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This volume contains two complete books.

A second edition of a book originally published in 1993, this book provides a creative approach to learning the C programming language by emphasizing software engineering.  This inexpensive book, extensively tested in several academic and professional settings, provides a gentle, but complete, introduction to the C language for a practicing scientist or engineer to be able to write substantial programs to solve scientific programs using C libraries.  Extensive program examples are included to illustrate the major concepts of the C programming language.  This book also illustrates the way that modern software engineering is typically done, by showing how a major software design and development project can be implemented in the C language.
The first part emphasizes the simpler software engineering aspects of C, allowing the reader to begin writing interesting programs quickly.  The second section discusses advanced C topics, such as pointers, structures, and the design of larger C programs that extend over several source code files. Key features include:
1.  All of the material has been class-tested to ensure accuracy and usability.
2.  As much as feasible, the book discusses the C language in general and avoids most implementation-specific features of the language.
3.  A software project is introduced early in the book and appears throughout as new features of C are covered.
4.  A separate chapter on larger programming using the “make” facility or the Visual Studio “project” for separate compilation is included.
5.  A few judiciously chosen programs deliberately seeded with bugs or errors are used to illustrate potential errors and how they can be fixed to create programs that work correctly.
6.  Special emphasis is placed on the design and implementation of user-defined libraries.
7. A brief introduction to C++ is included.

The first edition of this book was originally published in 1994 by John Wiley under name, Advanced Topics in UNIX and was named an Alternate Main Selection of the Newbridge Book Club.  That book stayed in print for thirteen years, an eternity in the computing literature.  Due to changes in the publishing industry, this edition of the book is only available electronically.

I was motivated to revise the book because of the increased popularity of several variants of UNIX and on what I learned from reviews of the previous published version of this book.  Linux has become increasingly popular, due in no little part to it being so popular in the open source community and also because it is serving as the basis of the operating system for the Google Android phone.  Mach, Solaris, and Apple Darwin are also popular.

My experience with multiple versions of UNIX-like operating systems showed me that end users, application programmers, system programmers, and system administrators often had difficulties in making programs and utilities work well across different UNIX variants, due to differences in file system organization, different locations of critical configuration files, and important, yet subtle, differences in how system calls operate.  There are also issues with different utilities, many of which are either not available on all UNIX versions, or else require a substantial effort to even get them to install properly.  One of the most interesting problems required detailed analysis of several Linux variants in order to get a single public domain application to work – the different Linux variants from Fedora (formerly Red Hat), SUSE, and Ubuntu were tried before the application would install and work properly.

Many second editions dump material from older technologies. I have chosen a different approach, guided by my own research and experience in the efficient development of large, high-quality, software systems over much of the last twenty-five years.   A huge percentage of current software applications for UNIX and other operating systems are built using existing software components that are either partially or entirely reused.  Older software components necessarily have been built using older technology and are likely to use some of the older system calls as well as newly created calls.  You need to understand the differences in different generations of system calls and their behavior if you are redeploying existing software components.  That is, after all, the reason for learning system calls if you are an applications programmer.  The same holds true for systems-level programming, especially kernel-level programming, since operating systems are rarely written from scratch.

There are 11 chapters: Introduction to UNIX, The User Interface, Input and Output, UNIX File Systems, Introduction to Processes, Memory and Process Management, Introduction to Interprocess Communication, The System V IPC Package, Signals, Sockets, and RPC, IPC Comparison, and Fault-Tolerant UNIX Software.

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