"Avoid K&R" (says AOL) 
Author Message
 "Avoid K&R" (says AOL)

I had long thought that some of the bashing of AOL in this newsgroup
(and other Usenet groups) was unwarranted. Consequently, I
thought I'd try out my 10 hours of free time to have a look around.

During the course of my visit, I visited the "Development" area to
take a look around. Among other things, they have a "Programmer's
University" for on-line tutoring, including the C/C++ languages. What
really attracted my attention is the reading list wherein Schildt is
described as "excellent" and K&R is to be "avoided".

Granted the AOL development forum is very Windows/Intel-centric, but
I was still surprised to K&R diminished to the level of a book "...to
win bar bets if you hang out at a programmer's bar" even in an area
designed to beginning C programmers.

While flames against individual AOL subscribers (simply for having
aol.com in the address) are unjust -- I can't help but question why
a service renders this disservice to its subscribers.

The highlights from that on-line document are reproduced below
(condensed...but contextually faithful):

---------- From AOL's C/C++ recommended reading list ----------

C BOOKS

There are several books concerned with C as a beginner's language, or
moving from another language to C among them are:

Teach Yourself C
Herb Schildt
McGraw Hill Pub.
ISBN 881596-7

An excellent tutorial for anyone learning at home, integrated and
overlapping segments allows the beginner to reinforce his skills.
This book also delves into the more intricate items in C.

[...]

BOOKS TO BE AWARE OF

[...]

Avoid the K & R C Language book, as well as the Stroustrup C++ Programming
Language book. These books were written to set a standard for developers
of the language. They make awful tutorials, are hard to read, and
generally just discourage the novice programmer. They are however good
to win bar bets if you hang out at a programmer's bar.

--
=============================================================================

      Linux for fun, M$ for $$$...and the NFL for what really counts!
=============================================================================



Wed, 01 Jul 1998 03:00:00 GMT  
 "Avoid K&R" (says AOL)
Geez, you wonder if AOL is maybe worried about people learning to program
and writing more software like AOHELL.  Or perhaps their own programmers
don't care to get into any of the 'technical' aspects of the language,
which would explain the quality of their system in the first place.

--
*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
Paul J. Kossick     Standing on a hill in my mountain of dreams

*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*



Wed, 01 Jul 1998 03:00:00 GMT  
 "Avoid K&R" (says AOL)

    How did the Waite Groups Books stand up in that report?  

    I'm using The New C Primer Plus second edition.  Interested in how
it stands as a learning medium?  Have found from experience that
without a helpful tutor I don't think I could have completed the test
programs as I never got enough sample help.  'Course I could be slow.

I >---------- From AOL's C/C++ recommended reading list ----------
I >
I >C BOOKS
I >
I >There are several books concerned with C as a beginner's language, or
I >moving from another language to C among them are:
I >
I >Teach Yourself C
I >Herb Schildt
I >McGraw Hill Pub.
I >ISBN 881596-7
I >
I >An excellent tutorial for anyone learning at home, integrated and
I >overlapping segments allows the beginner to reinforce his skills.
I >This book also delves into the more intricate items in C.
I >
I >[...]
I >
I >BOOKS TO BE AWARE OF
I >
I >[...]
I >
I >Avoid the K & R C Language book, as well as the Stroustrup C++ Programming
I >Language book. These books were written to set a standard for developers
I >of the language. They make awful tutorials, are hard to read, and
I >generally just discourage the novice programmer. They are however good
I >to win bar bets if you hang out at a programmer's bar.
I >
I >--
I

Quote:
>=============================================================================


I >  Linux for fun, M$ for $$$...and the NFL for what really counts!
I
Quote:
>=============================================================================

I >
I >
I >                                                                      

Verne H. Bohlender
Box 416, Chesley, Ontario.Ca. N0G 1L0

___
* UniQWK #2158*



Wed, 01 Jul 1998 03:00:00 GMT  
 "Avoid K&R" (says AOL)
: While flames against individual AOL subscribers (simply for having
: aol.com in the address) are unjust -- I can't help but question why
: a service renders this disservice to its subscribers.

I used to be in AOL once. I left cos the university gives the students
great internet access. To quote my roommate, "there's nothing in AOL you
can't get from netscape". At any rate...

: ---------- From AOL's C/C++ recommended reading list ----------
: BOOKS TO BE AWARE OF
: Avoid the K & R C Language book, as well as the Stroustrup C++ Programming
: Language book. These books were written to set a standard for developers
: of the language. They make awful tutorials, are hard to read, and
: generally just discourage the novice programmer. They are however good
: to win bar bets if you hang out at a programmer's bar.

I don't think this something to get e{*filter*}d about. I would tell my friends
that some thing if they want to pick up C/C++. I would probably add that
it would make a good reference in the future. I don't think the above
reflects AOL's stance. The author probably forgot to some smileys here and
there. :) :) :)

Just my 2 cents.

Hasdi



Thu, 02 Jul 1998 03:00:00 GMT  
 "Avoid K&R" (says AOL)

Quote:

>: ---------- From AOL's C/C++ recommended reading list ----------
>: BOOKS TO BE AWARE OF
>: Avoid the K & R C Language book, as well as the Stroustrup C++ Programming
>: Language book. These books were written to set a standard for developers
>: of the language. They make awful tutorials, are hard to read, and
>: generally just discourage the novice programmer. They are however good
>: to win bar bets if you hang out at a programmer's bar.

 Personally I don't find anything special about K&R but Stroustrup's C++
Programming Language is definitly one of the best books I have ever seen
about programming (not just about C++).

Andras



Fri, 03 Jul 1998 03:00:00 GMT  
 "Avoid K&R" (says AOL)

Quote:
> ---------- From AOL's C/C++ recommended reading list ----------
> ...
> Teach Yourself C
> Herb Schildt

The mind would like to boggle.

Quote:
> ISBN 881596-7

The mind heaves a sigh of relief and does boggle.  ISBNs have 10 digits.
--
Mark Brader                     Twas unix and the C++

SoftQuad Inc.                   All Ritchie was the Kernighan,
Toronto                         And Lisp ran in GNU EMACS.
                                   --Larry Colen (after Lewis Carroll)

My text in this article is in the public domain.



Fri, 03 Jul 1998 03:00:00 GMT  
 "Avoid K&R" (says AOL)
In article


Quote:


>I >Teach Yourself C
>I >Herb Schildt
>I >McGraw Hill Pub.
>I >ISBN 881596-7

*** Shildt's books stir up anger among some posters to this group, but
*** not with me. One of my favorite things that he does:
***    void main (...
*** Of course, this flies in the face of ANSI and ISO standards and ticks
*** off alot of people.

Quote:
>I >
> >BOOKS TO BE AWARE OF
>I >Avoid the K & R C Language book, as well as the Stroustrup C++
Programming
>I >Language book. These books were written to set a standard for
developers
>I >of the language. They make awful tutorials, are hard to read, and
>I >generally just discourage the novice programmer. They are however

good

*** I have to agree that as a tutorial, K&R is not very good. It is
*** concise and technical (alot like the 'C' language itself). But
*** your collection is incomplete without it. You need a standard
*** reference against which statements that others make can be judged.

Quote:
>I >to win bar bets if you hang out at a programmer's bar.

*** I agree with this comment. K&R is precise which is what one needs
*** when arguing fine points in 'C'.
***
*** Now as for the programmer's bar... What do you think? Could I make
*** a go of it? Instead of a big screen TV blaring out football playoffs,
*** I'd broadcast old interviews with Bill Gates. There'd be a reading
*** library with some of Osborne's old books (Osborne computer fame). Of
*** course, no programmer's bar would be complete without a mechanism
*** by which programmer's could show off as they became drunk. So, I'd
*** have an old IBM-PC (8088) that programmer's could use to write
*** an OS in BASICA. Since programmers are more likely to bring their
*** laptops than female companionship (sorry to all you girl
*** programmers), I'd have to hunt around for women. Now, who would want
*** to socialize with Nick Nerd, pocket protector overflowing with
*** pens and markers, dressed in a plaid jacket? Well, maybe I could
*** stock blow-up dolls or something - I'll figure that one out later.
Regards,
Greg DiGiorgio


Fri, 03 Jul 1998 03:00:00 GMT  
 "Avoid K&R" (says AOL)

Quote:

>During the course of my visit, I visited the "Development" area to
>take a look around. Among other things, they have a "Programmer's
>University" for on-line tutoring, including the C/C++ languages. What
>really attracted my attention is the reading list wherein Schildt is
>described as "excellent" and K&R is to be "avoided".
>While flames against individual AOL subscribers (simply for having
>aol.com in the address) are unjust -- I can't help but question why
>a service renders this disservice to its subscribers.

I took the time to write the "author", and he responded.  I can't quote
him verbatim from memory, but he explained that he hasn't had a chance to
review all of these documents, which he inherited.  He affirmed his
due respect for K&R, and said he plans to fix this shortly...

So, don't be too harsh on him; we all inherit poorly written stuff.

-s
--

C/Unix proto-wizard -- C/Unix questions? Send mail for help.  No, really!
Using trn?  Weird new newsgroup problem?  I know the fix!  Email me!
The *other* C FAQ - ftp taniemarie.solon.com /pub/c/afq - Not A Flying Toy



Sat, 04 Jul 1998 03:00:00 GMT  
 "Avoid K&R" (says AOL)
: I took the time to write the "author", and he responded.  I can't quote
: him verbatim from memory, but he explained that he hasn't had a chance to
: review all of these documents, which he inherited.  He affirmed his
: due respect for K&R, and said he plans to fix this shortly...

: So, don't be too harsh on him; we all inherit poorly written stuff.

: -s
: --

: C/Unix proto-wizard -- C/Unix questions? Send mail for help.  No, really!
: Using trn?  Weird new newsgroup problem?  I know the fix!  Email me!
: The *other* C FAQ - ftp taniemarie.solon.com /pub/c/afq - Not A Flying Toy

Sounds like a stock answer to me.  How long has that area been his
responsibility?  If you got an answer like that from someone working for
you (i.e. blaming poor quality on someone else) how easy would you go on
them?

Yes, we can inherit problems from our predecessors...but it's then up to
us to solve them, rather than make excuses.  This strategy of dealing
with complaints resembles their tech service responses, i.e. "We know
about the problem and we're working on it."

--
*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
Paul J. Kossick     Standing on a hill in my mountain of dreams

*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*



Sat, 04 Jul 1998 03:00:00 GMT  
 "Avoid K&R" (says AOL)

Quote:

>---------- From AOL's C/C++ recommended reading list ----------
>BOOKS TO BE AWARE OF

I'm not taking sides on this but it says "books to BE AWARE of"
=not= "books to BEWARE of."  I would hope that "awareness" is a
good thing :-)

Of course, this could have been a spelling or grammatical error
and was really intended to be a slam against K&R.  I guess we'll
never know.

Erick



Sun, 05 Jul 1998 03:00:00 GMT  
 "Avoid K&R" (says AOL)
<clip>

Quote:
> *** by which programmer's could show off as they became drunk. So, I'd
> *** have an old IBM-PC (8088) that programmer's could use to write
> *** an OS in BASICA.

Get real.  A _serious_ person about this would expect that the new OS be
written in TECO on a PDP-11/05.  That way, you would really dig up the
nerds.  It's much more opaque than even assembly language.


Mon, 06 Jul 1998 03:00:00 GMT  
 "Avoid K&R" (says AOL)

 >I had long thought that some of the bashing of AOL in this newsgroup
 >(and other Usenet groups) was unwarranted. Consequently, I
 >thought I'd try out my 10 hours of free time to have a look around.
 >
 >During the course of my visit, I visited the "Development" area to
 >take a look around. Among other things, they have a "Programmer's
 >University" for on-line tutoring, including the C/C++ languages. What
 >really attracted my attention is the reading list wherein Schildt is
 >described as "excellent" and K&R is to be "avoided".
 >
 >Granted the AOL development forum is very Windows/Intel-centric, but
 >I was still surprised to K&R diminished to the level of a book "...to
 >win bar bets if you hang out at a programmer's bar" even in an area
 >designed to beginning C programmers.
 >
 >While flames against individual AOL subscribers (simply for having
 >aol.com in the address) are unjust -- I can't help but question why
 >a service renders this disservice to its subscribers.
 >
 >The highlights from that on-line document are reproduced below
 >(condensed...but contextually faithful):
 >
 >
 >---------- From AOL's C/C++ recommended reading list ----------
 >
 >C BOOKS
 >
 >There are several books concerned with C as a beginner's language, or
 >moving from another language to C among them are:
 >
 >Teach Yourself C
 >Herb Schildt
 >McGraw Hill Pub.
 >ISBN 881596-7
 >
 >An excellent tutorial for anyone learning at home, integrated and
 >overlapping segments allows the beginner to reinforce his skills.
 >This book also delves into the more intricate items in C.
 >
 >[...]
 >
 >BOOKS TO BE AWARE OF
 >
 >[...]
 >
 >Avoid the K & R C Language book, as well as the Stroustrup C++ Programming
 >Language book. These books were written to set a standard for developers
 >of the language. They make awful tutorials, are hard to read, and
 >generally just discourage the novice programmer. They are however good
 >to win bar bets if you hang out at a programmer's bar.

They are also good if you don't want to make an ass of yourself before the
audience of this newgroup by saying that you have been programming for twelve
years and never come across the ? : ternary conditional operator.

K&R does require that you know something about programming, that is for sure.
It's about the language "C", not about programming. If I were a fortran or
Pascal expert coming to the C language, I'd find the K&R excellent. In fact
that's been my experience.

But for someone who knows nothing, it cannot serve as the only book! To learn
programming properly, you have to understand machine architecture, data
structures and algorithm, program design, etc.

ALso, If you plan on being a serious programmer, be prepared to one day hang
out at a programmers' bar and engage in bets...  
--



Fri, 10 Jul 1998 03:00:00 GMT  
 "Avoid K&R" (says AOL)

Quote:


> >I had long thought that some of the bashing of AOL in this newsgroup
> >(and other Usenet groups) was unwarranted. Consequently, I
> >thought I'd try out my 10 hours of free time to have a look around.

...

Quote:
> >BOOKS TO BE AWARE OF

> >[...]

> >Avoid the K & R C Language book, as well as the Stroustrup C++ Programming
> >Language book. These books were written to set a standard for developers
> >of the language. They make awful tutorials, are hard to read, and
> >generally just discourage the novice programmer. They are however good
> >to win bar bets if you hang out at a programmer's bar.
>They are also good if you don't want to make an ass of yourself before the
>audience of this newgroup by saying that you have been programming for twelve
>years and never come across the ? : ternary conditional operator.
>K&R does require that you know something about programming, that is for sure.
>It's about the language "C", not about programming. If I were a Fortran or
>Pascal expert coming to the C language, I'd find the K&R excellent. In fact
>that's been my experience.

        Well, I went from Fortran to C with K&R as my only book, and I
thought it sucked.  I would *never* recommend K&R as an intro programming
book.

        However, once I got the basics down, mostly by trial and error
(more error than trial, I think), I found K&R an invaluable aid.  I
recommend to anyone who is going to program in C to get K&R as a reference.
I find AOL's blanket dismissal confusing, and downright ignorant.

Ben

--
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Benjamin T. Dehner    Dept. of Physics and Astronomy   PGP public key

                      Ames, IA 50011



Mon, 13 Jul 1998 03:00:00 GMT  
 "Avoid K&R" (says AOL)

Quote:

[snip]
>>K&R does require that you know something about programming, that is
>>for sure.  It's about the language "C", not about programming. If I
>>were a Fortran or Pascal expert coming to the C language, I'd find the
>>K&R excellent. In fact that's been my experience.

>    Well, I went from Fortran to C with K&R as my only book, and I
>thought it sucked.  I would *never* recommend K&R as an intro programming
>book.

>    However, once I got the basics down, mostly by trial and error
>(more error than trial, I think), I found K&R an invaluable aid.  I
>recommend to anyone who is going to program in C to get K&R as a reference.

To each his own. About four years ago, I went from Fortran to C armed
with three information resources: K&R (2nd Ed.), the comp.lang.c FAQ,
and read-only access to comp.lang.c (at the time I didn't want to post
questions for fear of looking like a complete
Fortran-to-C-wanna-be-newbie).

I struggled at first, but soon realized that my numerical programming
experience in Fortran wasn't worth much. (Although, I did have fairly
respectable debugging skills. Remember digging for days to find one
+/- error in that Fortran code?)

My problem was that I really didn't know much about programming. Then
I found Software Tools. After reading that, the information resources
above were just right. Of course, YMMV.

Quote:
>I find AOL's blanket dismissal confusing, and downright ignorant.

Agreed.

-Randy (An ex-Iowa-Stater)
--

UNIX Systems Programmer         Voice:  (515) 965-7057
Powered by FreeBSD!             FAX:    (515) 965-7305



Fri, 17 Jul 1998 03:00:00 GMT  
 
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