Every program is limited by the language which is used to write it. C is aprogrammer’s language. Unlike BASIC or Pascal, C was not written as ateaching aid, but as an implementation language. C is a computer languageand a programming tool which has grown popular because programmers likeit! It is a tricky language but a masterful one. Sceptics have said that it isa language in which everything which can go wrong does go wrong. True, itdoes not do much hand holding, but also it does not hold anything back. If you have come to C in the hope of ﬁnding a powerful language for writingeveryday computer programs, then you will not be disappointed. C is ideallysuited to modern computers and modern programming.This book is a tutorial. Its aim is to teach C to a beginner, but withenough of the details so as not be outgrown as the years go by. It presumesthat you have some previous aquaintance with programming — you need toknow what a variable is and what a function is — but you do not need muchexperience. It is not essential to follow the order of the chapters rigorously,but if you are a beginner to C it is recommended. When it comes down toit, most languages have basically the same kinds of features: variables, waysof making loops, ways of making decisions, ways of accessing ﬁles etc. If youwant to plan your assault on C, think about what you already know aboutprogramming and what you expect to look for in C. You will most likely ﬁndall of those things and more, as you work though the chapters.The examples programs range from quick one-function programs, whichdo no more than illustrate the sole use of one simple feature, to completeapplication examples occupying several pages. In places these examples makeuse of features before they have properly been explained. These programsserve as a taster of what is to come.
Mark Burgess. 1987, 1999
This book was ﬁrst written in 1987; this new edition was updated and rewritten in 1999. The book was originally published by Dabs Press. Sincethe book has gone out of print, David Atherton of Dabs and I agreed torelease the manuscript, as per the original contract. This new edition iswritten in Texinfo, which is a documentation system that uses a single source ﬁle to produce both on-line information and printed output. You can read this tutorial online, using either the Emacs Info reader, the standalone Inforeader, or a World Wide Web browser, or you can read this same text as a typeset, printed book.