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What is the best book or site where I could learn every aspect of "C"? I've decided next summer that I want to live a little more custom and I want to restructure the way I work. I'm a quick, but thorough person, and I'd like to work with the Linux Kernal from scratch.

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There isn't one source sufficient for what you are asking; you'd have to go through an awful lot of sites and books in order to learn 'every aspect' of C.

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You might want to start with an introductory book to C/C++ (I would suggest C++). Then, you need to build your way up by reading more advanced books. However, reading is not the end to this. Learning a programming language also depends on using it frequently. You will build up experience but that needs patience. Try to get real world jobs that would force you to impliment what you have learned from reading. Be patient. It takes so much time. I would say years. Good luck :)

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Not exactly. That's why I'm starting to read Linux From Scratch and other possible references to get a possible understanding of how it works. I'm only being experimental. Thanks for the link by the way.

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I do love these threads where someone comes in, with little or no prior programming experience, and sets themselves ridiculously lofty goals such as "learning every aspect of C so I can work with the kernal from scratch", and expects a single book or a short timescale.

Don't get me wrong, I applaud people's eagerness to learn, but assuming that it can be done from one book over a short period of time...

It kinda ****es on the 4 years at uni and over 15 years in industry that I (and others) have, and I still don't know "every aspect" of anything.

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I do love these threads where someone comes in, with little or no prior programming experience, and sets themselves ridiculously lofty goals such as "learning every aspect of C so I can work with the kernal from scratch", and expects a single book or a short timescale.

Don't get me wrong, I applaud people's eagerness to learn, but assuming that it can be done from one book over a short period of time...

It kinda ****es on the 4 years at uni and over 15 years in industry that I (and others) have, and I still don't know "every aspect" of anything.

Amen.

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Amen.

I love threads like this,

First of all to be a Kernel Developer learn how to spell Kernel. You must have a good understanding of how a Operating System Kernel works, Right?

You say you want to work with the Kernel. Why? You have an idea for a Kernel App? Maybe a Firewall? Or Anti Virus/Malware Program that runs at the Kernel level?

You have this warped view of how you can pick up a C Book and then start writing Kernel Mode Applications that plug straight into the Kernel API. What OS are you going to be working with? Linux Maybe. Windows I doubt it. For obvious reasons...

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Not to be a Debbie Downer, but while learning the internals of an operating system and how to program at the kernel level is a lofty goal, it probably isn't something that you're going to learn in just a year, no less a summer. If you are just starting out with C and have very little understanding of how operating systems interface with hardware (or provide services to higher levels), its likely to be extremely difficult. If you are really serious about it, you can do it, but don't expect it to be fast or easy.

I am a meticulous and thorough person, like you claim to be. While it has helped me gain a deep understanding of some subjects, it certainly has not made me fast. I started learning C++ 7 years ago, C 4 years ago, GNU/Linux 3 years ago, and kernel level programming within the last year. While it is something that I am very interested in, I'm still not at the point where I could write my own kernel module from scratch. I understand just enough to read Linux kernel code, debug it (to some extent), and patch it where necessary. I watch the Linux commit logs and mailing lists and hope to eventually learn enough to be able to write my own kernel module from scratch -- but I'm not there yet.

In my experience, most descent programmers have a healthy ego: that's why programmers tend to suck at giving time estimates. You could learn kernel programming faster than me. In fact, I'm sure that many others have. I'm not the best programmer out there -- I'm probably not even above average -- but I am thorough. Don't give up because you can't learn it as fast as you would like. Start at an upper level (such as C++ desktop application development) and work your way down (to kernel level). If you really love it, stick with it: you will get there eventually.

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Take a class. Learning C by yourself is like picking your nose in public- you can do it, it isn't pretty tho. :laugh:

Take it from somebody that tried...

If you just want to screw around with a simple OS, get virtual box and play with this:

http://mikeos.berlios.de/

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I said "I'm only being experimental.", don't be so hard on me. Sorry I spelled it wrong, I was typing quick and was in a hurry at the time.

I'm aware of how hard it really is, I was so much in interest about a custom OS since before Codename "Longhorn". Not even, ever since I was once a member in the old JoeJoe forum.

Other than that, I just want to start learning C because I want to live a little custom throughout the next few years and experience new things since I grew up a Web Developer.

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I don't think that anyone was overly harsh on you. There are some very helpful and constructive comments above. Its not that we are trying to discourage you, its just that some of us with more experience (and I'm not claiming to be one) see the warning signs and are trying to warn you. Although they haven't posted much in this thread, Dr_Asik and n_K in particular have extensive experience: listen to them.

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I do love these threads where someone comes in, with little or no prior programming experience, and sets themselves ridiculously lofty goals such as "learning every aspect of C so I can work with the kernal from scratch", and expects a single book or a short timescale.

Everyone when they first start programming usually ask ambisous questions like this, I've been programming for 17 years and I vagually remember when I first started programming I posted on some board "I want to develop my own operating system how do i do it?" I personally actually like when people ask questions like this, it shows a great level of ambition in people, that I think is personally lacking in to many people.

It kinda ****es on the 4 years at uni and over 15 years in industry that I (and others) have, and I still don't know "every aspect" of anything.

Why would you want to know every aspect of everything? Over 17 years I've specialized in a lot of different areas, and I can tell you over the years it all starts to blur together and as I'm sure your aware with every new thing you learn the more cynical you get :p.

First of all to be a Kernel Developer learn how to spell Kernel.

Lol seriously get over yourself : ).

I'm aware of how hard it really is

You have no idea how difficult and time consuming this is going to be.

Lets start off by saying, you want to do something that is really boring and what you want to do has very little pay off at the end of the day. A kernel is really the unspoken "hero" of any modern operating system, its basically a abstraction layer between the hardware, memory, and software. There are just too many concepts there that you need to know that you don't know, and you won't be able to learn all of the stuff before you get bored and give up.

On the off chance you actually coded a kernel that was a half assed best thing you could come up with, no one will use because of a few things.

  1. There is a good chance it will be a insecure nightmare. No beginner programmer can even fathom how to code something securely because you don't know how a computer really works.
  2. You won't have any drivers, so your kernel couldn't fully use key devices like the graphics card. Unless you force all of your programmers to code there stuff for every single device out there(anyone remember the DMX sound engine? :p ).
  3. IHV - Indepedent hardware vendors half ass their driver code to the point that all of their drivers(even if you code a 100% complient linux kernel) that won't work under your kernel besides you did something different than whats in the main stream linux kernels.

I would steer clear of any type of kernel development. Let us assume that you are superman and can learn everything on the job. You can still do operating system level coding without having to touch the kernel stuff, you can basically grab a unix(not LINUX, but UNIX) kernel and try and build something off of that. But again this is all very dry and boring stuff.

Frankly if you have very little coding experience I would basically start else were(if your favorite game has public source code out there, I would do some basic mods for that first). You want a challenge that not to many people are doing that you can learn how to think while learning how to program, hell try some kinect stuff. Focus your ambition in a area that you can get a decent pay off at the end of day.

its just that some of us with more experience (and I'm not claiming to be one) see the warning signs and are trying to warn you

A lot of professional developers with years of experience always try and bite off more than they can chew(DNF anyone?), its a human trait to always to do something AWESOME and BAD ASS :). You will notice really quickly why programmers are hid away in isolated areas in a company that no body goes to; were arrogant, personality challenged individuals.

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Don't stop programming because of some of stuff on here, and if you continue programming you will soon end up like us...its inevitable.

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Yea, but it's not like I'm trying to make an OS to replace a part of my life here. :p

I just want to know what it's like to work on a new OS, I have family that can definitely code like crazy and I'm just the youngest who would love to understand the concepts. :) If anything, being experimental is what should count, right? That's what I've been trying to say here. I'm using the Linux kernal to start off with and reading documents of LFS and such to know where to start. But I never said I was starting now was I? I mean shoot, reading, examining, etc to even code basic programs for starts are what I'm actually trying to do before I go to something even more complex. I'm just trying to create steps in my journey as a 19 year old who's been trying to code at all since 12 years old starting with html/css php & javascript. Come on guys, try to boost spirits at the same time as giving warning shots! :D

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Yea, but it's not like I'm trying to make an OS to replace a part of my life here. :p

I just want to know what it's like to work on a new OS, I have family that can definitely code like crazy and I'm just the youngest who would love to understand the concepts. :) If anything, being experimental is what should count, right? That's what I've been trying to say here. I'm using the Linux kernal to start off with and reading documents of LFS and such to know where to start. But I never said I was starting now was I? I mean shoot, reading, examining, etc to even code basic programs for starts are what I'm actually trying to do before I go to something even more complex. I'm just trying to create steps in my journey as a 19 year old who's been trying to code at all since 12 years old starting with html/css php & javascript. Come on guys, try to boost spirits at the same time as giving warning shots! :D

Its just not going to give you the e-nerd-boner your expecting, if you want to try awesome,difficult, do some Kinect work. Better pay off and the non programmers in your family will give you the ooo and ahhh's that your looking for. If you got a something working in terms of a kernel, or even if you added some feature to a existing kernel and you showed it to your family, the non technical individuals will go "Oh honey thats nice" and pat you on the head. The technical members of your family will go "seriouslly? you wasted your time on that?".

I'm not trying to kill your spirits, i'm only trying to redirect your ambition into something that has a decent pay off at the end of the day.

If your hell-bent on doing this, try this first(humor me). Make a simple console application that prints out something if you enter in a value, and something else if you enter something else. Download a dis-assembler such as IDA pro, and figure out how to change your app so it prints the opposite thing WITHOUT CHANGING THE SOURCE CODE. A very basic thing you need to know is assembly, and the way I at least started assembly was actually modding Diablo 1 :/. Once you know assembly come back and ask us again what you should start next.

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A lot of professional developers with years of experience always try and bite off more than they can chew(DNF anyone?), its a human trait to always to do something AWESOME and BAD ASS :). You will notice really quickly why programmers are hid away in isolated areas in a company that no body goes to; were arrogant, personality challenged individuals.

Don't stop programming because of some of stuff on here, and if you continue programming you will soon end up like us...its inevitable.

Just to clarify, I'm not trying to claim that he shouldn't try. None of us would program like we do today if we didn't start somewhere. You're absolutely right: be ambitious. However, that is also somewhat dangerous, especially for a new programmer. If you expect something to be easier than it actually is because you don't understand the scope at the onset, it is somewhat discouraging and often leads to burnout. It would be negligent not to mention the possible side effects in addition to the major positives.

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I've always tested OS's and different projects in VMWare. Heck, the first time I ever worked with C was C# when I was around 15 years old. To this day I've yet to work with all that I can as far as coding from something as simple as a Linux command screen.

What do you guys expect me to do if I can't learn from mistakes? That's what makes us all developers, humans actually. :)

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Learn from the mistakes of others. You can?t live long enough to make them all yourself.

Eleanor Roosevelt

US diplomat & reformer (1884 - 1962)

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I've always tested OS's and different projects in VMWare.

Downloading leaked builds of a OS doesn't quantify you as a tester; that's just like saying "I'm a game tester cause I download the Public Test version of Starcraft". Doing QA means you do a lot more than anything you did.

Heck, the first time I ever worked with C was C# when I was around 15 years old.

I started doing programming I was 7 and started professional programming(where I actually got a paycheck) at 15 :p, trust me you aren't special there are lot of people that started programming before college, and a lot like myself that do it at a professional level.

To this day I've yet to work with all that I can as far as coding from something as simple as a Linux command screen.

Listen people like myself here are just trying to tell you we have been were your at. I personally don't give a rats ass whether you do this or not. I don't give a damn about what you do : ), but what your asking for requires someone on here to type out a huge post that won't benefit you at all because A) no one could type everything you need to know in one post on here and B) once you start doing it...you will stop. I promise you...you will stop doing it.

Instead of getting frustrated at something that won't give you the pay off your expecting, do something that WILL benefit you.

Bottom line if you want to do this, do what everyone else has done before you...teach your self and figure it out. No one will type out all the stuff you need to know to do what you want to on here. No one....it won't happen :p.

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Never said I was testing leaked OS's.

Was never trying to be a computer developer at a professional level. I want a fully custom OS for personal use one day. I'm just a Web Developer, that's my main focus.

The 4th comment of this topic actually helped me with C.

I'm not asking for anyone to be my teacher, just resources are what I need.

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Never said I was testing leaked OS's.

You mentioned Longhorn :), and at any rate I'm sure the testing you did wasn't "testing" it was using whatever you were testing and hoping it didn't crash.

Was never trying to be a computer developer at a professional level. I want a fully custom OS for personal use one day. I'm just a Web Developer, that's my main focus.

Now I am going to scream at you, learning what you will during the time your spinning the wheels with this will apply to every programming challenge you can think of EXCEPT Web Design lol. The programming behind any type of scripting language requires a different type of thinking than coding in any of the major languages. Java accidently falls in this catagory :p but it is a script language.

What you need to focusing on to be a good web developer is UI design. Your way way way off base.

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Longhorn, as in the OS people had customized when Vista wasn't much of an option.

I was a designer before I was a Web Developer.

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Longhorn, as in the OS people had customized when Vista wasn't much of an option.

Longhorn was a design disaster, and would a case and point to your situation. Biting off more than you can chew leads to Longhorn/Vista : ).

I was a designer before I was a Web Developer.

Post some of your work.

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If you really want to give yourself a chance of understanding how the linux kernel works you'll need:

- expert skills in C

- expert skills in data structures and algorithms

- expert in computer architecture

- expert in operating systems

- expert with build systems and debugging tools

In other words you're looking at Computer Science or Software Engineering post-graduate level competence, with a particular focus on C and operating systems. That's several years of formal training. In fact, I do recommend you take CS or SE if you're really into programming. However, you'll have to start with much smaller and simpler projects. What you're asking is akin to "I want to learn everything in order to design a new type of space shuttle, and I have no prior experience in physics or mechanics". No one can answer that question except to point you towards basic physics and mechanics learning material, and tell you you won't be designing space shuttles any time soon.

In fact I don't suggest you start with C because AFAIK there's no really good introduction to programming that's also a good introduction to C. The best introductions to programming I know of exist for other languages:

C# : The Yellow Book : this is just the best intro to programming I've ever seen.

Java: Think Java : the "Think X" series is a very solid, well-paced introduction to computer science, complete with exercices, and they are available for a few different languages.

Python: Think Python

C++: Think C++

Python goes to great lengths to introduce non-programmers to programming: http://wiki.python.o.../NonProgrammers

Java accidently falls in this catagory :p but it is a script language.
Javascript is a script language perhaps? Not Java...

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