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I found it very interesting for being one of the very few books that deals with code as a formal system.

You don't need to understand the code; you don't need to step through the code. You follow the steps for "extract method" and you go from a working state to another working state with no worries.

The individual refactorings are more-or-less interesting, but as others have said, they're somewhat commonplace now.

Two books that every programmer should read: Software Tools[1] and The Elements of Programming Style[2] by Kernighan and Plauger. Bonus: The Unix Programming Environment[3] by Kernighan and Pike.

[1] https://www.amazon.com/Software-Tools-Pascal-Brian-Kernighan...

[2] https://www.amazon.com/Elements-Programming-Style-2nd/dp/007...

[3] https://www.amazon.com/Unix-Programming-Environment-Prentice...

Would you recommend "Software Tools in Pascal" vs the original?

The original one in written in RATFOR with no structures/records or recursion which make some of the programs more complicated than they should. It easy to find the two versions on Internet.

They describe the design and implementation of many of the classic unix tools. Nowadays it is posible to learn the same principles by reading the userland source code of BSD or Plan9.

Either. The details aren't especially relevant in either case. I just picked one.

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