C Language Book Material

The New C Standard

Updated Jun 09

Version 1.2 has been released. The 10.5M pdf can be downloaded from here.

The Shape of Code blog contains observations on the shape of code, plus some thoughts and musings on why this shape occurs.

Major changes

What's available

As well as providing a pdf of the complete book "The New C Standard: An Economic and Cultural Commentary", for free, various material has been extracted to create pdfs of specialist subsections and subjects. The book "The New C Standard: An Economic and Cultural Commentary" (version 1.2 dated June 24 2009, new material list) is available as a free download here, here and here in pdf form (10.5M byte).

The Standard C sentences only (in Google searchable html form) are available here along with site specific Google search and a Firefox plugin.

Bugs that have been found in the previous version and corrected in the next release can be found here (last updated 24 Jun 2009).

WG14/N1256 can be found here.

Articles based on the book

The ACCU experiments.

Short term memory (its CiteSeer entry). Presented at the 2002 MISRA C Conference.

General article on coding guidelines.

Sentence 0 (introduction)

Establishes C's place in the world (history and C++ issues) and gives a brief introduction to computer language translator technology.

Discusses coding guidelines from an economic and cultural perspective, and provides an overview of human cognitive psychology, as it is seen to apply to the human interaction with source code.

This is all the material from Sentence 0 (29 Jan 08) (previous version obtainable via its entry on CiteSeer).

Sentence 770 (reading)

This is all the material from Sentence 770 (30 Jan 08) (previous version btainable via its entry on CiteSeer).

Sentence 792 (identifiers)

This is all the material from Sentence 792 (30 Jan 08) (previous version obtainable via its entry on CiteSeer).

A lot of material on how people process character sequences that does not seem to produce very many answers on how to create good identifier spellings.

Usage, Figures, and Tables

This is all the figures, tables, and usage discussion only (30 Jan 08), not yet obtainable via an entry on CiteSeer, via this site Usage, Figures, and Tables.

The programs and scripts used to analyse the source code and produce the data displayed in many of the figures and tables is available for downloaded. Note the the scripts have only been tested under Red Hat 9 and Suse 10.0. You need to provide C source (otherwise there is nothing to measure).


Only the C90 and C++ subsections (29 Jan 08) here.


Citations as a html file (24 Jun 09) or as a compressed BibTex file.

List of coding guideline documents.

Book (paper) publishing details

Addison-Wesley decided they did not want to publish the book (so much for contracts). At the moment paper copies are not available from any publisher. If you are a publisher interested in supplying paper copies then get in touch. In the meantime people might like to register their interest in obtaining a paper copy by adding the book to their wish list at Amazon.

UK USA Japan

News items

A write-up in The Inquirer here.

The Slashdot story.

A discussion of the number of downloads that occurred as a result of the various announcements is available here.

Other coding guideline discussions

A critique of the MISRA C guidelines is available here.


Tools used in the production of the book include:


Epsilon for editing.

Grap for drawing graphs (of the x/y axis kind).

GraphViz for drawing graphs (of the directed and undirected kind).

Language Tool for grammar checking.

LaTeX for final pdf generation.

Saxon for xml processing.

pic for line drawings.

Grammatical Typos

I have created a page dealing with automatically detecting grammatical bugs.


Please send any feedback to cbook "at" knosof dot co dot uk

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