Module Identifier CI33710  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Dr Mark B Ratcliffe  
Semester Semester 2  
Other staff Mr David E Price, Mr Peter Hoskins, Mr Richard C Shipman  
Pre-Requisite CI21120  
Co-Requisite CI33010  
Mutually Exclusive CS23710  
Course delivery Lecture   22 lectures  
  Seminars / Tutorials   up to 2 x 1 hour sessions  
  Practical   up to 15 x 2 hours  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment 4 pieces of coursework100%
Supplementary Exam will take the same form, under the Departments' policy   

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module a student should:

Brief description

The main objectives of this course are to teach the basic features of the C programming language, the structure of the UNIX operating system and the UNIX programming interface. The facilities of C will be introduced by comparison with those of Java, the emphasis being on the rationale behind the language design decisions for the two programming languages. Emphasis will also be placed on C programming incorporating good modular design, readability, portability, and use of appropriate tools.
The second part of the course will address the structure of the UNIX operating system and the interface presented by functions and system calls for use from C.
The module will also consider the relevance of standards, both in C and in UNIX.


1. Basic Concepts - 1 Lecture
History of the C language, philosophical differences between C language design and Java. ANSI C. Basic form of a C program
compared with that of a Java program. Using the compiler.

2. Control Structures - 2 Lectures
Sequence, branching and iteration in C compared with that of Java.

3. Basic Data Structures - 1 Lecture
Review of basic data types and operators in C.

4. Functions - 1 Lecture
Discussion of ways in which functions are implemented, and used in C, including parameter passing mechanisms.

5. Composite Data Structures - 1 Lecture
A first discussion of Arrays in C. Input/Output.

6. Software Support Tools - 1 Lecture
Make, Lint, Debuggers. Libraries and library utilities. Static/Dynamic analysers.

7. C Programming Style and Portability - 1 Lecture
Language standards. Portability. Programming standards.

8. Arrays, Pointers and Functions - 2 Lectures
A discussion of pointer data types, how they relate to arrays, and how they contrast with Java objects.

9. Dynamic Data Structures - 2 Lectures
Implementation of various record structures and dynamic structures. Pointers. Malloc. Examples in C. Parallels will be drawn with how the internals of Java do this for you.

10. Pitfalls - 1 Lecture
Major problem areas. Design rationale of C and of Java in problem areas.

11. Further Features - 1 Lecture
C preprocessor, header files, conditional inclusion, macro substitution, bitwise operators, casts, enumeration, scope, static and external declarations, separate compilation.

12. The Structure of UNIX - 1 Lecture
An overview of the structure of the UNIX operating system and a description of the major components, including: the kernel, device drivers, IEEE POSIX and the terminal. An introduction to the programming interface to UNIX.

13. The Filesystem and Files - 2 Lectures
The structure of the filesystem and associated operations. The types of file and the operations on files.

14. Process Management - 2 Lectures
The manipulation of processes and interprocess communication.

15. Communications Support - 3 Lectures
The support for communication between processes separated by network connections.

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
A. Kelley and I. Pohl (1998) A Book on C: programming in C 4th. Addison Wesley Longman ISBN 0201183994
K. Haviland, D. Gray and B. Salama (1998) UNIX Systems Programming 2nd Ed.. Addison-Wesley ISBN 0201877589
** Consult For Futher Information
L. Ammeraal (1991) C for Programmers Wiley
B.W. Kernighan and D. Ritchie (1988) The C Programming Language 2nd. Prentice Hall
Andrew Koenig (1988) C - Traps and Pitfalls Addison Wesley
C. Brown (1994) UNIX Distributed Programming Addison Wesley

Technical Reports
** Supplementary Text
L.W. Cannon (1990) Indian Hill C Style and Coding Standards University of Toronto


This module is at CQFW Level 6