Some Useful Technical Books
This list is intended primarily for undergraduate students in
computer science at the University of Western Ontario. It is part of my
list of undergrad resources and an experiment with different ways of
The links here lead to full citation information.
Dynamic version of this list!
- Programming in General
- Resources About the C Programming Language
- Books of and About Algorithms
These are some books about computer programming that I think everyone
- The Elements of Programming Style
- The best book about programming and programming style I have ever
seen. The examples are in
they are short and easy to understand even if you don't know those
- Programming Pearls; and More Programming Pearls
- Selected essays by Jon Bentley about programming, insights, problems
and solutions from the former Programming Pearls column in
Communications of the ACM.
- I've been told that the GNU C compiler (gcc) that we all
know and love (well, okay I like it -- a lot) does not comply with the ANSI
standard unless you include both the -ansi
and the -pedantic command line switches. Especially if
you are learning C just now, make sure you use both of those switches -- and
throw in -Wall -O for good measure too. I have some more
details in my Notes about gcc.
- The C Programming Language
(Second edition) by Kernighan and Ritchie
Not only a great book about both ANSI and K&R C, but a great book
about programming (in C). Some example from Kernighan and Plauger's
Software Tools appear in C form too. You might be able to
learn C from this book as easily as any other, but be sure to add your own
cross-references, and check both the errata list and Koenig's book.
If you want to
learn C, then you might find my Advice for Those Who Want to Learn C helpful.
- C: A Reference Manual (Fifth Edition)
by Harbison and Steele
- The indispensable reference for ANSI C and K&R C. It even
includes details about the libraries.
- The comp.lang.c Frequently Asked Questions List
- Steve Summit's list is an incredible resource for both new and
experienced programmers. An expanded version is available as a book with
title C Programming FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions.
- C Traps and Pitfalls by Koenig
- From the back cover:
Even C experts come across problems that require days of debugging to
fix. This book helps to prevent such problems by showing how C programmers
get themselves into trouble. Each of the book's many examples has trapped
a professional programmer.
- More? You want more?!
- I think the C archive in Sweden and its list of related sites are good places to look for more information
- Mitch Wright maintains an annotated bibliography of C and Unix
books; it is available for anonymous FTP from ftp.rahul.net in the pub/mitch/YABL/
- I've made an index of all C related documents by me.
Where do I go when I can't find it in Knuth (or
don't understand him)? Sometimes I check Programming Pearls
(see above) for inspiration and sometimes
I start with these books:
- Aho, Hopcroft and Ullman's Data Structures and Algorithms and
The Design and Analysis of Computer Algorithms
- Although a bit old they still covers some basic algorithms and
concepts clearly and thoroughly.
- Introduction to Algorithms by Cormen et
- The big white book covers a lot of territory and covers it
well. The presentation of algorithms is helped by the excellent book
I think P. J. Plauger's collected Programming on Purpose
articles will be of great interest to anyone who either does, or intends
to, program professionally.
- Programming on Purpose: Essays on Software Design
by P. J. Plauger
- Reviewed in ACM Computing Reviews (CR 9311-0825) and
IEEE Software (March 1994, pp. 104 - 106)
- Programming on Purpose II: Essays on Software
People by P. J. Plauger
- Reviewed in ACM Computing Reviews (CR 9407-0435)
- Programming on Purpose III: Essays on Software
Technology by P. J. Plauger
- Reviewed in ACM Computing Reviews (CR 9503-0156)
The finding stuff section of my bookmarks list should help you find all
the other references you are looking for. There is also a brief source code section in that list.
Prof. Bob Webber created a suggested reading list for anyone who wants to
earn a post-graduate degree in Computer Science. The readings have been
carefully organized over a five year span (12 books/year). I have a copy
of the 19 May 1995 version (which was still current in January 1996).
My recommendations for books about writing are elsewhere. I also have a list of literary books I greatly enjoy.
J. Blustein (http://www.csd.uwo.ca/~jamie)
This document is copyright by its author, J. Blustein.