C Basics

Introduction to C

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C is a general-purpose, procedural programming language. Dennis Ritchie first devised C in the 1970s at AT&T Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, New Jersey, for the purpose of implementing the UNIX operating system and utilities with the greatest possible degree of independence from specific hardware platforms. The key characteristics of the C language are the qualities that made it suitable for following purpose:

  • Source code portability
  • The ability to operate "close to the machine"
  • Efficiency

C's ancestors are the typeless programming languages BCPL (the Basic Combined Programming Language), developed by Martin Richards; and B, a descendant of BCPL, and developed by Ken Thompson.

A new feature of C was its variety of data types: characters, numeric types, arrays, structures, and so on.

C Compiler is relatively compact and easy to port to almost every system. As C was developed for system programming, one of its major uses today is in programming embedded systems.

 

 
 
 

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