Ask HN: Learn C in 2023?

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  • Redis

    Redis is an in-memory database that persists on disk. The data model is key-value, but many different kind of values are supported: Strings, Lists, Sets, Sorted Sets, Hashes, Streams, HyperLogLogs, Bitmaps.

    I'm not a C engineer, but I think I have an interesting recommendation to consider.

    Since you are already familiar with other languages, you obviously don't need to know the basics of C. The basics are the same everywhere. Instead, you'd likely want to build that mindset on how to build good software with C.

    I suggest you read other people's code and try to deep dive into the whys.

    I heard Redis is a well-written software.

        git clone

  • raylib

    A simple and easy-to-use library to enjoy videogames programming

    I suggest downloading and playing with Raylib[1]. It's written in C, not C++, and is a library for video games, but it can be used to produce apps too. It has a ton of examples for you to review and modify as you learn, and it is cross platform. There are even bindings to other languages if you decide to leave C and use your favorite language. It's a one-click download and setup. Couldn't be easier and more fun!


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    Static code analysis for 29 languages.. Your projects are multi-language. So is SonarQube analysis. Find Bugs, Vulnerabilities, Security Hotspots, and Code Smells so you can release quality code every time. Get started analyzing your projects today for free.

  • Mongoose

    Embedded Web Server (by cesanta)

    The language is only part of it. In my opinion, you would learn even more about C by consuming well-known libraries written in C and trying to do something useful with it and complementing that with some books, etc rather than just learning the syntax and semantics of C.

    There are tons of useful/fun things you could do with C. Write some desktop apps with GTK, a web server with Mongoose (, etc.

  • profun

    Procedural vs Functional

    A main issue with learning C is getting the architecture right (header and source files), and figuring out the tooling for compiling and debugging and building (gcc and gdb and make/cmake for example). I like C in a Nutshell 2nd ed (Prinz/Crawford) 2016 as a reference for any questions about that:

    As far as code examples, I find there's of simple C graphics programs using the SDL2 library discussed on Youtube. Also simple ncurses programs are worth looking at. For example here's a video on making a tic-tac-toe game with pure C linked to github source code, just a few files:

    For practice, CodeWars has a lot of nice simple C challenges to work on.

  • src

    Public git conversion mirror of OpenBSD's official CVS src repository. Pull requests not accepted - send diffs to the [email protected] mailing list.

    For me, when I learned more than 20 years ago, reading source and manpages from Linux and other Unix like projects was a source of inspiration.

    I'd recommend OpenBSD libc.

    I also learned a lot by reading manpages of libc functions or Unix utilities and thinking about how they were implemented, and writing my own little versions.

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