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C Language For Beginners

What is C Programming Language? Basics, Introduction and History


What is C programming? C is a general-purpose programming language that is extremely popular, simple and flexible. It is machine-independent, structured programming language which is used extensively in various applications. C was the basic language to write everything from operating systems (Windows and many others) to complex programs like the Oracle database, Git, Python interpreter and more. It is said that 'C' is a god's programming language. One can say, C is a base for the programming. If you know 'C,' you can easily grasp the knowledge of the other programming languages that uses the concept of 'C' It is essential to have a background in computer memory mechanisms because it is an important aspect when dealing with the C programming language.

History of C language

The base or father of programming languages is 'ALGOL.' It was first introduced in 1960. 'ALGOL' was used on a large basis in European countries. 'ALGOL' introduced the concept of structured programming to the developer community. In 1967, a new computer programming language was announced called as 'BCPL' which stands for Basic Combined Programming Language. BCPL was designed and developed by Martin Richards, especially for writing system software. This was the era of programming languages. Just after three years, in 1970 a new programming language called 'B' was introduced by Ken Thompson that contained multiple features of 'BCPL.' This programming language was created using UNIX operating system at AT&T and Bell Laboratories. Both the 'BCPL' and 'B' were system programming languages.

Why learn 'C'?

As we studied earlier, 'C' is a base language for many programming languages. So, learning 'C' as the main language will play an important role while studying other programming languages. It shares the same concepts such as data types, operators, control statements and many more. 'C' can be used widely in various applications. It is a simple language and provides faster execution. There are many jobs available for a 'C' developer in the current market. 'C' is a structured programming language in which program is divided into various modules. Each module can be written separately and together it forms a single 'C' program. This structure makes it easy for testing, maintaining and debugging processes.

How 'C' Works?


Compiled language. A compiler is a special tool that compiles the program and converts it into the object file which is machine readable. After the compilation process, the linker will combine different object files and creates a single executable file to run the program. The following diagram shows the execution of a 'C' program

Applications of C language

  • Operating Systems
  • Language Compilers
  • Assemblers
  • Text Editors
  • Print Spoolers
  • Network Drivers
  • Modern Programs
  • Data Bases
  • Language Interpreters
  • Utilities

Summary

  • 'C' was developed by Dennis Ritchie in 1972.
  • It is a robust language.
  • It is a low programming level language close to machine language
  • It is widely used in the software development field.
  • It is a procedure and structure oriented language.
  • It has the full support of various operating systems and hardware platforms.
  • Many compilers are available for executing programs written in 'C'.
  • A compiler compiles the source file and generates an object file.
  • A linker links all the object files together and creates one executable file.
  • It is highly portable.

C Syllabus