool; I cannot imagine anyone
    trying to learn C by reading the Standard. Trying to do so would
    be like trying to learn carpentry by studying building ordinances.

    > 2) Is it very much required to study line by line of the C standard to
    > gain expertise?


    The carpenter mentioned above will do a lot of sawing and
    hammering without ever consulting the ordinances; his skills and
    experience serve him well. But on rare occasions he'll need to
    refer to the authorities: He's working on a building that will
    house a contagious disease laboratory and there are special
    requirements for making the windows germ-tight, or he's making
    bookshelves for an oxygen-rich environment where certain kinds
    of glue must not be used. When he's doing something out of the
    ordinary -- or outside his own ordinary experience -- he needs
    to check the regulations to be sure he does it right.

    In c.l.c. the regulations are read more frequently than in
    the ordinary practice of programming in C. This is because the
    sample is biased: Questions that appear here are fairly likely
    to concern the murky and seldom-visited corners of the language.
    Sometimes implementations (or programmers) disagree about what
    the proper behavior is in this or that situation; it's then time
    to refer to the Law.

    > I am trying to learn C language by studying K&R book thoroughly,
    > daily reading this news group and I write code in C as part of daily
    > work but I don't need to use most of the features of C for example bit
    > wise operator. But I am passionate about gaining expertise in C
    > language.
    > So could you please tell me if I am in correct direction or I need to
    > put extra effort?


    Keep reading good books, keep reading good (and bad) code,
    keep writing code: that's how you'll learn. Your knowledge of
    C is likely to remain incomplete, but that's all right as long
    as you're aware of where your ignorance lies and don't wander
    into those areas inadvertently. (Personal example: I have never
    used C's complex arithmetic, nor wide characters, nor snprintf(),
    so I'm not familiar with them. But I know they exist, and I know
    where to learn about them should the need ever arise -- that's
    enough to get me by, and I imagine it'll work as well for you.)

    --
    Eric Sosman
    lid
     
    Eric Sosman, Sep 25, 2007
    #4
  5. CBFalconer <> writes:
    [...]
    > You will do fine with K&R, provided it is K&R2. You can get a
    > relatively recent approximation to the C standard, such as N869.
    > For a bzip2 compressed text version try:
    >
    > <http://cbfalconer.home.att.net/download/n869_txt.bz2>
    >
    > and then you can join in on the amusing hair splitting that goes on
    > around here.


    n869 is a pre-C99 draft. It has the advantage that it's available as
    plain text (but some of the formatting, particularly the significant
    use of italics, is missing), but there are a few important differences
    between it and the actual C99 standard. Don't bother with it unless
    having plain text is extremely important to you.

    n1256 is the latest draft. It incorporates the official C99 standard
    plus the three Technical Corrigenda (TC1, TC2, TC3). It's freely
    available in PDF format, which I find to be quite usable given the
    proper tools. And most PDF readers can export a document as plain
    text, though I haven't bothered to do this with n1256.

    http://www.open-std.org/jtc1/sc22/wg14/www/docs/n1256.pdf

    You can also buy the official C99 standard in PDF format from ANSI (I
    think it's about $18) or from your national standards body, and the
    Technical Corrigenda are available at no charge.

    --
    Keith Thompson (The_Other_Keith) <http://www.ghoti.net/~kst>
    San Diego Supercomputer Center <*> <http://users.sdsc.edu/~kst>
    "We must do something. This is something. Therefore, we must do this."
    -- Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn, "Yes Minister"
     
    Keith Thompson, Sep 25, 2007
    #5
  6. On Tue, 25 Sep 2007 01:51:10 -0400, CBFalconer <>
    wrote:

    > somenath wrote:
    > >

    > ... snip ...
    > >
    > > I am trying to learn C language by studying K&R book thoroughly,
    > > daily reading this news group and I write code in C as part of
    > > daily work but I don't need to use most of the features of C for
    > > example bit wise operator. But I am passionate about gaining
    > > expertise in C language.

    >
    > You will do fine with K&R, provided it is K&R2. You can get a
    > relatively recent approximation to the C standard, <snip>


    In case it wasn't obvious, that abbreviation means the second edition
    of the Kernighan & Ritchie book, revised in 1988 to agree (mostly)
    with the then-pending ANSI standard that became C89 (and C90). (Or if
    you want to be really pedantic, the then-pending drafts which became
    the C89 standard.)

    Since the revision process wasn't perfect -- nor the publishers and
    authors, though the latter at least were (and are) very good -- you
    should also get the errata available online, from Ritchie et al's
    website: http://cm.bell-labs.com/cm/cs/cbook/index.html
    specifically http://cm.bell-labs.com/cm/cs/cbook/2ediffs.html

    - formerly david.thompson1 || achar(64) || worldnet.att.net
     
    David Thompson, Oct 8, 2007
    #6
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