Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

You are being too kind. I was expecting some earth shaking discoveries, only to find the author doesn't understand C.



I concur, I wonder honestly whether this is a matter of hubris becoming more important than accuracy.

The accurate fact is that K&R C is a book about C. It is not the end-all, but rather an introduction to the language. Sure, it has thorns. Sure, you'd be a fool to adopt the style from it; this speaks more of the culture of its readership than the book itself, however. The authors are very honest that their samples are an attempt to engage the readers attention in the Language; especially the Ingenue, new-comer, non-Professional C programmer.

To that end, the book succeeds; new C programmers get an introduction, a light read, a good set of nomenclature to understand the topic further, and so on. It is not intended, in spite of the cultural proclivity towards these things, to be "A Bible of C".

And if it were, no professional C coder worth their salty words these days would be without the New Testament, right alongside K&R on the neglected end of the bookstack, which book is of course: "Advanced C Programming - Deep C Secrets" which explains rather a lot more about the thorns of Professional C, and more, in an equally comfortable manner as both K&R, the Authors of C as well as books about C, have done.

In my opinion, Peter Van Linden has already done to K&R what Zed doesn't seem to have the humility to do; proven its value to the newcomer in becoming one step closer to a professional.


agreed. Once you know C, deep C secrets takes it to a whole new level and is an great body of work. My 3 C books are

1- K&R 2- C Traps and pitfalls 3- Deep C secrets.


Zed and his writings are not to be taken too seriously.


I suspect this one is a diversionary tactic.

I guess Zed Shaw suffers from nerd burnout. As in, a sort of more emotional burnout from having had to deal with them all the time in the past - or at least, that's what I get from some of his writings anyway. So I imagine him popping this stuff in as a sort of early warning system. It's all true enough to be right, and true enough to get his point across, BUT IT'S NOT TRUE ENOUGH FOR A NERD. So any time somebody complains about his strcpy example, or 0-terminated C strings, or whatever, that's his nerd alert. This person is not worth dealing with, and now he can block them, or set up a mail filter to put their email in the junk folder, or whatever, without having had to invest any time in finding this out the long way.

There was also a bit in one of his essays about the way ruby fans were always these stupid armchair pop psychologists.


I think it functions less as a "nerd" alert but more as a "recognizes I may not be as profound as I like to imagine myself" alert.

I mean, he's right.. but he's not being profound. You may as well tell me that I should be careful about losing precision while using floats. Yes... no shit?


Yeah, when your entire career and persona is built around being the only intelligent person in an industry full of idiots, it is natural to need to drive all the knowledgeable people out of your personal space.


"C is a ghetto"


I'm not trying to be "kind". I usually like reading Zed's technical work and just express my opinion about this particular piece. I agree that debating the theoretical provability of correctness of programs may be interesting in some academic courses, but using it to bash K&R for their book's contents is, as I said, unfair.


He certainly understand C programmers well enough to understand that when they write code like the one he critiqued, it's like handing a kid a loaded shotgun.

It will lead to misery.


Yes, we are all sure you understand C better than ZShaw.

I expect you will point us to your prodigal output in the language, and that it was only by accident that you forgotten to add any points of critique in your comment.




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: