10.6. Afterword

The programs shown in this chapter should help to to get a feel for what middle-of-the-road C programs look like, using the language and libraries defined in the Standard.

What do we mean by ‘middle-of-the-road’? Simply this: they have been designed, implemented, tested and documented in a way appropriate for small, self-contained programs that have no real need to show high levels of robustness and reliability. Many programs don't need to meet demanding criteria; to do more to them would be over-engineering. Clearly, it is entirely dependent on the eventual purpose for which the program is intended.

There are situations which place very high demands on the software that is in use; programs to meet these requirements are very carefully engineered and have much higher amounts of effort put into reviewing, testing and the control of access to the source code than would be appropriate for simple illustrative example programs. C is also used in these application areas. The source code of programs that meet such high requirements tends to look distinctively different; the language is the same, but the amount of error checking and correction is typically much higher. We have not tried to illustrate that type of program.

Whichever environment you work in, we hope that this book has helped you in your understanding of C. Good luck!