in reply to Knuth books and programming

I recently got the boxed 3-volume set (gift from my wife), and I must confess that I've been meaning to start reading them methodically, but haven't. However, over the years I have consulted them for different things.

IMO, Knuth's books are a must-have for anyone serious about programming. But they are also in-depth treatment of the topics and not "cookbooks". Go to them if you really want to understand how things work and why they work the way they do. And be prepared to do quite a bit of thinking yourself while reading them.

If all you want is "how do I implement such-and-such algorithm in language X", you probably don't want TAOCP (unless X eq "MIX" :-), but one of the "Algorithms in X" books out there.

Also, if you are going to buy the books, make sure you get the latest edition (third for books 1 and 2, second for book 3), which has been nicely retypeset and updated.


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RE: RE: Knuth books and programming (kudra: TeX is beautiful)
by kudra (Vicar) on Jul 14, 2000 at 13:04 UTC
    I haven't seen the older editions, but aren't they also beautifully typeset? (I thought he wrote TeX so that he could present things the way he wanted to in these books.)
      Yes, that's the reason he started writing TeX. But I think the older editions were not typeset with TeX yet. I have the impression I read somewhere that he gave his original books, together with all his corrections, for someone to typeset in TeX for the new editions. I could be wrong.