The C programming language has exploded in popularity in the last few years. It seems to be the “fad” language of the day. But unlike other fads that have emerged, blossomed, and the withered, C seems destined to be in flower for a long time. It has a number of advantages. A major one is the ability to use it to write programs that execute quite efficiently. Many system programs are written in C, as are many programs that depend on screen graphics such as computer-aided design. Execution speed is extremely critical in these areas. Learn Programming Language
Another advantage is its portability, in large part the result of C programmers themselves enforcing and demanding consistency in various implementations of the language. Yet another advantage is that C continues to grow with the advent of new techniques and greater demands on languages. A recent trend toward object-oriented programming, for example, has led to an extension of C called C++
How did C get it’s name? Was ther a B? An A?
There was no A. The seed language was the Basic Combined Programming Language in 1972. In 1983, a group got together to set some official standards for C. They formed the X3J11 committee under the American National Standards institute (ANSI), and by 1988 they had completed the standards for the C language. Before this standard, the defacto standards were contained in Appendix A of a book by Brian Kernighan and Dennis Ritche called The C Programming Language. Their version is often referred to as K&R C.
Ansi C is based on K&R C, and so most current compilers will accommodate both versions. It is important to learn the ANSI version, however, because most C implementations (and virtually all new ones) adhere to the standads, and, at some point, the few things that K&R did differently will disappear from the language.
It would be impossible for the ANSI standards to cover everything; there is too much that is nonstandard about the various hardware and system software-configurations in existence. ANSI providers standard methods of displaying characters on the screen, for instance, but graphicscreen controls differ so widely on the screen, for instance, but graphic covered by the standard. The standard does, however, provide the solid core. Each compiler will add extensions to it to take advantage of the special capabilities of the hardware and system software for which it is destined.
Programming languages do evolve because there’s a continuous search for efficient transformation of human language into machine code. Languages produced usually start with ideas, which conceal hardware and employ representations that are more convenient to human programmers. Another crucial facet of language design is dealing with the program’s complexity. As programs become bigger and more refined, developers have come to realize that there are language types that are easier to support in huge systems. Because of this, event-driven and object-oriented languages became widely used.
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