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21st Century C: C Tips from the New School – O’Reilly Media review November 23rd, 2013 by Anonymous, 2 Comments

I’ve recently been looking for a new book on C, not wanting to spend the time on read Computer Science type text book. During my search I came across 21st Century C from O’Reilly. Upon first glance at the table of contents, I was intrigued.

This book doesn’t start off like your typically beginners programming book. No ‘Hello World’ type example, no coverage of operators, etc. Instead, the author jumps right into Makefiles, debugging with gdb, unit testing, valgrind and documenting your code. Not an exhaustive look into those topics, but just enough. I was glad to see that he also covered autotools as well.

Beginning with chapter 6, you start to get into the language. I found the remaining chapters to read like tips from an experienced programmer. The author definitely knows his stuff and gives you enough details about why you should do things a certain way. I enjoyed these sections as learned much more than blindly following along in a text book.

I would have like to see a bit more code and examples, but overall it was a decent book. This is book would go well with a beginner’s book on C for those new to the language. For those familiar with C and looking for a better understanding of how to write quality C code, I’d recommend you take a look at this book. It was interesting approach to a book on programming.

 
The Little Book on CoffeeScript by Alex MacCaw – O’Reilly Media review November 11th, 2012 by Anonymous, No Comments

Coffeescript is all the rage with web developers nowadays and for good reason. If you are wanting to pick up coffeescript and are looking for something more than the overview at coffeescript.org, then look no further than The Little Book on CoffeeScript by Alex MacCaw from O’Reilly Media. At only 62 pages, it is a quick read for anyone with an understanding of JavaScript or programming in general.

Chapters 2 and 3 get you up and running, while chapter 4 talks about how to compile your coffeescript code. The example on how to get a coffeescript application up and running. The author also highlights some useful projects for developing your applications like Backbone, Spine and Stitch.

What I really enjoyed was chapter 5 which takes on a Good Parts of JavaScript talk about things in JavaScript and can trip up newer developers, but also looks at some of the elegant ways that coffeescript fixes the bad parts.

Overall I found The Little Book on CoffeeScript to be a good read. I was able to get through it quickly and using coffeescript in my latest project quickly. I’ve also found myself using it as a quick reference book as well. Don’t wait and longer to buy it:  http://shop.oreilly.com/product/0636920024309.do