Brief History of C
- The C programming language is a structure oriented programming language, developed at Bell Laboratories in 1972 by Dennis Ritchie.
- C programming language features were derived from an earlier language called “B” (Basic Combined Programming Language – BCPL)
- C language was invented for implementing UNIX operating system.
- In 1978, Dennis Ritchie and Brian Kernighan published the first edition “The C Programming Language” and is commonly known as K&R C.
- In 1983, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) established a committee to provide a modern, comprehensive definition of C. The resulting definition, the ANSI standard, or “ANSI C”, was completed late 1988.
- Many of C’s ideas & principles were derived from the earlier language B, thereby naming this new language “C”.
WHY IS C POPULAR
- It is reliable, simple and easy to use.
- C is a small, block-structured programming language.
- C is a portable language, which means that C programs written on one system can be run on other systems with little or no modification.
- C has one of the largest assortments of operators, such as those used for calculations and data comparisons.
- Although the programmer has more freedom with data storage, the languages do not check data type accuracy for the programmer.
WHY TO STUDY C
- By the early 1980s, C was already a dominant language in the minicomputer world of Unix systems. Since then, it has spread to personal computers (microcomputers) and to mainframes.
- Many software houses use C as the preferred language for producing word processing programs, spreadsheets, compilers, and other products.
- C is an extremely flexible language—particularly if it is to be used to write operating systems.
- Unlike most other languages that have only four or five levels of precedence, C has 15.
CHARECTERESTICS OF A C PROGRAM
- Middle level language.
- Small size – has only 32 keywords
- Extensive use of function calls- enables the end user to add their own functions to the C library.
- Supports loose typing – a character can be treated as an integer & vice versa.
- Structured language
- Low level (Bit Wise) programming readily available
- Pointer implementation – extensive use of pointers for memory, array, structures and functions.
- It has high-level constructs.
- It can handle low-level activities.
- It produces efficient programs.
- It can be compiled on a variety of computers.
The C programming language is used for developing system applications that forms a major portion of operating systems such as Windows, UNIX and Linux.
Below are some examples of C being used:
- Database systems
- Graphics packages
- Word processors
- Operating system development
- Compilers and Assemblers
- Network drivers