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drClaw's avatar

For Programmers: What resources can you offer to someone learning C?

Asked by drClaw (4452points) April 7th, 2009

I am starting to research the aptitudes necessary to build an iPhone App. After downloading the SDK I started going through the tutorials where I learned that the base of all the apps are the C language. While I don’t have to learn C, I feel like I probably should.

Just so you know where I am coming from: I am knowledgeable in ActionScript and basic web code (HTML, CSS, JavaScript, etc). So basically application authoring is foreign to me.

Help a brotha out!

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7 Answers

avalmez's avatar

try this link:

also i’ve found the “for dummies” series to be helpful on many topics and i know they have a unit on c (includes a cd with compiler if i recall correctly). apple is very found of objective-c which is different enough from c that you should ensure you’re leaning the right flavor of c. there are many books available on the topic.

good luck

drClaw's avatar

Perfect! Thanks for the information. Also you were right about objective-c, Apple’s tutorial video continuously referred to it only as “C” but after reviewing the material I realized they were mostly talking about objective-C.

avalmez's avatar

there are many good books on the topic…i own about 3 of them and like every one of them. in your case, i would recommend “Learning Objective-C” i think published by O’Reilly, unless you want to learn Cocoa programming as well, in which case, “Cocoa Progamming for Mac OS X”, third edition. let me know if you need ISBN’s or more info.

Again, best of luck and i think objective-C is a very cool language. But then, i also like smalltalk!

cwilbur's avatar

When I looked at C for Dummies it didn’t mention pointers. They may have produced a newer version, but I wouldn’t touch that one with a 10-foot pole.

The three best sources for information on C are The C Programming Language by Kernighan and Ritchie, C: a Reference Manual by Harbison and Steele, and the comp.lang.c FAQ. They do not spoon-feed the information, which means that instead of mastering a chapter a day, you are more likely to master a page a week, but you will have really mastered it.

avalmez's avatar

pointers are actually a good reason to stay away from C…k&r are classic, but classic…

cwilbur's avatar

Except that sooner or later you’re going to run into indirection. Would you rather run into it in C, where it’s all laid bare and explicit, or would you rather try to wrap your head around “deep copy” and “shallow copy” in Java (without having the concept of pointers to help you make sense of it), or around equivalence and idempotence in Lisp (where every explanation I’ve seen uses a box-and-arrow pointer diagram in the explanation anyway)?

And K&R is classic because it is the authoritative text. Everything since, except for the C standard itself, is a gloss on K&R.

qualitycontrol's avatar

I’m also trying to learn C. I have no programming experience whatsoever so I am really a beginner. I’ve been using this site it has some good tutorials and compilers. I would like to look at some other resources though. Let me know what you find or have found since posting this.

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