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The Unix Programming Environment Paperback – Jan 1 1984


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The Unix Programming Environment + C Programming Language (2nd Edition)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 357 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall Ptr; 1st New edition edition (Jan. 1 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 013937681X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0139376818
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 2.3 x 23.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 567 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #119,735 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

From the Publisher

Designed for first-time and experienced users, this book describes the UNIX®programming environment and philosophy in detail. Readers will gain an understanding not only of how to use the system, its components, and the programs, but also how these fit into the total environment.

From the Back Cover

Designed for first-time and experienced users, this book describes the UNIX® programming environment and philosophy in detail.Readers will gain an understanding not only of how to use the system, its components, and the programs, but also how these fit into the total environment.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Argon on Dec 12 2002
Format: Paperback
I can't believe the reviewer who gave two stars to this book saying it's "outdated". Yes, it's dated. Yes, it doesn't tell you about Linux and FreeBSD and GNOME and KDE. But it's still absolutely the best introduction to the Unix *Programming* environment. Whatever else it is, Unix is a programmer's delight. And this book is the best companion you can have to explore Unix.
The book covers a lot of territory. Starting with a good introduction to the Unix command line, it covers Unix tools like sed and awk, shell scripting, system programming with C. It even covers lex and yacc. Never mind, the books age - it's still the best computing book I've ever read and I will gladly recommend it for any one new to Unix.
The authors' writing style is excellent. There is a certain amount of dry humor that I grew to appreciate in subsequent readings. For example, about AWK's name, the commentary dryly says "naming the program after the authors' names shows a certain poverty of imagination"! Remember that Brian Kernighan (one of the book authors) is one of the creator's of AWK. Go and buy this book. NOW.
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Format: Paperback
Dated, yes. But that's the only weakness of this excellent book, which covers the philosophy and structure of userland in Unix, and it's not an important one -- nroff is still necessary for man pages, and life on the command line is something anyone dealing with a Unix box should get used to, whether the user is using a shell account on their local freenet or a cutting edge Athlon64 Linux PC or PowerMac G5. (Or even SCO, if you must.)
The tools covered are timeless ones -- make, lex, yacc, and others that are still important for software development some twenty-five to thirty years after they were first written. There's no networking, no Perl, and the shell language is ancient, but what's in there still works, with only minor changes to accomodate ANSI C (if you're using GCC, even that can be dispensed with using a compiler flag). The book also serves as an education in programming language design, working out a full programmable calculator system called hoc, and an introduction to the concept of toolsmithing.
This book and Kernighan's book Software Tools (coauthored with P.J. Plauger) provide a great education in how to build a computer system; there's a very good reason both books are still in print after many, many years when most computer books turn over editions every year or two. Whatever your Unix is -- Mac, Linux, Solaris, BSD, whatever -- take this book with you when you start hacking around on the command line. It's not everything you'll ever need to know, but it's one of the best to get you started.
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Format: Paperback
How is it that a book from 1984 based on a legacy Unix system, describing some tools that no one would now use, can still not only be in print but actually recommended?
In introducing you to the Unix system, from simple shell commands, to shell scripts, to awk and sed programming, and to Unix applications programming, not to mention the best introduction to lex and yacc, the authors develop real applications and teach you how to THINK in Unix terms: develop small components that fit and interact with each other to build larger and larger and more complex applications.
But it's more than just thinking in Unix terms: it's how to structure and approach programs and scripts no matter what environment you are in.
Stevenson's _Advanced Programming In the Unix Environment_ is an excellent book for coverage. I have it too. But _The Unix Programming Environment_ is a book for developing your software mentality in a way that no other book that I've read even approaches.
After 20 years as a Unix programmer, including kernel development of several Unix operating systems, this book still remains on my shelf.
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Format: Paperback
Elsewhere on Amazon I reviewed Kernighan's "Elements of Programming Style." To quote one paragraph from that review -
Brian Kernighan has co-authored three books almost essential to learning our craft, this volume, "Software Tools" and "The Unix Programming Environment". "Elements of Programming Style" spells out the fundamental rules, "Software Tools" shows you how to apply them to a number of simple projects and extends the rules to software design and finally "The Unix Programming Environment" shows you how to use them in an operating system designed to reward you for your effort.
This volume starts with a short, excellent preface detailing some of the early history of Unix and explaining the structure of the book and the philosophy behind it . The preface states "Our goal in this book is to communicate the UNIX programming philosophy ... throughout runs the themes of combining programs and of using programs to build programs." It delivers on that goal.
The book then follows with a series of chapters that start with basic shell commands and then pipes before branching out into shell programming and going on to explore useful Unix tools such as grep, sed, awk, C, the standard libraries, make, yacc and lex through a series of small useful programs culminating in a small calculator language called 'hoc' - a useful calculator and easily extensible.
While most might feel that grep, sed, awk and shell programming have been replaced by tools such as Perl and Python these early chapters provide a good grounding in Unix programming and remind newer users of the power and usefulness of these simple Unix tools.
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