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Kuro5hin.org: The Essential Linux Bookshelf, Part I: The Unix Programming Environment

Apr 07, 2000, 17:18 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Paul Dunne)

"...welcome to the first installment of "The Essential Linux Bookshelf", a fortnightly review of those books every Linux user should own. Each review will follow the same structure. After an introduction, explaining why I chose the book, comes an outline of the book itself, followed by an attempt to summarise what makes this book important. In this first installment, we look at Kernighan and Pike's "The Unix Programming Environment"."

"We begin, logically enough, with the chapter "Unix for Beginners". This packs a good amount of introductory knowledge into one longish chapter, and will repay several readings for the neophyte. Chapter 2 introduces the Unix file system: its basic structure, underlying concepts, and the commands that manipulate it. Though outdated in parts, it remains a good general introduction."

"Particularly useful are the shell chapters, 3-5. Here is the core of the Unix Philosophy, clearly and convincingly expressed. ... These three chapters provide a first-rate tutorial on effectively using and programming the shell. They need supplementing only by a good man page, and a bit of practice. The fourth chapter, on "Filters", is particularly impressive."

"Two solid chapters on C programming, covering respectively using the Standard C library and Unix System calls, lead up to an excellent example of Unix C programming in practice. A complete system is developed, the hoc mathematical programming language, that also allows the authors to illustrate the usage of lex, yacc and make, all very useful Unix tools for programming development."

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