A developer called Jakub “Jorengarenar” Łukasiewicz has posted a blog entry Best aspects of C language and I’m more than happy to link to it. It says much of what I think about C but expressed very nicely and its well worth the read.
In his post he refers to a document Rationale for International Standard Programming Languages C (PDF). This is a 2003 document (C doesn’t change very often) and not exactly a light read at a trifle over 200 pages long. It’s an insight and commentary into what C99 is about and also lists these five principles:
- Trust the programmer.
- Don’t prevent the programmer from doing what needs to be done.
- Keep the language small and simple.
- Provide only one way to do an operation.
- Make it fast, even if it is not guaranteed to be portable.
If you are learning C this will provide you with explanations of why some things in C99 are what thy are. Like myself you will discover things that you didn’t know. For instance I didn’t know about long double. Or that in K & R C(Kernighan and Ritchie) that all floating point arithmetic was done at double precision but that was relaxed in C89.