The Art of UNIX Programmingby Eric S. Raymond
The Art of UNIX Programming poses the belief that understanding the unwritten UNIX engineering tradition and mastering its design patterns will help programmers of all stripes to become better programmers. This book attempts to capture the engineering wisdom and design philosophy of the UNIX, Linux, and Open Source software development/b>/i>/b>
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This brilliant book succeeds in capturing Raymond's 30 years of programming experience in UNIX and Linux! He explains not just techniques but also why they work. I too have 30 years of UNIX/Linux programming experience and I agree with his wisdom. In many cases he even helped me understand why the techniques I use work and explains clearly why other techniques -- some being quite fashionable these days -- do not work. Regardless of experience, any programmer will benefit tremendously from this book; any manager will benefit from learning what techniques will make his staff more productive and result in more reliable and maintainable code.One technique discussed is using ASCII text files to store system configuration and documents. This allows any text editor to see, change data, and remove errors. Anyone who has suffered a trashed Windows Registry file or wanted to look at a Word document without using Word understands the bad design of not doing this. He also discusses the Windows Registry file design as allowing a single-point failure in any application to make the system unusable and how UNIX avoids this problem.Eric is the rare person who has both the knowledge and the ability to explain it clearly in an easy-to-read and fun book. It includes the history that helps understanding and contrasts UNIX with other operating systems and techniques to illustrate advantages and disadvantages of each. While intended for UNIX and Linux programming in C, C++, Perl, Java, and shell script, those programming under Windows and other operating systems will benefit too by taking advantage of the techniques that made UNIX so popular and productive among programmers.
The Art of UNIX Programming by Eric S. Raymond, contains over 30 years software engineering wisdom. In addition to Raymond?s own experience, the book also incorporates knowledge from thirteen UNIX pioneers including Ken Thompson (the creator of UNIX) and David Korn (creator of the korn shell). Raymond?s book tells about the philosophy, design, tools, culture, and traditions that make up UNIX. Raymond shows how these are being carried forward today in both the open-source movement and Linux. Personally, I rather enjoyed reading this book because it's not just another book that teaches you how to use a particular programming language. This book teaches you how to design software, teaching you the philosophy behind UNIX and contains some of the history hacker lore that made UNIX what it is today. Unlike most programming books I have read this book uses case studies to prove a point rather then tailored examples. The case studies use real, pre-existing pieces of open-source software that are in use every day (including Kmail, The Gimp, Audacity and many others). Through these case studies Eric demonstrates how to apply the book's wisdom in building software that not only adheres to the UNIX philosophy but software that is more portable, more reusable, and longer lived.