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Thread: Kernighan & Plauger: Software Tools. Ratfor vs Pascal for a Student of C?

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    Kernighan & Plauger: Software Tools. Ratfor vs Pascal for a Student of C?

    Kernighan and Plauger's Software Tools book is available in two versions, the original one using code in Ratfor (Rational Fortran: Fortran 66 with C influences, if I am understanding correctly) and in a 1981 revision using Pascal as the language.

    Which version would you recommend for a student working mostly in C and why?

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    Re: Kernighan & Plauger: Software Tools. Ratfor vs Pascal for a Student of C?

    Much depends on in which directions your studies will go. Both books seem to be rather old, so there is a risk that the content is no longer relevant (the current version of Fortran is Fortran 2008). Fortran is a programming language intended for use in numerical calculations and therefore mostly used in engineering and science.
    Pascal is a programming language for students that intend to learn how to program. Today, Pascal is used in some security related areas such as military, banking, energy, etc., due to its strong type checking.

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    Re: Kernighan & Plauger: Software Tools. Ratfor vs Pascal for a Student of C?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2F4U View Post
    Much depends on in which directions your studies will go. Both books seem to be rather old, so there is a risk that the content is no longer relevant (the current version of Fortran is Fortran 2008). Fortran is a programming language intended for use in numerical calculations and therefore mostly used in engineering and science.
    Pascal is a programming language for students that intend to learn how to program. Today, Pascal is used in some security related areas such as military, banking, energy, etc., due to its strong type checking.
    I don't think the language is truly relevant since that is not the point of the book. The book addresses program design and is considered a bit of a classic (still in print 35 years later). I am not trying to learn either language and may even transcribe the example programs into C. I guess I may lean more towards the Pascal version, but was hoping for feedback from somebody who has used both books.

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