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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
Price: CDN$ 59.80 & FREE Shipping. Details
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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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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
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I can't believe the reviewer who gave two stars to this book saying it's "outdated".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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4.0 out of 5 stars The much-vaunted Unix "philosophy" in practice Jan. 21 2004
Format:Paperback
This book is one of the cornerstones of the Unix philosophy. "There's a philosophy?" I hear you ask. Ohhh yessss. Unix gives you the tools to build whatever you want and asks only that you behave nicely, reading standard input and writing to stdout. Problem is, the tools sometimes seem too small to get anything useful done. What can you do with tiddlers like ls, cp and diff after all?
This book answers those concerns by a series of examples. My favorite is the version control system implemented in diff. Yes, it's dated, but the quality still shows. I prefer to think of it as "old-school"; it shows just how much can be accomplished with talent and an understanding of the Unix Way.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Yes its great Jan. 19 2004
Format:Paperback
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. If you are new to *nix programming then this book is a must! If this book demonstrates anything it reveals the true strength of Unix -- timeless. After all, the book was published in 1984. I always judge a technical book by its cover and this book is no exception (the less flashy the cover, the better the content). Eventually you'll need this book so you might as well buy it 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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By gkm77
Format:Paperback
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. One chapter illustrates the construction of a simple calculator which gradually evolves into a stack-based virtual machine with a lex/yacc-based instruction set interpreter. The reader is guided through both the theory and practice of software design by demonstrating the almost "organic" growth of a complex software system out of a simpler one.
A definite must read.
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1.0 out of 5 stars good but very outdated... June 26 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
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. I especially recommend books from Richard Stevens. They are really well written and answer the needs of programmers and/or users of the present.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great book, but very confusing examples(code) May 20 2003
Format:Paperback
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). It covers most of the areas of C and shell programming, however I don't think this book will be sufficient for all your needs and code is very-very confusing it takes a lot of time to figure it out...
I would highly recommend this book for someone that has some basic knowledge in UNIX and need fast intro (also great as the text book). This book will give you a good idea about everything in *NIX, but ones you done with it, you will want to buy another book.
P.S: I would give it a 5 stars if code would be written in less confusing manner.
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