C Language Introduction

C Language Introduction
  • C is a general-purpose programming language. It is not tied to any one operating system or machine and although it has been called a “system programming language” because it is useful for writing compilers and operating systems, it has been used equally well to write major programs in many different domain.


  • Many of the important ideas of C stem from the language BCPL, developed by Martin Richards. The influence of BCPL on C proceeded indirectly through the language B. which was written by Ken Thompson in 1970 for the first UNIX system on the DEC PDP-7,


  • BCPL and B are “tapeless” languages. By contrast, C provides a variety of data types. The fundamental types are characters, and integers and floating point numbers of several sizes.


  • C provides the fundamental control flow constructions required for well-structured programs: statement grouping, decision-making (if-else), selecting one of a set of possible cases (switch), looping with the termination test at the top (while, for) or at the bottom (do), and early loop exit (break) Functions may return values of basic types, structures, unions, or pointers.


  • C is a relatively low level” language.


  • C was evolved from ALGOL, BCPL and B by Dennis Ritchie at the Bell Laboratories in 1972. C uses many concepts from these languages and added the concept of data types and other powerful features. Since it was developed along with the UNIX operating system, it is strongly associated with UNIX. This operating system, which was also developed at Bell Laboratories, was coded almost entirely in C. UNIX is one of the most popular network operating systems in use today and the heart of the Internet data superhighway .
C Language Introduction

C Language-c programming-c programming language

  • The increasing popularity of C is probably due to its many desirable qualities. It is a robust language whose rich set of built-in functions and operators can be used to write any complex program.


  • C compilers available in the market are written in C. Programs written in C are efficient and fast. This is due to its variety of data types and powerful operators. It is many times faster than BASIC. For example, a program to increment a variable from 0 to 15000 takes about one second in C while it takes more than 50 seconds in an interpreter BASIC.


  • There are only 32 keywords in ANSI C and its strength lies in its built-in functions. Several standard functions are available which can be used for developing programs.


  • C is highly portable. This means that C programs written for one computer can be run on another with little or no modification. Portability is important if we plan to use a new computer with a different operating system.


  • C language is well suited for structured programming. 


  • C program is basically a collection of functions that are supported by the C library. We can continuously add our own functions to the C library.
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