Friday, November 1, 2013

Understanding and Using C Pointers by Richard Reese; O'Reilly Media

Richar Reese is currently an Associate Professor at Tarleton State University in Texas. For 10 years he provided software development support at Lockheed and at one point developed a C based network application.

There have been many books written about the C Programming language. But this one is different. Why? Because this book focuses on pointers to convey a deeper understanding on C. It covers important memory management technology involving the stack and the heap along with the use of pointers in this context. It helps you to understand pointers and shows you how they work and how they should be managed.

Reese assumes that the reader has a minimal understanding of C. The audience are developers that are learning C or experienced C or C++ programmers. For C# or Java developers this book should help to better understand C and get an insight into how object-oriented languages deal with the stack and the heap.

IMHO the reader need a bit more than a minimal understanding of C. The book shows only code snippets (which will make it more difficult for novice programmers). So the reader need to know how to write a complete program in C and how to compile it.
Further the reader need some understanding of common data structures like linked lists. If you are a C# or Java developer and don't have any C background this book won't be of much use for you.

The Book uses a lot of references to later chapters (forward references), which makes it sometimes difficult to read.

What I really liked on this book is the representation of the memory (as small boxes) along with the source code. It visually shows the reader what is happening in memory.

This book really helped me to get a better understanding of Pointers and memory management.

You can find more information about the book here.

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