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The Unix Programming Environment [Paperback]

Brian W. Kernighan , Rob Pike
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 66.15
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Book Description

Jan. 1 1984 Prentice-Hall Software Series
Designed for first-time and experienced users, this book describes the UNIX® programming environment and philosophy in detail. KEY TOPICS- 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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The Unix Programming Environment + C Programming Language (2nd Edition)
Price For Both: CDN$ 116.93

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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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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic and still the best introduction Unix Dec 12 2002
By Argon
I can't believe the reviewer who gave two stars to this book saying it's "outdated".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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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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5.0 out of 5 stars How to think programmatically May 30 2002
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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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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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars The much-vaunted Unix "philosophy" in practice
This book is one of the cornerstones of the Unix philosophy. "There's a philosophy?" I hear you ask. Ohhh yessss. Read more
Published on Jan. 21 2004 by TDrinkrrr
4.0 out of 5 stars Yes its great
This is the book I wish I had as an undergrad. I only purchased the book out of curiosity but was delighted with its content. Read more
Published on Jan. 18 2004 by Bryan Stevenson
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most influential technical books ever written
In addition to providing a broad, albeit detailed introduction to UNIX, this book contains some of the most well-written and documented C code for students of the language. Read more
Published on Oct. 27 2003 by gkm77
1.0 out of 5 stars good but very outdated...
This book might be a very good book 10-15 years a go, but now most of the stuff is outdated. Don't waste your money on this book, instead buy another book. Read more
Published on June 26 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book, but very confusing examples(code)
This is very good book to begin with. It gives you all you need to know about UNIX to start with (requires C and some *NIX knowledge). Read more
Published on May 20 2003 by Programmer
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good book, but isn't perfect
I was taking unix programming class and used this book as one of the "main" books. I really loved it, it's very short and clear explain all you need to know, it gives you basic... Read more
Published on Feb. 9 2003
2.0 out of 5 stars Obsolete
It might have been the epitome of UNIX development, now it's nearly twenty years old. It didn't age well. Read more
Published on June 2 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely good for beginner programmers
I was clueless about Linux programing until I came across this book .Though the book has sections which are otherwise best covered by O'Reilly's UNIX Tools series ,nonetheless it... Read more
Published on March 27 2002
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic
This is a really neat book because of who wrote it and it's value to the history of Unix. It's a good read and very informative. Read more
Published on Dec 1 2001 by Gene Ballard
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