An Introduction to the C Programming Language and Software Design
This textbook began as a set of lecture notes for a first-year undergraduate software engineering course in 2003. The course was run over a 13-week semester with two lectures a week. The intention of this text is to cover topics on the C programming language and introductory software design in sequence as a 20 lecture course, with the material in Chapters 2, 7, 8, 11, and 13 well served by two lectures apiece.
Ample cross-referencing and indexing is provided to make the text a servicable reference, but more complete works are recommended. In particular, for the practicing programmer, the best available tutorial and reference is Kernighan and Ritchie [KR88] and the best in-depth reference is Harbison and Steele [HS95, HS02]. The influence of these two works on this text is readily apparent throughout.
What sets this book apart from most introductory C-programming texts is its strong emphasis on software design. Like other texts, it presents the core language syntax and semantics, but it also addresses aspects of program composition. It also shows how to design for errors using assert() and exit(). Chapter 6 introduces the basics of the software design process’from the requirements and specification, to top-down and bottom-up design, to writing actual code. Chapter 14 shows how to write generic software (i.e., code designed to work with a variety of different data types).