Java Software Engineering

Herbert Schildt

See also Java: The Complete Reference, Java Programming Language, Java Glossary, Java Bibliography, Java Reference materials

Herbert Schildt is an American computing author, programmer and musician. He has written books about various programming languages. He was also a founding member of the progressive rock band Starcastle.

Called “one of the world’s foremost authors of books about programming” by International Developer magazine, best-selling author Herbert Schildt has written about programming for over three decades. His books have sold millions of copies worldwide and have been widely translated. Featured as one of the rock star programmers in Ed Burns’ book “Secrets of the Rock Star Programmers”, Schildt is interested in all facets of computing, but his primary focus is computer languages. He is the author of numerous books on Java, C, C++, and C#. Schildt holds BA and MCS degrees from the University of Illinois, Urbana/Champaign.


Schildt holds both graduate and undergraduate degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). He claims he was a member of the original ANSI committee that standardized the C language in 1989, and the ANSI/ISO committees that updated that standard in 1999, and standardized C++ in 1998.[1][unreliable source?] Other members of the ANSI C committee have drawn his presence in the committee and the quality of his committee efforts into question.[2][3]

Schildt has written books about DOS,[4] C, C++, C# and other computer languages. His earliest books were published around 1985 and 1986. (The book Advanced Modula-2 from 1987 says on the cover that it is his sixth book.) His books were initially published by Osborne, an early computer book publisher which concentrated on titles for the personal computer. After the acquisition of Osborne by McGraw-Hill, the imprint continued publishing Schildt’s work until the imprint was subsumed completely into the larger company.

Little C

One of Schildt’s most enduring projects is the Little C interpreter, which is a lengthy example of a hand-written recursive-descent parser which interprets a subset of the C language. The program was originally published in Dr. Dobb’s Journal in August, 1989 entitled “Building your own C interpreter”.[5] This example was included in the books Born to Code In C (Osborne, 1989), The Craft of C (Osborne, 1992),[6] and in a later edition of C: The Complete Reference.

Schildt’s book The Art of C++ similarly features an interpreter for a language called Mini-C++. (Mini-C++ does not support the “class” keyword, although minimal and artificial support for cin and cout has been added.) There is also a BASIC interpreter called Small BASIC in Turbo C: The Complete Reference, first edition, written in C, and another in The Art of Java (2003) written in Java.[7]

Code for all these is available for download from the McGraw Hill technical books website, under each book.[8]


In addition to his work as a computer scientist, Schildt is the original multi-keyboardist for the progressive rock band Starcastle, appearing on all of the group’s albums, most of which were produced from 1976-1978. His style is distinguished by extensive use of Oberheim analog sequencers to create ethereal washes of sound colors, a pioneering technique which was quite cutting-edge for the pre-digital synthesizer period. He is also featured on the band’s 2007 album “Song of Times.”[9]


Schildt is called “one of the world’s foremost authors of books about programming” by International Developer magazine.[10] He is featured as one of the rock star programmers in Ed Burns’ book Secrets of the Rock Star Programmers.[11] His books have sold in the millions, worldwide.[12]

Schildt’s books have a reputation for being riddled with errors.[13] Their technical accuracy has been challenged by many reviewers, including ISO C committee members Peter Seebach[2] and Clive Feather,[14] C FAQ author Steve Summit,[15] and numerous C Vu reviewers from the Association of C and C++ Users (ACCU).[16]

Other reviewers have been more positive, with one ACCU reviewer saying about Schildt’s C: The Complete Reference, Fourth Edition that Schildt “has learnt something, not enough to receive positive acclaim but enough to remove the ‘positively detrimental’ epithet”.[17]

Bibliography (of selected books)


  1. ^ “About Herb Schildt”official site. Retrieved 2010-04-25.
  2. a b Seebach, Peter. “C: The Complete Nonsense (4th Edition)”. Retrieved 2010-04-08.
  3. ^ Clive Feather (18 January 2008). “Re: To Richard Heathfield from spinoza1111”. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
  4. ^ Shannon, L.R. (August 6, 1991). “PERIPHERALS; MS-DOS: The Latest Literature Helps Out”The New York Times. New York, New York. Retrieved 2010-04-29.
  5. ^ Herb Schildt (August 1, 1989). “Building Your Own C Interpreter”Dr. Dobb’s Journal. Retrieved 2010-04-25.
  6. ^ Ian Ormesher (Sep 1993). “ACCU Reviews: The Craft of C”C VuACCU. Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2010-04-25.
  7. ^ The Art of Java, page 88, online at Google Books.
  8. ^ “Free Downloads: Samples and Code” McGraw-Hill Professional website. Retrieved April 26, 2010.
  9. ^ “Starcastle History – Prog rock”Starcastle official site. Retrieved 2010-04-25.
  10. ^
  11. ^ Burns, Ed (2008). Secrets of the Rock Star Programmers: Riding the IT CrestISBN 978-0071490832.
  12. ^
  13. ^ Seebach, Peter. “C: The Complete Nonsense (3rd Edition)”. Retrieved 2010-04-22.
  14. ^ Feather, Clive. “The Annotated Annotated C Standard”.
  15. ^ Summit, Steve (1996). C Programming FAQs. Addison-Wesley. pp. 169–170ISBN 0-201-84519-9Unfortunately, the book contains numerous errors and omissions, primarily in the annotations, and a few pages of the standard itself are missing. Many people on the Internet recommend ignoring the annotations entirely.
  16. ^ “Schildt” Reviews in C Vu, from the ACCU, last updated 13 May 2001. Retrieved 2010-04-22.
  17. ^ Francis Glassborow. “Book Review: C: The Complete Reference 4ed”ACCU. Retrieved 28 September 2013.

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