Linux Programmer's Reference
Author: Richard Petersen
Price: $16.99 US, $24.95 CAN
Reviewer: Andrew G. Feinberg
Last summer, I picked up Linux Programmer's Reference looking for a good volume on kernel internals or on writing modules. Instead, I found a major shell scripting tutorial and introductory lessons in C, Tcl/Tk, TeX/LaTeX, the use of make, RPM and writing man pages. The table of contents lists the following chapters:
BASH Shell Programming
TCSH Shell Programming
Z Shell Programming
Compilers and Libraries: G++, GCC, and GDB
Perl: Quick Reference
Tcl and Tk
TeX and LaTeX
This book touches on almost every aspect of writing an application for Linux. The shell scripting sections are the best I have seen. I was attracted to the Z Shell section in particular, since I have never seen much documentation for that shell, which is my personal favorite. I am already a fan of Perl, so Chapter 3 didn't add much for me; however, Chapter 5 blew me away. Covered here is material I have found before only in separate books.
Linux Programmer's Reference is a small book that seldom goes into much detail. However, I can say that this little text is a perfect companion for anyone—from the “hacks-binary-code-for-fun” type to the “I-want-to-give-this-cool-program-I-wrote-to-my-friends” type. As someone decidedly in between these two, I would definitely say this book has something for everyone.
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