9780072123555 / 0072123559

Linux, Programmer's Reference


Publisher:Osborne Publishing



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About the book:

Linux Programmer's Reference, Second Edition is a difficult book type to carry off successfully. If complete, it will run to thousands of pages. If it isn't complete, what information should be included?

For this relatively small book (400 pages in a small format), author Richard Peterson has pruned his topic ruthlessly. The first three chapters cover shell programming in Bash, TCSH and Z. (These could have done with a little more pruning: there's too much repetition, and Bash would have been enough). Chapter four covers the gcc compiler, libraries, debuggers and packagers--all in 50 pages. It's assumed you're already competent in C and C++. In effect, you get an overview of the built-in programming tools of Gnu/Linux. Chapter five introduces higher-level programming utilities including make and the revision control system. Chapter six provides an overview of Gnome programming with GTK+, Glib and GDK so naturally chapter seven does the same for KDE and Qt. The appendices cover Perl, TCl/Tk and TeX/LaTeX. (Why not Python? The selection here seems somewhat arbitrary.)

Linux Programmer's Reference, Second Edition is aimed at programmers who need a quick reminder or pointer to areas outside their normal work. On balance, despite good, accurate information, this book is overly ambitious. For example, although the publisher claims on the cover that readers will "Master the features of kernel 2.2", the word "kernel" doesn't appear in the index. While it may be useful to have around, Linux Programmer's Reference, Second Edition isn't a kernel programmer's reference.--Steve Patient

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