Overview of C
Certiology’s free C programming language tutorial. C is one of the most widely used high level computer language having low level features as well. Most of the programmers prefer C as their first computer language to learn because of its flexibility and ease-of use.
C is one of the most widely used high level computer language having low level features as well. Most of the programmers prefer C as their first computer language to learn because of its flexibility and ease-of use. C is not only used by the beginners but by the experienced professionals as well because almost any kind of desktop and network applications can be developed by using C language. C has given birth to some other popular computer languages as well. Some of these languages are C++, Java and C#. The statements being used in C language are almost same as being used in most of the other computer languages.
History of C Language
C was originally developed by Dennis Ritchie in Bell Labs in 1972 in order to develop an operating system called UNIX. The languages available at that time were not enough to develop the said operating system. Initially a language called B was developed for this purpose but B was unable to provide facilities required for the development of the desired operating system. In order to get the desired results, B was modified and the modified version was called C. Once C was developed, the required operating system (i.e. Unix) became possible to be developed.
The first version of C language which was publically available was released by Brian Kernighan and Dennis Ritchie (usually called K&R C) in 1978. Later it was formalized by American National Standard Institute (ANSI) in 1988. After its official release it became standard for most of the software developed at that time and still being widely used today.
Uses of C Language
It is usually the first choice for system programming where the software needs to access the hardware resources. Most of the operating systems, system drivers, compilers, editors, DBMS system are developed in C language. Although C can be used for any kind of desktop application but is widely used as replacement of Assembly language. Assembly is a low-level computer language having very less features as compared to C language. Assembly language is also difficult to use as compared to C language therefore programmers prefer to use C language for the applications which were earlier developed in Assembly language.
C is also widely used for the applications of data structures as most of the data structures require pointers and C is very powerful in this context. Pointers can be considered one of the strong aspect of C language which makes the language very dynamic and flexible.
C can be used at different platforms. For example it can be used in Windows, Unix and very different platforms. The code written in C for one platform can be used in another platform with less or sometimes no modifications. It is considered one of the fastest language which needs very less resources to run and execute.