Write Portable Code

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  • On : Feb 25, 2006

How many times do programmers have to port software written to run on one particular architecture into another (or more than one) architecture? Does it always go smoothly? If you answered ?yes?, you might not need this book. But if your answer was ?no?, then this book is for you.

Brian Hook is a professional software developer, and has worked primarily in the gaming and entertainment industry. He collected his experiences in this book in order to advise us on how to write portable software.

Despite its physical dimensions (due to the use of recycled paper), ?Write Portable Code? is a concise book: it?s only 250 pages, but it?s crammed with examples. This might sound like an exaggeration, but I think of it as a sort of new Kernighan and Ritchie: Hook was clever enough and so well focused, that he wrote precisely the right amount to cover everything he needed to, without rambling.

Hook takes into account all of the aspects of writing portable code that a programmer might face: editing, porting, scalability, internationalization, processors and networking. And he doesn?t forget to explain how portability can be affected by operating systems, floating point management, filesystems, data formats and dynamic libraries. Since he?s chosen C/C++ as the reference programming languages, Hook has devoted some chapters to the compilers and the preprocessor.

Even though Hook has chosen the C/C++ languages, he still advises using other, higher level (scripting) languages, to improve portability. One chapter summarizes some of them.

via FreeSoftwareMagazine
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