Introduction to C programming language

       C is a general-purpose, high-level programming language that was originally developed by Dennis M. Ritchie to develop the UNIX operating system at Bell Labs. 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 application programs have been written in C. 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 language :

  • C was invented to write an operating system called UNIX.

  • C is a successor of B language which was introduced around the early 1970s.

  • The language was formalized in 1988 by the American National Standard Institute (ANSI).

  • The UNIX OS was totally written in C.

  • Today C is the most widely used and popular System Programming Language.

  • Most of the state-of-the-art software have been implemented using C.

  • Today's most popular Linux OS and RDBMS MySQL have been written in C.


Why to use C language?

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

  • Assemblers

  • Text Editors

  • Print Spoolers

  • Network Drivers

  • Modern Programs

  • Databases

  • Language Interpreters

  • Utilities


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. Before you start doing programming using C programming language, you need the following two softwares available on your computer -

(a) Text Editor : It is used to edit .c file. Some text editors are Notepad++, Vim, Leafpad, Brief etc.

(b) The C Compiler :
The source code written in source file is the human readable source for your program. It needs to be "compiled", to turn into machine language so that your CPU can actually execute the program as per instructions given.


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