C: How to Program (6th Edition) Paperback – Oct 29 2009
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About the Author
Dr. Harvey Deitel is one of the world's leading computer science instructors and seminar presenters, and author of more than a dozen books. He worked on the pioneering operating system teams in industry and academia that developed many of the techniques at the heart of operating systems like UNIX®, Windows NT™ and OS/2™.Paul Deitel has taught Visual Basic, Java, C and C++ at numerous hardware and software companies, including Sun Microsystems, Digital Equipment Corporation, IBM, Open Environment Corporation, Adra Systems, and Cambridge Technology Partners, and is himself an expert developer.
The Deitels are principals of Deitel & Associates, Inc., an international training organization specializing in Visual Basic, Java, C and C++, and object technologies.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
1) Examples are too long.
2) Chapter on classes too early in book. Several basic chapters occur afterwards.
3) Structs aren't mentioned till almost page 1000
4) Bad need of chirp short points
5) Lacks harmony in layout - subjects appear somewhat disjointed.
6) I find the miscellaneous tips and points distracting.
7) Horrible index, if one word is listed in a table, there's a page number for it.
Easy to read, the multi-color is awesome when reading the code and staying focused.
Good chapter on STL and templates
Full examples are sometimes useful for full understanding.
Explanations on subjects seems good, as long as the sample code is short.
Book seems to include everything on the subject of C++. And some more.
Lots of details on each point
This book is dying to become a standard, but it misses the mark. It can't decide weather to be a reference book or tutorial. It would be nice to see a split design on the chapters with some quick examples.
I think I rated it a little low, but I could not give it 4 stars. I have another Deitel book on C#, and while this one is a little cleaner, (and in color), they could cut 20% out of this book and still have a good product. However, with that said, if I could only buy one book on C++, this might be the one.
In the past, i naively bought the Deitel C and C++ programming books for class and self-study. Despite the dozens of hours that i dedicated to deciphering the contents of those books, i struggled to fully understand the concepts and ideas. But my stubbornness and determination have since urged me to closely follow the subsequent new editions, in hopes that the Deitel books would eventually live up to their high market prices. As for most Deitel books, new editions have been coming out at a very rapid rate; every 18-24 months, which is highly unusual since high quality textbooks don't update unless they need to and/or have considerably improved, and this updating process, if done right, doesn't happen as quickly as the Deitel books seem to indicate.
After so many editions in such a relatively short span of time, it has become quite obvious that the purpose of the Deitel books is to saturate the market and force their books into our hands via our faculties or book-stores. Not much has changed in the newer editions, other than the abundant use of attractive colours and appealing formatting, in attempts to disguise the largely unchanged contents and impress the reader at first sight. I have read several C programming books, but there is always this unshakable feeling after going through several chapters from the Deitel books, that their contents are "manufactured" for quantity and appearance, rather than carefully analysed, written and organized to transmit knowledge of the core subject in the most efficient way possible.
It's obvious that new editions bring in more money to their authors and keep the books proudly filed under "new" on the store bookshelves, but without enough valid material to make it a worthy investment for students, programmers and enthusiasts, it is very difficult to recommend this Deitel book. I had a close look at the latest edition and i compared it to an older 4th edition. The content is about the same, retaining its poor structure except for several paragraphs which have been stretched to meaningless conclusions.
The fundamental ideas behind important concepts are completely lost into the long paragraphs that are used to describe simple examples. This new edition is really unnecessary. Deitel books have benefited from being heavily marketed since several years, which explains their familiarity among academia, especially older generations of students. But teachers are slowly steering away from this book as faculties are remodelling their approach and recommendations based on students' feedback.
Despite my persistence to fully grasp the ideas in this book, the loosely connected examples and the lengthy pointless paragraphs throughout the chapters serve no other purpose than to fuel my frustration and deliver the strong impression that the C programming language is confusing and difficult. If you already bought this book, or if it's a required textbook for your class, you'll have to be extremely patient (a lot of time spent struggling to understand, which would have been much better spent learning in a better book and practising problems on a computer) or simply save yourself some money and disappointment by ditching this industrial product by Deitel and get yourself a good programming book, especially if you're aiming for a thorough understanding and good grades.
Considering this book's high market price and associated enduring poor quality of its contents, there are much better alternatives to help you make genuine progress and develop a personal appreciation for the C programming language. I would highly recommend the very best one out of my stack of C programming books, namely, C Programming: A modern approach by K. N. King.
Programming is a hard thing to learn, so it would be unrealistic to think this book will magically teach you. However, I think it does a decent job with a very hard subject. The best way to learn is by trying to program, but if you get stuck, the book is probably not going to be much help.
It also teaches about classes before you learn about functions, which makes almost no sense to me. If you don't understand functions, classes are impossible to understand other than in theory. And learning things in theory does not help you!! (It does later when it all comes together, but if you don't understand the first steps, you will never get there!)
If you are buying this book to learn (and not for a class), get the 3rd edition because it teaches functions before classes. C++ has not changed significantly, so don't worry about it being old.
The CD that comes with the 6th edition has Visual Studio Express Edition, which is FREE software that you can download from Microsoft anyway. If you buy used, you do not need to make sure you get the CD.
I believe that previous editions actually had some content on them, like code samples, questions, answers, etc. (Again I don't know for absolute sure, because I don't have them.)
The 6th edition has a code on the inside cover, you scratch it off and it lets you set up an account for the "Cyber Classroom." The cyber classroom has the entire book online, along with audio samples of people explaining things. (I have never listened to them, so I don't know if it's good or not.) If you don't have the book or your code has already been used, a subscription to just the cyber classroom costs $60 all by itself.
I then picked up Deitel's C++ How to Program 3rd edition. I learned much more from that book with it's good program examples and somewhat muddled writing. The 3rd edition had long winded, robot like explanations. It got the job done, but it was a bit of a hard read to get through.
The new 6th edition is a must get for the beginner or as a reference book for programmers already versed in C++. Unlike previous editions, the great thing about this book is that it starts using classes from the beginning of the book and teaches the basic concepts such as control structures, stream I/O, functions, etc. through the use of classes.
There are also new sections to this book. I am learning C++ as a hobby to create games, and the game programming section looks exciting. It uses the Ogre library ([...]) to create a colorful game of Pong, and it explains in detail the code and introduces the general topics of sound, graphics, lighting, etc.
If you're just picking up programming for the first time get this book, you won't regret it.