Welcome to comp.lang.c!
This post is intended to give the new reader an introduction to reading
and posting in this newsgroup. We respectfully request that you read
all the way through this post, as it helps make for a more pleasant and
useful group for everyone.
If you are new to newsgroups in general, you can learn a lot about how
to get the most out of newsgroups by reading the links below:
With that said, please keep in mind that comp.lang.c is a group for
discussion of general issues of the C programming language, as defined
by the ANSI/ISO language standard. If you have a problem that is
specific to a particular system or compiler, you are much more likely to
get complete and accurate answers in a group that specializes in your
platform. Some common ones are:
Languages and Programming
news:comp.lang.c++ The C++ Programming Language
news:comp.lang.asm.x86 x86 assembly language programming
news:comp.programming Non-language specific programming
news:comp.graphics.algorithms Issues of computer graphics
news:gnu.gcc The gcc free C compiler
news:comp.os.msdos.djgpp x86 version of the free gcc C
news:comp.compilers.lcc The LCC family of C compilers
news:comp.os.msdos.programmer DOS, BIOS, Memory Models,
interrupts, screen handling,
news:comp.os.ms-windows.programmer.misc MS/Windows: Mice, DLLs, hardware
news:comp.os.ms-windows.programmer.win32 MS 32-bit API
news:comp.os.os2.programmer.misc OS/2 Programming
news:comp.sys.mac.programmer.misc Macintosh Programming
news:comp.unix.programmer General Unix: processes, pipes,
POSIX, curses, sockets
news:comp.unix.[vendor] Various Unix vendors
news:comp.os.linux.development.apps Linux application programming
The FAQ (Frequently Asked Question) list has a wealth of information
for both the new and veteran C programmer. No matter what your
experience level, you are encouraged to read the entire list, if only
to familiarize yourself with what answers are available to minimize
redundant replies. The list may be ftp'd from rtfm.mit.edu, or an online
version is available at "http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/top.html". A
handy list of subjects with HTML links is available at the end of this
If the FAQ list does not help, then many regular readers of this group
are happy to assist with problems of standard C. We have only a few
requests that we ask be adhered to, for the benefit of all:
* Please put a short summary in the subject line. Descriptions such
as "HELP!!!!!!" are not helpful, and many regular posters ignore
such requests. A good example is, "Problem with pointers and
* State the question or the problem clearly and concisely. Describe
what you are trying to do, and the problem you are running
into. Include all relevant error messages.
* Include the smallest, complete and compilable program that exhibits
your problem. As a rule, posters in comp.lang.c will not do
homework, but will give helpful hints if you have shown some
willingness to try a solution.
* comp.lang.c is forum for discussion, and as such some regular
posters do not give E-mail replies. Very often follow-ups to
postings have corrections, so plan on taking part in the discussion
if you post a question. If you do receieve e-mail replies, it is
considered polite to post a summary.
A note on comp.lang.c etiquette: Accuracy is valued very highly in this
newsgroup; therefore posts are frequently corrected, sometimes perhaps
too harshly, and often to the annoyance of new posters who consider the
correction trivial. Do not take it personally; the best way to fit in
with comp.lang.c is to express gratitude for the correction, move on,
and be more careful next time.
Another note on comp.lang.c etiquette: Replies to articles should not be
topposted, since this wastes the time of the reader. Instead, your reply
should follow (or be interspersed with) the material to which you are
replying. The quoted material should have anything not germane to your
reply removed, and be headed by appropriate attribution lines.
This is a very busy group, so these requests are designed to make it as
pleasant and efficient an experience as possible. We hope it proves a
valuable commodity to you.
* OTHER RESOURCES
In addition to comp.lang.c, there is a great deal of information about C
programming available on the World Wide Web.
Probably the definitive list of C resources on the web
is Lysator Computer Society's Hotlinks to C Resoures:
Many code snippits (algorithms) are available from the "snippets"
collection by Bob Stout. It's available from http://www.snippets.org/,
or alternatively via ftp from ftp.cdrom.com in /pub/algorithms.
Web searches can often turn up source code more efficently than asking
for it. Try "http://www.altavista.com", or "http://www.hotbot.com".
Google allows efficient searching of Usenet. It is very likely that your
query was covered recently, and the answer is only a search away. Try
* The comp.lang.c Frequently Asked Question subject list
The FAQ list is maintained by Steve Summit (email@example.com). An
excellent, much-expanded book version is also available; "C Programming
FAQs", published by Addison-Wesley.
The HTML version is located at
"http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/top.html". It may be ftp'd from
"ftp://rtfm.mit.edu" in the directory /pub/usenet.
The individual sections may be conveniently reached directly by using
the following links:
Declarations and Initializers http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/s1.html
Structs, Unions, and Enums http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/s2.html
Null Pointers http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/s5.html
Arrays and Pointers http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/s6.html
Memory Allocation http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/s7.html
Characters and Strings http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/s8.html
Boolean Expr's and Variables http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/s9.html
C Preprocessor http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/s10.html
ANSI/ISO Standard C http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/s11.html
Library Functions http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/s13.html
Floating Point http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/s14.html
Variable-Length Argument Lists http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/s15.html
Strange Problems http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/s16.html
Tools and Resources http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/s18.html
System Dependencies http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/s19.html
Tim Behrendsen extensively revised an early version of this article,
translating my ramblings into fairly coherent English. Most of the
regulars of c.l.c have made useful suggestions at one time or another.
Numerous others have made helpful suggestions to improve this post;
I fear that if I were to list them all, the size of the post would
double! You know who you are. ;)
Feedback on this post is always welcome. Please send it to
Billy Chambless <firstname.lastname@example.org>
[ NB: The above address appears to be defunct. If you send ]
[ feedback to me, I will update my semi-weekly post: ]
[ James Hu <email@example.com> ]
... or post to the group.
[ last changed: Mon 3 May 2004 ]