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Book Tip: “Expert C Programming” by Peter van der Linden February 22, 2009

Posted by haskelladdict in Book Tip, C programming.
Tags: , , , ,

During the year I tend to read quite a few programming books. Similar to any other book genre, there are good ones and not so good ones. Once in a while though, I come across a real gem of the kind that makes me wish I’d read it a long time ago. Expert C Programming by Peter van der Linden is one of these rare gems [1].

Van der Linden is a former developer for Sun Microsystems and has combined his real world experience with the C programming language into Expert C Programming. The book is packed with helpful insights of the kind missing from most other C books I’ve read – any serious C programmer should definitely have it on her bookshelf. Despite being published in 1994 most of the book’s advice still applies to this very day [2]. Be aware that Expert C Programming is not a C tutorial and the reader should already have a good grasp of the language to get the most out of it. So, if you’ve ever wondered why


int foobar[100];


extern int *foobar;

/* piece of code that does something with foobar */

won’t work go get yourself a copy of Expert C Programming.


[1] http://www.afu.com
[2] Interestingly, C99 does address some of the C shortcomings discussed in the book.



1. notthinking - March 15, 2009

Thankyou for putting this book into my incresingly long todo list. How would you compare this book to the classic book The C Programming book

2. haskelladdict - April 4, 2009

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. Work is crazy these days. I presume you are referring to “The C programming language” by Kernighan and Ritchie? I would say that in contrast
to the latter, “Expert C Programming” does not attempt to teach
you C from the ground up. Rather, it was written for already failry experienced C programmers to help them avoid common pitfalls,
subtleties in the language, and increase their in depth understanding of the C programming language.

3. notthinking - April 20, 2009

Yes that was the book I was referring to, thanks for the reply.

4. Oliver Zheng - October 10, 2009

Ahh damn you for leave me hanging. Why does that not work exactly?

5. Why pointers and arrays in C are not the same « Haskell, Linux and all that - October 11, 2009

[…] by haskelladdict in C programming, Linux. Tags: array, C, C programming, pointer trackback In a post in February I posted the following piece of code […]

6. haskelladdict - October 11, 2009


I’ve just posted a new entry that gives more detail – I hope it makes sense.

7. Sebastian - April 24, 2013

I was recommended this blog by my cousin. I’m not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my trouble. You’re amazing!

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