Product Author Bios
Brian W. Kernighan works in the Computing Science Research Center at Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies. He is Consulting Editor for Addison-Wesley's Professional Computing Series and the author, with Dennis Ritchie, of The C Programming Language.
P.J. Plauger is President of Whitesmiths, Ltd., New York. Dr. Plauger received a Ph.D. in Nuclear Physics from Michigan State University. He is a member of ACM, the American Physical Society, and the Science Fiction Writers of America.
With the same style and clarity that characterized their highly acclaimed book, The Elements of Programming Style, the authors have written Software Tools to teach how to write good programs that make good tools. The programs contained in the book are not artificial, but are actual programs ae tools which have proved valuable in the production of other programs.
Modern programming techniques such as structured programming and top-down design are emphasized and applied to every program. The programs are presented in a structured language called Ratfor ("Rational Fortran") which can be easily understood by anyone familiar with Fortran or PL/I, Algol, PASCAL, or similar languages. (Ratfor translates readily into Fortran or PL/I. One of the tools presented is a preprocessor to translate Ratfor into Fortran). All of the programs are complete and have been tested directly from the text. The programs are available in machine-readable form from Addison-Wesley.
Software Tools is ideal for use in a "software engineering" course, for a second course in programming, or as a supplement in any programming course. All programmers, professional and student, will find the book invaluable as a source of proven, useful programs for reading and study. Numerous exercises are provided to test comprehension and to extend the concepts presented in the text.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Classic on software design,
This review is from: Software Tools (Paperback)Elsewhere on Amazon I reviewed Kernighan's "Elements of Programming Style." To quote one paragraph from that review -
Brian Kernighan has co-authored three books almost essential to learning our craft, this volume, "Software Tools" and "The Unix Programming Environment". "Elements of Programming Style" spells out the fundamental rules, "Software Tools" shows you how to apply them to a number of simple projects and extends the rules to software design and finally "The Unix Programming Environment" shows you how to use them in an operating system designed to reward you for your effort.
It could be said that "Elements" teaches programming and "Software Tools" teaches software design. Rules such as "do just one thing, do it well" seem to seep in through the pores as you read and work through this book.
It presents a number of projects starting with a word count program and progressing through some filters to some fairly complex tasks culminating in a RatFor pre-processor for... Read more
31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
The Most Important Software Book I Ever Read.,
By A Customer
This review is from: Software Tools (Paperback)Software Tools. I can't say enough about how important this book was - and still is - to me. The Software Tools in Pascal version does not have the same effect - it doesn't really work. But Software Tools gets across the idea that you do not have to accept the constraints of your environment to produce excellent programs. Instead, develop the program the way is should be and make a surprisingly small effort to then map it to your environment. Don't let the environmental problems constrain your thinking or actual programming. Then with a little effort you can get your environment to match what you need. The book develops a series of software tools, unix style commands, but implements them in a language called RATFOR (Rational Fortran). This is done because Fortran IV was universal at the time, but also horrible as a structured programming language. The delima: Use a better but less widely available language, or use a horrible but very popular and standard language. The... Read more
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
It's what's under the hood,
This review is from: Software Tools (Paperback)The tools you will find in this book are ancient. They're written in a cockeyed hybrid of C and Fortran, and they're almost hilariously user-hostile by modern definitions. If this intimidates you, look at it this way -- you're looking under the hood of modern applications. Much modern word processing, page layout, and language implementation can be built by putting a nice, shiny coating on what you find in this book.
Kernighan and Plauger set out in this book to document what they used in their labs at the time it was written, and show how to build them. Ratfor was chosen because C was not as widespread then as it is now, and for those who didn't have it, a translator to standard Fortran '77 was one of the major parts of the book. A simplified version of the nroff text formatter and a version of ed are also included for text file processing (then as now one of the major uses for computers), the result being both a toolkit and a practical education in the ins and outs of applications... Read more
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