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Linux Programming by Example by Arnold Robbins

Book Review Team

Joined: Feb 15, 2002
Posts: 933
<pre>Author/s : Arnold Robbins
Publisher : Prentice Hall/PTR
Category : Other
Review by : Ernest Friedman-Hill
Rating : 10 horseshoes
I loved this book. It's earned an honored place on my bookshelf, and I'm going to recommend it to people who need information about Linux and UNIX development.

Many computer books are practically obsolete before they ship: within a few months, "Learn Foomatic 4.3 in 21 Days" is in the bargain bin at the Dollar Tree. Some books have longer lives, and a few can remain useful for years. "Linux Programming by Example" (LPE) is in this last category; this book can stand alongside Steven's "Advanced UNIX Programming" as an essential tutorial and reference.

LPE covers everything you'd expect (working with files, processes, signals, users) and some things you might not (internationalization). But it's this book's voice and unique perspective that make it truly a gem. LPE is written in a clear, friendly, authoritative style. As I read, I often felt that I had gained a new understanding of things I've known for years.

The long and twisted history of UNIX has given rise to multiple competing APIs. Perhaps the greatest thing about this book is the way that Robbins cuts through these thickets, explaining your choices, pointing out the best alternatives, and explaining why they're the best. LPE's modern vantage point means it can cover V7, BSD, POSIX, and GNU APIs. The chapter on signals alone is worth the purchase price of the book for the way in which it clearly compares and contrasts the various signal APIs.

More info at
More info at
Mark Ju
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 20, 2003
Posts: 117
Is this book more about (Java) development on the Linux platform or programming to extend the Linux OS?

As a Java developer, I'd be very interested in the former...
Ernest Friedman-Hill
author and iconoclast

Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 24183

It's not about Java programming at all. It's about coding in C with UNIX APIs.

But you really don't need a book on Java programming on Linux. All the most popular IDEs are available on Linux as well as Windows, and the basic skills you'd need vis-a-vis working with the shell, installing software, etc, have nothing to do with Java, and can be learned from any "Introduction to Using Linux" book.

[Jess in Action][AskingGoodQuestions]
It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
subject: Linux Programming by Example by Arnold Robbins
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