Order of topics

The order of presentation of topics in this book loosely follows the order that is taught in The Instruction Set's introductory course. It starts with an overview of the essential parts of the language that will let you start to write useful programs quite quickly. The introduction is followed by a detailed coverage of the material that was ignored before, then it goes on to discuss the standard libraries in depth. This means that in principle, if you felt so inclined, you could read the book as far as you like and stop, yet still have learnt a reasonably coherent subset of the language. Previous experience of C will render Chapter 1 a bit slow, but it is still worth persevering with it, if only once.