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Note: Please replace K&R reference by Harbison/Steele

Forum: Annotated Bibliography
Keywords: C, textbook, K%0Aamp;R replacement, reference manual
Date: Sun, 19 May 1996 12:06:58 GMT
From: Markus Kuhn <>

I suggest that you replace the K&R reference by the following much better and more up-to-date one. I have never touched my K&R again since I bought the following book. If you don't want to throw K&R out, please add at least this reference and add to the K&R review that this old book does not cover the full ISO C run-time library (e.g. the wide character and locale support is missing almost completely) nor the 1994 C language extensions.

C - A Reference Manual, fourth edition

Author: Samuel P. Harbison and Guy L. Steele Jr.

Publisher: Prentice Hall, 1995

ISBN: 0-13-326232-4 (hard) 0-13-326224-3 (paper)

Pages: 455

Price: ??.?? USD, 73.80 DEM

This book is an authoritative reference manual that provides a complete and precise description of the C language and the run-time library. It also teaches a C programming style that emphasizes correctness, portability, and maintainability. If you program in C, you want to have this book on your desk, even if you are already a C expert. The authors have been members of the ANSI/ISO C standards committee.

The Harbison/Steele has by now taken over the role of being the C bible from the traditional C book by Kernighan/Ritchie. In contrast to K&R, the Harbison/Steele covers the full ISO C standard, including the 1994 extensions. It also covers the old K&R C language as well as C++ compatibility issues. Especially the description of the standard C library, which every C programmer needs for daily reference, is considerably more complete and precise than the one found in appendix B of K&R.


1. Feedback: Replace, no; supplement, yes by Michael K. Johnson
-> Feedback: Right you are Mike! by rohit patil