See also Peter Seebach’s comments about the 3rd edition as well as a critique of Seebach’s 3rd edition analysis.
The tone is a bit abrasive but the information seems to be important.
Agreed, I’m curious why the author is taking this tone.
Was Schildt hostile to his feedback?
It was understandable if he wrote it back in the day without thinking much about it. But he seems to be doubling down here after becoming experienced in programming and (in his words) communication.
I don’t understand why anyone would feel the need to publish such a negative review to begin with, let alone defend it. I did read the first few pages of examples and found them to be valid points, and overall this is written without much exaggeration or irrelevant rhetoric. I guess there must have been a history of divisive argument and this was written to settle it.
I hope it did end the argument.
I think the tone here’s valid. Coding C properly means having a handle on this sort of minutiae, and documentation purporting to give a comprehensive overview (“The Complete Reference”) that contains these sort of errors has the potential to do real harm to people learning off it. Also, the author was on the standards committee - he should’ve done a better job in the first place - and is on his fourth edition of the book - there’s been ample time to fix the errors. He deserves some flak for continuing to peddle known-bad docs.
…fourth edition of the book
I think that’s the key thing. The earlier criticism was based on the 3rd edition, so any glaring errors should really have been resolved by then.
I remember reading a few of Herb Schildt’s books when I was in high school (including C: The Complete Reference) and that’s how I picked up a lot of bad habits (void main(..) for one), simply because I didn’t know any better (remember, this was before the Internet was available to people outside academia so I had no frame of reference).
That’s a good point.
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Can’t read this, insecure connection?
Ah - it’s an SHA-1 cert. The site also serves by http; I don’t think it makes sense to edit the main link unless most people are getting errors.
While the behavior Schildt describes is one of the common choices, other systems have been known to shift in zeroes.
That seems to be what Schildt describes, though.
That title would’ve been perfect for a historical look at C, identification of how major decisions were made about its design, countered myths about it that support continued use, and a conclusion of why it must go. Annoyed I didn’t think of it when I published a summary & commentary on such an analysis. Itemized list of C’s true history and design criteria below for anyone curious where the core language actually came from.