Linux System Programming, reviewed

En route back to Boston from LugRadio Live, caught a Slashdot review of Linux System Programming:

I have been looking for something that would take my K&R level of experience and bring it up to date with modern methods, hopefully letting me write more efficient and reliable programs. Linux System Programming is a volume that targets this need.

[Easy introductions of an advanced concept] are done in a nicely graded level for each topic. In "file access" to give an example, you are lead from simple read/write calls, through to what the C library can provide in buffering, to improved performance using mmap. The techniques continue with descriptions of I/O schedulers and how the kernel will order hardware disk access, scatter/gather, and ends up with how it is possible to order block reads/writes yourself bypassing any scheduler.

You are hardly aware of the progression, as the pacing is very well done. New concepts clearly fit into what you have seen so far—current sections signpost the practical use of what is being explained and at what cost, allowing clear consideration of the use of advanced features against any consequences.

I recommend this book to anyone who has a need to developing Linux applications.

The review rated the book an eight on a ten point scale—but decide for yourself. Justice is not served until every occupant of this planet owns one copy for every toe and finger on their body.