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The SARfaris: GPCR, Kinase, ADME

Saturday, 28 February 2009

Books and Papers - 6 - Software Tools, Kernighan and Plauger

This was the first proper programming book that I studied, and it is an old one too, written before the web, web-services, and networking - good old fashioned UNIX programming computation. Few words, lots of concepts, and merits revisiting now and then - the prose in Kernighan's books is just excellent, perfect pace, and combines advice with examples of little code snippets. Probably the best thing about the book (for me) is the use of ratfor - a derivative of Fortran that looks a lot like C, and has some of the best elements of both languages. It is also incredibly quick to code in. I have just downloaded some updated versions of ratfor for my mac, so expect some pretty unusual looking Open Source protein analysis tools anyday soon!

Anyway, although ratfor is used, for almost everyone, the code there will just be pseudocode for implementation and inspiration of code in a more fashionable language. If anything, using a non-current language forces thinking more deeply about the actual structure of the program.

%A B.W. Kernighan
%A P.J. Plauger
%T Software Tools
%I Addison Wesley
%D 1976
%O ISBN 978-0201036695

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