This chapter describes the basic details about C programming language, how it emerged,
what are strengths of C and why we should use C.
The C programming language is a general-purpose, high-level language that was originally developed by Dennis M. Ritchie to develop the UNIX operating system at BellLabs. C was originally first implemented on the DEC PDP-11 computer in 1972.
In 1978, Brian Kernighan and Dennis Ritchie produced the first publicly available description of C, now known as the K&R standard. The UNIX operating system, the C compiler, and essentially all UNIX applications programs have been written in C. The C has now become a widely used professional language for various reasons.
- Easy to learn
- Structured language
- It produces efficient programs.
- It can handle low-level activities.
- It can be compiled on a variety of computer platforms.
Facts about C
- C was invented to write an operating system called UNIX.
- C is a successor of B language, which was introduced around 1970.
- The language was formalized in 1988 by the American National Standard Institute(ANSI).
- The UNIX OS was totally written in C by 1973.
- Today, C is the most widely used and popular System Programming Language.
- Most of the state-of-the-art softwares have been implemented using C.
- Today’s most ][popular Linux OS and RBDMS MySQL have been written in C.
Why to use C?
C was initially used for system development work, in particular the programs that make up the operating system. C was adopted as a system development language because it produces code that runs nearly as fast as code written in assembly language. Some examples of the use of C might be:
- Operating Systems
- Language Compilers
- Text Editors
- Print Spoolers
- Network Drivers
- Modern Programs
- Language Interpreters
A C program can vary from 3 lines to millions of lines and it should be written into one or more text files with extension “.c”; for example, hello.c. You can use “vi”, “vim” or any other text editor to write your C program into a file.
This tutorial assumes that you know how to edit a text file and how to write source code using any programming language.