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    Is a C book from 1997 out of date?


    I am learning from a book called, "Sams teach yourself C in 24 hours". The book was made in 1997. I wanted to know if there is a difference between this book and books being published today concerning the C language.
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    Generally speaking, yes.

    ANSI and ISO ratified the latest C standard in 1999. That standard differed from the previous standard (which was ratified in 1989 by ANSI and 1990 by ISO).

    Some elements taught in a book published in 1997 will continue to be relevant to 1999 C, but some will not be.

    Don't even get me started on the fiction of learning any programming language in 24 hours.
    Last edited by LittleGrin; June 19th, 2011 at 06:55 PM.
    Right 98% of the time, and don't care about the other 3%.

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    Originally Posted by kickout1234
    I am learning from a book called, "Sams teach yourself C in 24 hours". The book was made in 1997. I wanted to know if there is a difference between this book and books being published today concerning the C language.
    I still use my Encyclopedia C book from '93 on a regular basis. If you get value from it, use it.
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    Originally Posted by LittleGrin
    Generally speaking, yes.

    ANSI and ISO ratified the latest C standard in 1999. That standard differed from the previous standard (which was ratified in 1989 by ANSI and 1990 by ISO).
    What is the difference between ANSI and ISO?
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    What's the difference between the FBI and Interpol?
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    Hi!

    Its very simple in a new addition there will be advance topics.you should always learn according to the time.
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    today is C++ :)
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    Yes, there's a newer C standard, commonly called C99. I've been working professionally with C (and sometimes C++) for the past 20 years and have yet to see C99 used and I've only ever heard it mentioned on occasion here. C89 (the prior standard) is still being used and most likely more heavily used that C99. Your C book should still be current enough for your purposes.

    However, if that were a 1997 C++ book, then it would not be current enough.

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    • spec31 agrees : nice to see some praticle common sense (sorry new to dev shed so can't give reputation points)
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    A C book from that period would be dated, but not critically so. The changes made in the C99 standard are fairly minor extensions on the standard library, for the most part.

    A better question might be, is this particular book worth using? In my experience, SAMS is not a particularly reputable publisher, and most of the 'Teach Yourself x in 24 Hours' books in particular are worth roughly there value in kindling. Others may be more charitable, but I think you'll find most of the people here share my disdain for the series. There are many far superior books which one could get for relatively little money or even for free (though I would be careful with that one as it uses some obsolete idioms such as letting the type of a function default to int).

    For that matter, I would not recommend C as a first language for most aspiring programmers, but that's another argument in and of itself. My own view is that, while knowing C is critical for a modern programmer, it is best somewhere in the middle of one's studies rather than at the beginning. You would probably do well to master an easier language such as Python, Ruby or (a favorite of mine) Scheme first, then use C as your entryway to systems-level programming. Most newcomers could probably learn Python followed by C faster than they could C alone, and understand C better as well, though everyone is different about what languages appeal to them so a blanket recommendation is hard to make.

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    • spec31 agrees : well said sir (sorry I'm new to devs socan't give any reps)
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