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LEARN C/C++ TODAY (A list of resources/tutorials)

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See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
Archive-name:	C-faq/learn-c-cpp-today
Last-modified:  Tuesday - August 01, 1995

    					Copyright (c) 1995  Vinit Carpenter 
    							All rights reserved


    This is a list of a  few  C  and  C++ language tutorials available to a
    user.   This  list includes interactive tutorials,  public-domain  code
    collections, books etc.  I've developed this FAQ purely as a  volunteer
    effort  as  a service to the Internet community.  Although every effort
    has been made to insure that all the information here is as accurate as
    possible, no guarantee is implied or intended.

    I welcome comments, suggestions  or  criticism  for  all the people out
    there  on the net that read this.  If you can help me make this list  a
    little better, you will be helping a lot of people  out  there  on  the
    net.   I  am  a horrible writer and an even worse speller.  If you find
    any errors or would like to  suggest  any additions please feel free to
    email me at the address below:

What's new in this issue:

    This section of the  document  will  point  out  all the new additions,
    corrections,  updates  etc.  If there is enough interest, I will  start
    producing a 'diff' version.  

    1. Added a second web server that has the HTML and PS version of this 
    2. Updated the information on the 'C++ on the WWW'.  The address has
       of the web server has changes.  The author also converted Dordill's
       C++ course to HTML which is online.
    3. Updated the information in the MSDOS/Windows compiler section.
    4. Added a new item called `Programming in C' that contains a great 
       collection of C and programming items.
    5. Updated the information on the C++ FAQ.  
    6. Added a lot of information on OS/2. (Joe Dougherty)
    7. Added more information about Scott Meyers new book titled "More
       Effective C++". 
    8. Updated the info and the directory structure has
       been changed.
    9. Update the information on the C Snippets packages.  The author 
       released a new package that includes 400+ files.

    I am switching to URL in place of the standard ftp and filename format.
    URL stands for "Uniform Resource Locator".   Think of it as a networked
    extension of the standard filename concept: not only can you point to a
    file  in a directory, but that file and that directory can exist on any
    machine on the network, can be served  via  any  of  several  different
    methods,  and might not even be something as simple as a file: URLs can
    also point to  queries,  documents  stored  deep  within databases, the
    results of a finger or archie command, or whatever.
    File URL:

    Gopher URL:
    To connect to a particular gopher server, use this URL:


    News URL:
    To point to a Usenet Newsgroups, the URL is simply:


    HTTP  stands  for  HyperText  Transport  Protocol.   HTTP  servers  are
    commonly used for serving hypertext documents

    This file is posted on the 1st and the 15th of each month to the Usenet
    Newsgroups    COMP.LANG.C,     COMP.LANG.C.MODERATED,    COMP.LANG.C++,
    NEWS.ANSWERS  & COMP.ANSWERS.  The HTML and postscript version of  this
    documents are available.  Here's the URL:      		     

    NOTE: This is my Linux PC  that  does  get inundated with request.  The
    last  time  I checked the stats, there were about 27 connections  every
    minute.  If you get timed out, please try  again.   The  most  recently
    posted  version of this document is kept on the news.answers archive on  You can receive it via anonymous ftp.  The URL is listed

    If you don't have access to ftp, you can also receive this file via
    e-mail by sending mail to with:

	send /pub/usenet/news.answers/C-faq/learn-c-cpp-today

    in the body (not subject line) of your message. You can also receive
    the latest version via electronic mail by e-mailing me.
	Subject: send learn-c-cpp-today
	Body: ignored. Can be blank.

    A lot of tutorials discussed here  are available via anonymous ftp.  If
    you  don't have ftp, you can also retrieve these files via a  ftp-email
    gateway.    To   retrieve   files   via   e-mail,    send    mail    to with the command HELP in the body of the message
    to  receive  a  complete list of all commands.  A typical message would
    look something like this:

    		chdir /simtel/msdos/c

    Some of the items discussed  here  are  platform-dependent, but most of
    the  items are applicable across all platforms (portable).  If you have
    any comments, suggestions, complaints, additions, etc, please feel free
    to e-mail me at the following address:

    If you are working on a tutorial or would like something added to this
    list, please e-mail me at the address given above.

The Origins of C and C++:

    The  'C'  programming  language   was   originally  developed  for  and
    implemented  on  the UNIX operating system, on a DEC PDP-11  by  Dennis
    Ritchie.  One of the best features of C is that it is not tied  to  any
    particular  hardware or system.  This makes it easy for a user to write
    programs that will run without any changes on practically all machines.
    C is often called a  middle-level  computer language as it combines the
    elements  of  high-level languages with the functionalism  of  assembly

    C allows the  manipulation  of  bits,  bytes  and  addresses- the basic
    elements with which the computer functions.  Another good point about C
    is  its  portability which makes it possible to adapt software  written
    for one type of computer to another.  C was  created,  influenced,  and
    field  tested  by  working programmers.  The end result is that C gives
    the programmer what  the  programmer  wants.   C  offers  the  speed of
    assembly  language  and  the  extensibility of FORTH, but  few  of  the
    restrictions of Pascal and Modula-2.

    C++ is an enhanced version of  the C language.  C++ includes everything
    that  is  part  of C and adds support for  object-oriented  programming
    (OOP).  In addition, C++ also contains many improvements  and  features
    that  make it a "better C", independent of object oriented programming.
    C++ is actually an extendible language since we can define new types in
    such a way that they act just  like the predefined types which are part
    of the standard language.

    If you just use C++ as a  better  C,  you  will not be using all of its
    power.  Like any quality tool, C++ must be used the way it was designed
    to  be used to exploit its richness.  Some of the new features  include
    encapsulation,   inline   function   calls,   overloading    operators,
    inheritance and polymorphism.  I am not going to explain what they mean
    here  as  that  would simply take me away from my purpose here, but you
    can refer to any  good  C++  book  or  the  C++  FAQ  (Item 7) for more

What do you need to get started?

    The first thing you need is  a  compiler.   A compiler reads the entire
    program and converts it into object code, which is a translation of the
    program source code into a form that the computer can execute directly.
    Type cc at the %  prompt.   If  you  don't  get any error messages, you
    probably have a C compiler .  If you get an error message, try acc, gcc
    or  g++.   If  any  of  these don't work,  contact  your  local  system
    administrator and ask him/her to get you a C/C++ compiler.   GNU  C/C++
    compiler is available from a lot of anonymous ftp sites free of charge.
    Look  into  it.   (I've  got  g++  running  on my Linux box without any
    There are a lot of good compilers  available to you.  Microsoft Quick C
    and  Borland Turbo C/C++ are both good products for beginners.  You can
    buy both of them for  under  $50.00.   I  use  Microsoft  Quick  C  and
    MS-Visual  C/C++, and I prefer Quick-C for all my DOS programs as it is
    small, and yet very powerful.   Most  of  my  programming  is now on my
    Linux  PC with gcc/g++.  (If you want a great 32 bit operating  system,
    you should look into Linux.  E-mail me for details).  You can also  get
    the   DOS   port   of  GNU  C/C++  called  DJGPP  from

    The increased popularity of OS/2 and  it's latest incarnation Warp, has
    provided   programmers   with  a  wider  selection  of  compilers   and
    programming tools.  Still available for free is  the  GNU  gcc  package
    under  the  name  emx.   Emx integrates nicely with the Extended Editor
    included with OS/2.  It's  available on,,
    and  other  sites.  IBM provides the CSet++ 2.x, as well as a  smaller,
    less-expensive package on  CD-ROM  called  CSet++  First  Step.   Other
    popular  compilers  include  Borland C++ 1.0 for OS/2, and Watcom C/C++
    for OS/2 10.0, and CA-C++ for OS/2 from Computer Associates.

    If you're on a VAX, type  in  CC  to  check  and  see if you have a C
    compiler.  VAX C is not the best compiler around, but it certainly does
    the  job.   If  you don't have a C compiler, look into  the  GNU  C/C++
    compiler GCC.  You can get the VAX version of GCC from  via
    anonymous  ftp.   If  on  a  AXP  system, you should have access to DEC
    C/C++.  Please contact  your  local  system  administrator  or computer
    consultant for more site specific questions.

Macintosh (Apple/PowerMac)

    There are three main  players  in  the  Mac  compiler market: MPW (from
    Apple),  THINK  C / Symantec C++ (both from Symantec),  or  CodeWarrior
    (from Metrowerks): THINK C is $225 (only a C compiler), while  Symantec
    C++  is  $375 (includes C and C++ compilers).  CodeWarrior comes in two
    versions: bronze and gold, at $199/299/399, respectively.  The Symantec
    C++ compiler (ver  8.0)  is  PowerMac  native.  Symantec and Metrowerks
    offer  academic pricing on their products which are substantially  less
    than the commercial prices.

    There have been  two  attempts  at  freeware/shareware Mac C compilers:
    Sesame  C  and  Harvest.   Harvest  C was an  ambitious  attempt  at  a
    production-quality  freeware compiler which was later abandoned by  the


1) Title:       A C tutorial. 
   Filename:	C-LESSON.ZIP
   Author:	Christopher Sawtell.

    This tutorial contains  a  complete  course  for  you  to learn the 'C'
    computer  language itself.  Some knowledge, of computers and the jargon
    is  assumed,  but  complicated  concepts  are  fully  explained.   This
    tutorial  is  geared  towards the UNIX operating system, but everything
    discussed here applies across all  platforms.   Most of the source code
    included  here compiles under all the platforms.  This is a good effort
    and is worth your time.  Updates to this tutorials are  posted  to  the
    USENET group comp.lang.c.

2) Title:	Coronado;s Generic C tutor v2.0
   Filename:	GENCSRC.ZIP
   Author:	Gordon Dodrill
   E-mail:	--

    This is one of the most complete tutorials out there.  Once again, most
    of the items covered here  are  apply  across all platforms.  There are
    some  items  discussed  here  that are  DOS  dependent.   The  tutorial
    includes a manual that covers all the aspects of the C  language.   The
    archive  also includes a huge collection of C code that is discussed in
    this tutorial.   The  best  way  to  learn  anything  is  by  practical
    application  and this tutorial does just that.  A payment of $10.00  is
    requested by the author if you  find  the  tutorial  helpful,  but  the
    payment  is  not  required.  I think you should send in the $10.00 as a
    lot of time and effort went into this project.

3) Title:	Thread An On-Line C Help File V 1.01
   Filename:	THREAD.ZIP
   Author:	Fran Horvath
   E-mail:	--

    Thread is a C language help utility.  It was written by a member of the
    U.S.D.A.  Grad School faculty to help students learning the C language.
    Thread is a variable  record-length  database,  together with an index,
    that  enables  the  fast lookup and  display of  C  keywords,  standard
    library  functions,  and  other  items.   There  are  a  few  important
    functions missing from this help utility, but it is still a pretty good
    resource.  Give it a shot.

4) Title:	Collection of C-Snippets
   Filename:	SNIP9503.ZIP
   Author:	Bob Stout

    This  is  the  March  95   release   of  SNIPPETS  which  is  a  public
    domain/freeware portable C source code & instructional text.  According
    to  the  author,  the  1.6  MB archive  contains  over  400  files  and
    approximately 35% of it is PC-specific.  The rest of it  is  completely
    portable.  The PC-specific functions are system-level utility code with
    no multimedia or GUI code.  This archive has been tested on all popular
    PC  compilers  and  gcc,  SCO,  and HP/UX compilers where possible.  An
    eclectic  collection  containing  everything  from  macros  to complete
    cut-and-paste  C  code  solutions  &  utilities,  along  with  FAQ  and
    instructional files.

    There is a piece of code for  every single task starting with macros to
    complete  cut-and-paste C code solution and utilities, along with  some
    frequently asked questions and instructional files.  This archive is  a
    must for every programmer.  If you already have a copy of,
    see  which  includes  the  diff  needed  to  upgrade  to  Numerous bug fixes  and  enhancements  were made in this
    archive and 60 New files added.

    This is Public  Domain/freeware  created  by  the archivist, ex Fidonet
    C_Echo moderator and author, Bob Stout

   Filename:	FAQ
   Author: 	Steve Summit 

    The FAQ (Frequently Asked  Questions)  is  a compilation of frequently-
    asked  questions  of  the  usenet group,  COMP.LANG.C  along  with  the
    answers.  Steve's put in a lot of work and this compilation  shows  it.
    I  found that the FAQ answered a lot of my questions.  I even learned a
    lot of new things  browsing  through  the  document.   I think this FAQ
    should  should  be  on  your  computer desk right  next  to  a  good  C
    programming book.  The FAQ is posted to  COMP.LANG.c  and  news.answers
    every month along with the diff version.

6) Title:	TUTOR v3.10
   Filename:	CTUTORDE.ZIP
   Author:	Gordon Dodrill

    This is an educational learning tool which helps expedite the difficult
    process  of  learning  the  C  Programming  Language.   It  includes  a
    tutorial,  style  guide,  and interactive quiz program  all  integrated
    together in one program.  The tutorial covers both K&R version of C and
    ANSI C.  One of the biggest limitation of this tutorial is that  it  is
    only available for DOS computers.

7) Title:	Programming in C
   Filename:	CE.html
   Author:	Dave Marshall

    This is one of the best C  programming tutorials out there on the World
    Wide  Web (WWW).  See tutorial #11 for more information on the web  and
    tools to access the web.  This tutorial  starts  out  with  some  basic
    ideas  and  then extends to some more advanced features of C.  With the
    popularity of the World Wide Web, items on the web servers are going to
    be very popular.  This is  really  a  great tutorial and worth checking
    out.   Some  of  the  items discussed here are  loops,  arrays,  string
    manipulation,  pointers,  dynamic  memory  allocation,  I/O,  UNIX,   C
    preprocessor  and  some  exercises.   While you're out there, check out
    Ceilidh, the online C tutoring system.

8) Title:       ANSI C for Programmers on UNIX systems.
   Filename:, love_C.shar
   Author:	Tim Love

    This is a really nice C  tutorial  geared towards people on UNIX system
    as  the  title would suggest.  This document introduces C by  providing
    sample programming tasks.  One of the good things about  this  tutorial
    is  that all the source code included is ANSI compliant.  This tutorial
    also includes programming exercises to  aid  or  gauge your progress as
    you  go through the material (answers included in back).  The  tutorial
    covers some of the  basics  such  as  functions,  pointers  and  string
    manipulation  followed  by some programming examples to apply the items
    you've just learned.

    There is also a section  on  memory allocation that illustrates the use
    and dangers of malloc.  The section on the Make utility helped me a lot
    as I really don't like make and makefiles.  The section of debugging is
    also  extensive and has some great tips.  The appendix of this tutorial
    also has a section of converting from K&R to ANSI C.  Really great  job
    and well worth the checking into.

9) Title:	Coronado Enterprises C++ Tutorial (v2.20)
   Filename:	CPTUTS22.ZIP   
   Author:	Gordon Dodrill
   E-mail:	--
   Phone:	(505) 293-5464

    Just like its C counterpart, this  is  really  one of the best and most
    complete  C++ tutorial out there.  This tutorial is not for the  person
    just starting out in programming as C++ is not an ideal first language.
    But if you are familiar with C or any other programming language,  this
    tutorial  will  get  you started with C++.  All the source discussed in
    this tutorial is included and learning is really accelerated as you can
    compile the code while you  are  reading  about it.  This tutorial will
    assume  a  thorough knowledge of the C programming language and  little
    time will be spent on the fundamental aspects of the language.  Special
    attention has be devoted to explaining the newer additions as  provided
    by  the  ANSI-C  standard, as  many programmers are used to the old K&R
    school of thought.

10) Title:	COMP.LANG.C++ FAQ
   Filename:	FAQ
   Author: 	Marshall P. Cline, Ph.D. 
    Wow!!!  That's really all I can  say about this collection of questions
    and answers for C++ and Object Oriented Programming (OOP).  This is the
    complete FAQ for the Newsgroups COMP.LANG.C++ compiled by Dr.  Marshall
    Cline.  I have been programming in C++ for a few months and am far away
    from  being  an  'expert', and this compilation helped  me  enormously.
    Once again, this is not for the person that is starting to  learn  C++,
    but  if  you've  already taken the first step, this FAQ is for you.  If
    you don't have ftp, you  can  also  receive  it via e-mail by sending a
    message  to with the subject  `send

    The C++ FAQ has been released as  a book called `C++ FAQS -- Frequently
    Asked  Questions'  by Addison-Wesley.  The book is a complete  re-write
    and contains about 5 times the  material  that  is  indexed  and  cross
    referenced.   Check out the book section for a review of the book.  The
    FAQ will still be  posted  in  the  Newsgroup comp.lang.c++, but if you
    find the FAQ helpful, you should really buy the book.

11) Title:	C++ on the World Wide Web
   Filename:	C++.html
   Author:	Marcus Speh

    This is one of  the  award  wining  courses  at  the 1st WWW conference
    (congratulations  Marcus.  great job).  One of the newest addition here
    is the Dorill C++ course converted to  HTML.   There  is  a  wealth  of
    information  on  C++  available on the World Wide Web (WWW).  The World
    Wide Web (WWW) is a  wide  area hypermedia information retrieval system
    that  gives the user universal access to a large universe of documents.
    One of the most popular to the Web is called Mosaic developed by  NCSA.
    Mosaic  is  an Internet based global hypermedia browser that allows you
    to discover, retrieve and display documents  and data from all over the
    world.   Global  hypermedia means that information located  around  the
    world is interconnected in an environment that  allows  you  to  travel
    through  the  information  by  clicking on hyperlinks-- terms, icons or
    images in documents that point to  other related documents.  Here's the
    URL (Uniform Resource Locator) for the C++ Virtual Course.

    You might also want to connect  to and browse.  I found a
    lot  of  great  items such as documents and sources on C++  and  Object
    oriented programming, Internet groups for discussions and questions  on
    C++,  discussion of Object-Oriented Literate Programming and many other
    postscript papers.

12) Title:	Programming in C
   Filename:	index.html
   Author:	Jutta Degener

    This is really one of the best  collection of C related items out there
    on  the  World Wide Web maintained by the Lysator computer society,  an
    association of  computer  science  students  at  Linkoping  University,
    Sweden.   Here's a list of some of the items.  There is a great section
    on ANSI C, reviews of 3 books and a list of errata from 2 books.  There
    is a very interesting paper called `A development of the C language' by
    Dennis Ritchie that traces the origin of  the language we know and love

    There is a HTML version of  Kernighan's historical "Programming in C: A
    Tutorial"  from 1974 (that describes an early version of C, four  years
    included  are  the  "Ten  Commandments  for  C  Programmers  (Annotated
    Version)" and a HTML version of Steve Summit's comp.lang.c FAQ.
13) Title:	C++ Annotations (ver 3.3.3)
   Filename:	cplusplus.html
   Author:	Frank Brokken & Karel Kubat 

    This web based tutorial is  intended  for  knowledgeable users of C who
    would  like  to make the transition to C++.  This document presents  an
    introduction to programming in C++.  It  is  a  guide  for  programming
    courses  taught at State University of Groningen This document is not a
    complete C/C++ handbook, but  rather  serves  as  an  great addition to
    other  documentation sources.  The reader should take note of the  fact
    that an extensive knowledge of the C programming  language  is  assumed
    and required.

    This document continues where topics of the C programming language end,
    such as pointers, memory allocation and compound types which makes it a
    very good programming guide.  I  highly  recommend this tutorial to any
    individual who is really interested in becoming extremely knowledgeable
    on C++ and a proficient programmer.  Here is a listing of the chapters.
		1. Introduction to C++
		2. A first impression of C++
		3. Classes
		4. Classes and memory allocation
		5. Static data and functions
		6. Inheritance 
		7. Polymorphism, late binding and virtuality
		8. Concrete examples of C++ 
		9. Templates

14) Title:	C programming reference 1.1
   Filename:	cref.html
   Author:	Martin Leslie
    This is not an ordinary  C  language  tutorial,  rather  it is a great
    reference  guide for the C programming language.  As the author states,
    "I have found several C  tutorials  and  lessons  on  the  net  but  no
    reference  documents.   This is not an attempt to replace the many high
    quality books available, but does  try  to provide an on-line reference
    that can give answers to questions quickly and without hassle".

    Martin has put a lot  of  work  in  this  and the archive is definitely
    worth  checking  out.   One of the nicest item is the  `Function  Quick
    Reference'.  It is a summary of a lot  of  useful  functions  including
    ANSI  standard  functions,  Non  Standard  functions  from CONIO.H, non
    Standard UNIX functions,  user  written  functions  and variable length
    argument  lists  including the library, prototype, syntax  and  example
    programs.  Here's a sample.

                         FGETC/GETC FUNCTION 08-MAY-94
    fgetc and getc both read  a  character  from  a file (input stream) and
    have the same syntax.  They are for all intents and purposes the same!

	Library:   stdio.h

	Prototype: int fgetc(FILE *stream);

	Syntax:    ch = fgetc(file_pointer);
        	   ch = getc(file_pointer);

	   [IMAGE] example program.
	   See also:
	   getchar, fgets, gets
	   getch, getche (non standard)

    And if you're really nice to him, he will give a really cool program to
    randomly change the root window  color  on  X Displays.  :) The program
    randomly selects a target color and then performs a basic interpolation
    to  move  from the current color to the target color.  When the  target
    has been reached, a new target is selected and the process is repeated.

Books currently being reviewed:

    If you have any thoughts or comments, please feel free to e-mail me at

1.  C++ A Pratical Introduction by Brian Hahn (ISBN 1-85554-325-7)

2.  C++ For Dummies by Stephen R.  Davis (ISBN 1-56884-163-9)

3.  The Craft of  C:  Take  Charge  Programming  by  Herbert  Schildt (ISBN

4.  C By Discovery by L.S.Foster (ISBN 1-881991-29-6)

5.  Teach yourself C++  programming  in  21  days  by  Jesse  Liberty (ISBN


[1] "The C Programming Language" (2nd ed.)
    Brian W. Kernighan & Dennis	Ritchie
    Prentice Hall ISBN: 0-13-110362-8

    This is the second edition  of  the  original Kernighan & Ritchie (K&R)
    text.   This  book is  commonly referred to as the New Testament as  it
    includes the modifications incorporated by  the  ANSI  standard,  while
    retaining  the  nature  of the 1st edition.  This book assumes that the
    reader  has  some  basic  programming  knowledge.   So  if  you're just
    starting  to program and C is the first language, this might not be the
    ideal book.  This is one of THE  BEST books  on  C  and  a  must  have,
    especially if you're starting your own little programming library.

    A good book to go along with K&R's "The C Programming Language" is "The
    C Answer Book" by Clovis L.  Tondo and Scott E.  Gimpel, Prentice Hall,
    subtitled 'Solutions to the  Exercises  in  The C Programming Language,
    second  edition  by  Brian W.  Kernighan & Dennis  M.   Ritchie',  ISBN

[2] "Programming in ANSI C" (Revised edition: 1994)
    Kochan, Steven
    SAMS Publishing ISBN 0-672-30339-6

    This book by  Steve  Kochan  is  absolutely  the  best  book for anyone
    starting  out programming in C.  This is an excellent introductory text
    with frequent examples and good text.  This book makes  no  assumptions
    about the particular computer system or operating system on which the C
    language  is  implemented.   This  books  is  written  for  novices and
    experienced programmers alike.  I  love  this book as the comprehensive
    'teach by examples' book can help you master the unique features of the
    C  language.   There is complete coverage of program looping,  decision
    making, arrays,  strings,  pointers  and  bit  operations  and  helpful
    end-of-chapter  exercises.   This  is the book I used to learn C and it
    really is a great book.  The  K&R  book is really great as a reference,
    but not as the first book.

[3] "Expert C Programming: Deep C Secrets"
    Peter Van Der Linden
    SunSoft Press. (ISBN 0-13-177429-8)

    Peter has written one of the  greatest  books  to hit the computer book
    stands  in a long time!  This is not your typical C book, but is rather
    a fun book to read.  As I told Peter,  most  C  programming  texts  are
    really boring as all they do is describe the functions, give a abstract
    example  and  then  move  onto something different.  This book is chock
    full of real world C stories and  folklore, including a story about the
    C  bug that brought down the AT&T network.  I found the tongue-in-cheek
    attitude and real world examples/stories very, very interesting.   Run,
    don't  walk,  down  to  your  local  store and buy this book.  I really
    really loved this book, and I read most of it in one sitting.  There is
    also a great introduction to C++  for  C  programmers that will get you
    started with C++ and Object-Oriented programming.  This book is not for
    beginners, but is a great second book on C.

    Expert C Programming is also ideal for  those C programmers who want to
    move  to C++.  According to the author, the book puts the "fun" back in
    "functions" :)

[4] "C: The Complete Reference" (2nd ed.) 
    Schildt, Herbert.
    Osbourne/McGraw-Hill.  (ISBN 0-07-881538-X).

    This is a pretty good C language  reference book.  I am more partial to
    the Microsoft C Bible as a reference but this is not a bad book at all.
    If  you're  a beginning C programmer or a seasoned pro, the answers  to
    most of C questions can be found in this one-step resource.  This  book
    presents  an  extensive  summary of C library functions defined by ANSI
    and many common extensions  including  UNIX.  

[5] Absolute Beginner's Guide to C
    Perry, Greg
    SAMS Publishing. ISBN 0-672-30341-8

    This is a absolutely  beginner's  book.   If  you have never programmed
    before,  this book is for you.  No knowledge of any programming concept
    is assumed.  I like the fact that this book talks to you at your  level
    without  ever talking down to you.  This book does not try to overwhelm
    the  beginners  with  a  lot  of  technical  details  while emphasizing
    introductory  principles.  If you've never programmed, this is the book
    for you.  If you are familiar with programming, I would suggest  either
    'The  C programming language' by Kernighan & Ritchie or 'Programming in
    ANSI C' by Kochan.

[6] Microsoft C Bible. 1990 (2nd ed.)
    Waite Group Staff.
    Howard W. Sams & Company. ISBN 0-672-22620-0 

    This book is a must for  every programmer, especially those who program
    in  the  DOS  environment.   The Bible  organizes  and  simplifies  the
    information contained in Microsoft's C  library.   Each  function  page
    gives the purpose, syntax, example call, includes, common uses, returns
    and  examples.  The book also has compatibility check boxes, so you can
    be sure your program compiles with  the Microsoft C v5.0-7.0, Microsoft
    Quick C, Borland Turbo C and UNIX system V compilers.

[7] Programming C in 12 Easy Lessons
    Greg Perry  ISBN:0-672-30522-4
    Sams (1st edition, 4/94)
    Reviewed by: Don Lockhart ( 
    In a nutshell: This book is  very  well  thought out.  It is very clear
    and  easy to follow for the new user.  It categorizes information  into
    Notes, Tips, Warnings, and starts each lesson with an overview  of  the
    concepts to be presented as well as a review of them at the end of each
    lesson.   Sidebars are also presented with useful relevant information.
    When new terms appear a definition  of  them appears in the page margin
    to  further  explain their usage.  Each lesson ends with some  practice
    "homework" and "extra credit" work to further enhance what you've  just
    learned.   In  the front of the book, there's a tear-out reference card
    with C functions, operators etc on one side, and Turbo C++ editing keys
    and functions on the other side.   In  the  back of the book there's an
    offer for Borland C++ 4.0 or full blown Turbo C++ at "discount rates".

    All lesson coding is also pre-typed  on the included diskette.  Also on
    the  disk  you'll  find the answers to all the homework as  well  as  a
    "lite" version of Borland's Turbo C++ compiler.  Differences from  ANSI
    C to C++ are always noted.

    I have been "threatening" to learn C  for a couple of years.  This book
    has  quickly  taken me from the sidelines to diving in head first,  and
    actually gotten me excited about it.  The info is well presented, and I
    haven't come up with any questions yet that I have  not  been  able  to
    find  the  answer in the book.  I'm not 100% sure, but I believe when I
    was at the book store there  is  also  a  sequel to this book that even
    gets into more of actually developing applications using C.

[8] Teach Yourself C++ 1992
    Herbert Schildt
    Osborne McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-07-881760-9

    Teach Yourself C++ is another  great  book  from Herbert Schildt who is
    more  popular for his great C books.  This book is especially  designed
    for programmers who already know how to  program  in  C.   Based  on  a
    15-minute lesson format, this book includes a lot of exercise and skill
    checks  to  make  sure your programming abilities grow by each chapter.
    This book is  really  the  perfect  introductory  guide  for anyone who
    already knows how to program in C.
    According to my sources, this book  is currently under revision.  There
    are  several items missing from this book as it was written before  C++
    was finalized.  I still think it is a pretty nice book.

[9] The C++ Programming Language (2nd edition)
    Bjarne Stroustrup
    Addison Wesley (ISBN 0-201-53992-6)

    Bjarne Stroustrup is the designer of C++  and has written 2 great books
    on C++.  This book is divided into three parts: The first part provides
    a  tutorial introduction to C++.  The second part presents a discussion
    of design and software development issues arising  in  connection  with
    the use of C++ and the third part is a complete reference manual.  With
    the  popularity  of  C++, several independent distributions of C++ have
    come  forward,  but  the  book  discusses   'pure  C++;'  that  is,  no
    implementation  dependent extensions are used.  I have been programming
    in C++ for a while and yet found this book very helpful.   One  of  the
    best  way  to learn a programming language is by writing small programs
    relevant to the item you study.  There are exercises at the end of each
    chapter to test/apply  what  you  learned  in  that particular chapter.
    This  wasn't  the book I used to learn C++ and I only recently  got  it
    from DEC [DEC ships this book with their C++ compiler in lieu  of  real
    documentation :)], but I wish I had gotten it sooner.  This is really a
    great  book and worth every penny. 

    There is also a book called  "The  C++ answer book" by Tony L.  Hansen.
    (Addison-Wesley  ISBN # is 0-201-11497-6) and it contains the solutions
    to the problems in "The C++ Programming Language" by Bjarne Stroustrup.

[10]Using Visual C++
    Shammas, Namir
    Que Corporation  ISBN: 1-56529-626-5

    A lot of people have e-mailed me asking for recommendation for a Visual
    C++/MS-Windows programming book and  the  one I use/recommend is 'Using
    Visual  C++'.   This book is aimed at readers who are already  familiar
    with C++ and Windows.  This book covers many  programming  topics  that
    use  C++  and the Microsoft Foundation Classes (MFC).  This book starts
    with an overview of  the  Visual  C++  workbench and the MFC hierarchy.
    The  book  also  discusses the AppWizard, ClassWizard  and  App  Studio
    utility.  This book really lets you take  full  advantage  of  the  C++
    compiler and all the utilities that come with it.  Microsoft provides a
    lot of great information with the compiler package, but I found it hard
    to  look  through  20 different manuals to find some basic information.
    By the time you finish this book, you  will be ready to create your own
    MS-Windows  applications.   Windows programming is pretty complex,  but
    this comprehensive guide shows you efficient and proven  techniques  to
    build powerful applications.  

    Another great  book  is  'Visual  C++:  A  Developer's  Guide'  by Alex
    Leavens.  (ISBN 1-55851-339-6) This book explores the comprehensive set
    of  programming  tools that come with Visual C++.  This book shows  you
    how to take advantage of MFC, OLE 2.0, add sounds  to  various  Windows
    systems events and creating icons, cursors and bitmaps images.

[11]C++ Primer  (2nd edition)
    Lippman, Stanley B
    Addison Wesley  ISBN 0-201-54848-8

    The C++ Primer is a great book and  will make learning C++ a joy.  This
    really  is  one of the best books C++ book out there, but it assumes  a
    lot of familiarity with programming concepts and a  proficiency  in  C.
    Everyone  I know who uses C++ recommends this book very highly.  If you
    are interested in  learning  more  about  Object  Oriented Program, you
    might consider buying "Object Oriented Design" by Peter Coad and Edward
    Yourdon" (ISBN 0-13-630070-7)

[12]"C++ FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions"
    Marshall P. Cline and Greg A. Lomow
    Addison-Wesley ISBN 0-201-58958-3

    When I first heard  about  the  book,  it  thought  it  would just be a
    reprint  of  the  electronic version of the FAQ, but I  was  pleasantly
    surprised when I got my hands on the book (Thanks Deborah) This  is  no
    mere  reprint.   This  is a *great great* book that contains answers to
    about 500 questions on programming, design, analysis and testing.  This
    book is not for beginners, but for programmers who have figured out the
    syntax of the language, and are looking to implement them.  If you have
    questions like  "What  is  a  class  invariant?",  "How  should  I  use
    exceptions?",  "What happens when a destructor is executed?", then this
    is the book for you.

    This is a very practical book  that contains answers to some real-world
    programming  questions  that  will  really help  anyone  involved  with
    software development.  I just wish I had this book around  when  I  was
    taking  my  C++  classes.  Unlike other books, this book contains about
    200 complete program rather than code  snippets that leave you guessing
    about the implementation.  This book is a definite gem and should be in
    every  single  programmers  library.  Go out and buy 2 copies  of  this
    book: One for the office and one for the nightstand at home.

[13]Learn C++ on the Macintosh
    Dave Mark
    Addison-Wesley ISBN 0-201-62204-1

    This book comes  with  a  customized  version  of  Symantec C++ for the
    Macintosh.   In addition, there is a coupon for obtaining the  complete
    version of Symantec C++ at a much reduced  price.   I  would  recommend
    this  book for those who are just beginning to program in C++; however,
    it does assume at least  a  working  knowledge  of C.  There is a quick
    review  of  C at the beginning.  Dave Mark also has a book 'Learn C  on
    the  Macintosh'.   It  has  the  same  great  style  and  comes  highly
    recommended.  Thanks Lizann Bolinger.

[14]Effective C++
    Scott Meyers
    Addison-Wesley ISBN 0-201-56364-9

    This is just a  great  great  book  on  C++  and  is  a  must for every
    programming  library.   The book is a listing of things which you  must
    get right if your program is to be  safe  and  reliable,  and  a  clear
    description  of what it means to get them `right.' The book raises some
    very interesting issues that every  programmer faces.  C++ provides the
    structure  and  the means to talk about them in a concrete way  and  to
    program them explicitly.

    The author is working on another C++  book, and the title will be "More
    Effective  C++.   " Here's more information that the author  posted  in
    comp.lang.c++.  If all goes according to  plan,  "More  Effective  C++"
    should be available around the end of September.

    As for  the  book  itself,  "More  Effective  C++"  will  use  the same
    Item-based  organization  that I used in "Effective C++," but  it  will
    cover all new material, and it will not assume that readers  have  read
    "Effective  C++."  (If  they  have,  so much the better, but it's not a
    prerequisite.) As such, "More  Effective  C++"  isn't really "Effective
    C++, Volume 2," though it can be read that way, if you like.

    Like "Effective C++," "More  Effective  C++"  will  cover  a variety of
    topics.   One  of those topics will be efficiency.  The  current  draft
    contains at  least  12  Items  on  that  topic  alone,  and  efficiency
    considerations  comprise a thread that winds through many of the book's
    other Items, too.

[15]Scientific and Engineering C++: An introduction with advanced techniques 
    and examples
    John J. Barton and Lee R. Nackman
    Addison Wesley ISBN 0-201-53393-6
    Reviewed-by: (Ajay Shah)

    A plethora of books on C++ exists;  the  above promises to be a book on
    numerical computation in C++.  The authors are both from T.  J.  Watson
    Research Center and they do numerical computation for a living.

    Before we get to what the book offers, we should clarify what it is not
    : It is not a Numerical Recipes.   It does not discuss the mathematical
    ideas underlying numerical algorithms, and it presents no library which
    you can start off using from day 1.

    Instead the authors are attacking a different problem, that of applying
    OOP in its C++ incarnation  to  do  numerical computation.  The typical
    reader is expected to be someone who is currently getting his work done
    in  C  or  Fortran  and  would like to migrate  to  C++.   The  authors
    literally start from scratch in this enterprise; they have two versions
    of chapter 1, one aimed  at  migrants  from  C  and  another  aimed  at
    migrants from Fortran.

    Does the book succeed  in  these  objectives?   For  the major part, my
    answer would be Yes.  I will address two issues here:

 o  Teaching C++ and OOP 

    This is done reasonably well.   However,  I  expect anyone who actually
    plunges  into C++ seriously will want the primary two books on C++  too
    (i.e.  Stroustrup and Lippman).  They do a  good  job  of  the  overall
    question  of applying OOP to scientific computation, but I have a guess
    that you would come up with a lot of this yourself, and that your sense
    of taste may differ from theirs to some extent.

 o  Practical advice aimed at numerical computing applications 

    I felt the book does really well on  this score.  They take up a series
    of  problems  and give us the benefit of their good taste in coming  up
    with designs.  The last chapter does maximum likelihood using automatic
    differentiation to obtain derivatives -- this is a  lovely  theme  that
    has not been much explored in the literature.

    One of the big questions on the  minds of anyone thinking about using C
    or  C++  for numerical computation is the existence of  libraries  like
    linpack; they are incredibly ugly on the score of software engineering,
    but they are incredibly well done on debugging and efficiency.  Between
    f2c and C++, it appears quite possible to hide these ugly (but working)
    beasts under nice modern interfaces.

    This issue is really important at  a  practical  level, and so far I've
    only  seen  net.wisdom  on the subject.  The authors deal  with  it  in
    detail.  It would have been awfully nice if they had just  given  us  a
    full  C++ view to lapack :-) but their focus is on ideas, not on giving
    blackboxes of code.

    All the source code of the book is on the net.

    I'm personally at the stage of  having  browsed  in C++ for a while now
    but  not  having  taken the plunge of fully leaving C yet.   This  book
    feels very useful to me at this point in my transition.

[16]C, A Software Engineering Approach
    Peter A. Darnell & Philip E. Margolis  ISBN:0-387-97389-3 & 3-540-97389-3
    Reviewed by: Klaas Teschauer (

    This is the book which  was  used  in  my C course.  When I started the
    course  I  went to my local book shop and digged through the  available
    books about C.  This book was recommended by our teacher,  but  it  was
    rather  expensive  and, if possible, I wanted to avoid the expense, But
    alas, I finally settled for  it,  because it was the most comprehensive
    and  complete  book on offer and it obviously contained many  tips  and
    hints not available elsewhere.

    The book is totally  platform-independant,  and  covers all features of
    the  language  in detail.  It is written for someone who already  knows
    another programming language;  as  it  is  an  arduous  task  to  learn
    programming  with  C.   It  covers ANSI C as well; but the examples are
    written in K&R C.  (BTW, here  in  Germany  we sometimes expand this to
    "Knall  und  Rauch C", which means "Bang and Smoke C"  when  translated
    literally :).  )

    Apart from the explanation of the syntax and semantics of C and how the
    constructs are actually used,  the  book offers numerous so-called "Bug
    Alert"  or "ANSI Feature" boxes, which point to common coding errors or
    explain relevant features of the ANSI Standard, respectively.   At  the
    end  of each chapter a number of excercises are provided.  Furthermore,
    the Appendix contains a complete reference  manual for the ANSI runtime
    library  and  a number of concise discussions like differences  between
    ANSI and K&R or reserved names and the like.  The last regular  chapter
    is  an  excellent introduction into software engineering issues.  As an
    example serves a  project  for  developing  a  C  interpreter (well, it
    implements only a subset) and the complete source code of which is also
    provided  in the appendix.  It is in my opinion an outstanding book and
    worth every dollar.

    Paul Dilascia  ISBN:0-201-60891-X
    Reviewed by: Klaas Teschauer (

    This book is not  an  introduction  to  C++,  but  it provides a breeze
    through  the  most  important  features for C  programmers.   The  book
    describes the actual process of the development of a C++ class  library
    for  Microsoft  Windows 3.1.  It is a book about programming Windows in
    the first place, but I  learned  a  lot  from it how to design reusable
    classes  and  code.   You still need another  Windows  introduction  or
    reference manual like the Petzold(*).  Although it is stuffed with code
    snippets, it is fun to read it, because the author  writes  in  a  more
    colloquial  style.   The  language  is like what he would have actually
    said to the reader if he and  the  reader were sitting in front of a PC
    and the author would explain it.  Examples:

    ...  It's been a long chapter (I warned you), ...

    ...  Do I really have to mess with  blocks and locks and heaps and free
    chains and all that low-level stuff?!  Yecch!!  The operating system is
    supposed to do that; OO programmers don't DO memory management!  ...

    ...  Since you have your OOP cap  on  (if not put it on now!), a little
    light bulb should go on in your head that says application object!  ...

    The book is divided into chapters  roughly along the different parts of
    the  Windows API (GDI, etc.) that are encapsulated.  Usually the author
    starts out with describing the implementation of  a  small  application
    and  then  tries  to  extract all reusable code from the application in
    order to put it into the  library.   He not necessarily follows the one
    true  path  recommended by Microsoft, but tries to make the library  as
    useful as possible  for  the  applications  that  base  on  it.   Where
    necessary,  the  book  goes into reasonable details about Windows.  The
    full source code of the library and of the applications developed along
    the way is supplied in  the  appendix, plus makefiles for Microsoft and
    Borland  C/C++.   The sources are also available on diskette  from  the
    author.  During the course of the book,  he  also  provides  hints  for
    die-hard  C  programmers  that  don't  want  to  migrate to C++, how to
    implement the discribed features in pure C.

    I had a lot of fun just  reading  it  like a normal book and enjoyed it
    very  much.  The Windows++ library would in my opinion be very  useful,
    if it had not a serious deficiency.  The part that covers the GDI  just
    encapsulates   and  repackages  its  functionality,  which  is  clearly
    insuffcient for larger apps.   IMO,  for  the  development  of a modern
    Windows  app a good graphics library is essential.  But the book is not
    to blame  because  its  stated  goal  is  to  describe  and  teach  the
    development  of  reusable class libraries and does so at the example of
    Windows class library.   Windows  has  the  advantage  of being popular
    enough and of allowing it to define the task sufficiently precise.

    I doubt that the author will  provide  an update for Windows 95, but as
    long  as  the  most  recent  Windows version at any  time  is  not  too
    different from Windows 3.1, it will still be useful.
    (*) Charles Petzold, Programming Microsoft Windows 3.1, 1992
        published by Microsoft Press

[19]C++ How to Program 
    H.M. Deitel & P.J. Deitel 
    Prentice Hall ISBN ??
    Reviewed-by: David M. Botters (

    This is basically a college text  book,  but  is available in most book
    stores  with  a  decent  section for computer  programming.   The  book
    assumes no previous knowledge of C or programming, and is designed with
    a beginner in mind.

    It makes the claim at  the  outset  that  C++ is difficult and makes no
    pretense  that  you can learn Windows C++ in 20 minutes, like  so  many
    other books on the market today.  It provides a very  basic  intro  and
    moves along at a good clip covering most everything you need to know.

    After buying so many of the Programming in 20 Minutes type books, I was
    happy to see this book.  It is definately  a good choice for one who is
    seriously about learning C++ from the ground up.

[20]Safer C, Developing Software for High-integrity & Safty-critical Systems
    Les Hatton
    Publisher  ISBN
    Reviewed-by: Clive King (

    Software is now an integral part of most spheres of life and the future
    can only see this trend increase.   The complexity of software required
    to  enable  the  technologies now exceeds that of any  other  man  made

    How many times have  you  found  that  some unexplained behavior in the
    program  you were writing was a result of a simple error, maybe using a
    == instead of a = in an assignment statement!  The  programmer  writing
    the code that controls the landing gear of the next plane you fly on is
    also  human  and  is  therefore  capable  of  making  the same sorts of
    mistakes as you.  Agree?  If not  there  is a very bright career in the
    safety  critical  software  development business or you are  not  being
    totally honest with yourself.

    Safer C attempts to  shed  light  on  improving the quality of software
    constructed  for high-integrity and safety critical systems.  The  book
    concentrates on the process of developing  software  and  the  language
    issues  which  effect software quality.  It rightly does not attempt to
    address the issues of specification and design.

    The use of C, which is well known  for its many traps and pitfalls, may
    seem  a  curious choice to some.  The choice is founded on the  authors
    observation that C has been in used for a number of years,  C  programs
    including  UNIX  have  been ported between a multitude of platforms.  C
    has been misused in a multitude of ways  and the problems of C are very
    well documented.  C is a small, standardized language and a subset of C
    which  eliminates the language feature which may bring problems can  be
    described.  The most important feature of using C in the development of
    high-integrity and safety critical systems and a recurring theme of the
    book is that better tool support for finding potential coding  problems
    and language misuse is currently available for C than other languages.

    The case presented for C is  strong,  but by the same argument the case
    for  Ada  is  worth  considering if using  best  current  practice  and
    appropriate tool support are too much effort to  overcome  for  reasons
    associated  with the management of a project and programmer psychology.
    A better alternative  I  am  sure  is  to  prevent  by  law such people
    participating in projects whose product may be used in a situation when
    human life may be threatened.  That day is getting closer.

    The underlying  theme  throughout  the  book  is  to identify dangerous
    practice and ruthlessly eliminate it via the use of appropriate methods
    and  tool  support.   Much  useful material is  presented  on  software
    complexity and metrics, testing strategies, quality procedures such  as
    ISO9001, Capability Maturity model and Total Quality Management.  Where
    this  book really excels is in describing the potential problems areas,
    there severity, how they can be  detected  and manage there use in code
    by either forbidding use or a strategy for safe use is given.

    The book justifies its self in  a chapter devoted to population studies
    of  C programs where software from a wide range of application  domains
    is analyzed for faults and transgressions from  programming  standards.
    Also  presented  are  the  results  of a study into the complexity of a
    range software.

    Formal methods were one of the great  white hope in the 1980's, but the
    many software developers view formal methods as a smoke screen which is
    loaded  with  hype.  Rightly Hatton points out that formal methods  are
    another way of thinking about program design and  construction  through
    the  medium  of  mathematics.   14  pages  are  spent discussing formal
    methods.  What exists is very  illuminating  to those with no knowledge
    of  formal methods and there application to producing C programs.  Some
    consideration of how to develop substantial systems in C from a  formal
    specification,  rather  than just considering small examples would have
    been useful.

    Hatton's humor makes the book  enjoyable  to  read, though at times you
    wonder  how  such  a  serious subject can generate  such  a  stream  of
    antidotes.  The author sometimes gives the impression  of  writing  the
    book  out  of  a  passion  for  self  preservation, instead of the more
    mundane reasons.  Hatton  digresses  to  talk  about  the importance of
    structure in music and architecture and manages to make coherent use of
    diverse  examples such as Mozarts's 40th Symphony, Jimi Hendrix and the
    UNIX diff program to illustrate the importance of refinement.

    After reading the book, I concluded that  given a choice of flying in a
    plane  with software written using best current practice in C, C++,  or
    Ada, I would choose the plane that used C software.  If the emphasis is
    not placed here on best current practice, I might just stay at home.

    Safer C should be required reading for  anyone who intends to write a C
    program  outside  a classroom, anyone who intends to write code  for  a
    high-integrity or safety-critical system  and  anyone  who  intends  to
    manage  a project that has high-integrity or safety-critical element or
    uses C.  I would also recommend  it  to  anyone who is trying to decide
    which language to use on a project.

    I could go into far more  detail  about the good sense the book extols,
    but  if developing software is your business, can you really afford not
    to read it?


    C and C++ are great  programming  languages that can make programming a
    lot  of fun.  One of the best ways to learn is by taking a  programming
    class.  See if you can take a class at your school, or take a class  at
    night school.  Programming in C/C++ is a skill that could end up saving
    you your job or help you get a better job.  I hope these tutorials help
    you in your quest to learn the C and C++ programming language.


	Steve Summit
	Lizann Bolinger
	Blake Sobiloff
	Alex Wu
	Ian Jackson
	Peter Vanderlinden
    	Robin Schogol
	Marcus Speh
	Jutta Degener
	Joe Dougherty
        Ajay Shah     
	Sonia Hamilton
	Klaas Teschauer
	Clive King
	Richard Grubb 
	Lincoln Abbey
	Scott Hankin

               * List of C tutorials   Last Update: 08/01/95 *
       * Compiled By:  Vinit Carpenter - *

    Note that this document is provided  as  is.   The information in it is
    *not* warranted to be correct; you use it at your own risk.

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Vinit S. Carpenter 	  Marquette University
     Author of the INTERNET-MENU for OpenVMS and LEARN C/C++ TODAY List
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