C Introduction

C is a mid-level structured oriented programming language, used in general-purpose programming, developed by Dennis Ritchie at AT&T Bell Labs, the USA, between 1969 and 1973.

Some Facts About C Programming Language

  • In 1988, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) had formalized the C language.
  • C was invented to write UNIX operating system.
  • C is a successor of ‘Basic Combined Programming Language’ (BCPL) called B language.
  • Linux OS, PHP, and MySQL are written in C.
  • C has been written in assembly language.

Uses of C Programming Language

In the beginning, C was used for developing system applications, e.g. :

  • Database Systems
  • Language Interpreters
  • Compilers and Assemblers
  • Operating Systems
  • Network Drivers
  • Word Processors

C Has Become Very Popular for Various Reasons

  • One of the early programming languages.
  • Still, the best programming language to learn quickly.
  • C language is reliable, simple, and easy to use.
  • C language is a structured language.
  • Modern programming concepts are based on C.
  • It can be compiled on a variety of computer platforms.
  • Universities preferred to add C programming in their courseware.

Features of C Programming Language

  • C is a robust language with a rich set of built-in functions and operators.
  • Programs written in C are efficient and fast.
  • C is highly portable; programs once written in C can be run on other machines with minor or no modification.
  • C is a collection of C library functions; we can also create our function and add it to the C library.
  • C is easily extensible.

Advantages of C

  • C is the building block for many other programming languages.
  • Programs written in C are highly portable.
  • Several standard functions are there (like in-built) that can be used to develop programs.
  • C programs are collections of C library functions, and it’s also easy to add functions to the C library.
  • The modular structure makes code debugging, maintenance, and testing easier.

Disadvantages of C

  • C does not provide Object Oriented Programming (OOP) concepts.
  • There are no concepts of Namespace in C.
  • C does not provide binding or wrapping up of data in a single unit.
  • C does not provide Constructor and Destructor.

The limitations of C programming languages are as follows:

  • Difficult to debug.
  • C allows a lot of freedom in writing code, and that is why you can put an empty line or white space anywhere in the program. And because there is no fixed place to start or end the line, so it isn’t easy to read and understand the program.
  • C compilers can only identify errors and are incapable of handling exceptions (run-time errors).
  • C provides no data protection.
  • It also doesn’t feature the reusability of source code extensively.
  • It does not provide strict data type checking (for example, an integer value can be passed for floating datatype).

History Of c programming

It is good to learn about the history of C programming. C was developed and written by Dennis M. Ritchie in the year 1972, and hence he is known as the founder of C.

C programming language was developed to overcome the difficulties found in older programming languages such as BCPL, BASIC, B, etc.

History of Programming Languages and C

Here are the lists of programming languages that were developed with or before C:

Programming LanguageDevelopment Year
Regional Assembly Language1951
IPL (forerunner to LISP)1954
FLOW-MATIC (led by COBOL)1955
FORTRAN (First compiler)1957
COMTRAN (precursor to COBOL)1957
ALGOL 581958
FACT (forerunner to COBOL)1959
CPL (forerunner to C)1963
Speakeasy (computational environment)1964
BCPL (forerunner to C)1967

C is an imperative language designed to compile relatively straightforwardly, which provides low-level memory access. With the gradual increase in the program’s popularity, the language and its compiler have become available on a wide range of platforms, from embedded microcontrollers to supercomputers.

With the introduction of the K&R C language (a new edition of C published in 1978 by Brian Kernighan and Denis Ritchie), several features have been included in the C language.

Some of these features are:

  • Standard I/O (Input/Output) Library
  • long int – data type
  • unsigned int – data type
  • Compound assignment operators

During the late 1980s, C was started to use for various mainframe computers, micro, and minicomputers, which began to get famous. Gradually C got its superset – i.e., C++, which has added features, but it’s developed from C with all its initial concepts.

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