What is language C?

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Anuj Dhawan
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What is language C?

Post by Anuj Dhawan » Fri May 17, 2013 9:59 am

Before I put something about what is Language C -- I'd like to direct a link, from wiki, which talks about a Great Computer Scientist. -- Does the name sound familiar!? :). Somehow I believe, he had not been given the due respect he deserved... this is my little effort in that direction - A Great Human Being He was!

C is a general-purpose programming language initially developed by, the Great Scientist, Dennis Ritchie. C has facilities for structured programming and allows lexical-variable-scope** and recursion, while a static type system prevents many unintended operations. C is one of the most widely used programming languages of all time and there are very few computer architectures for which a C compiler does not exist. Many later languages have borrowed directly or indirectly from C, including C#, D, Go, Java, JavaScript, Limbo, LPC, Perl, PHP, Python, and Unix's C shell.

Before there was an official standard for C, many users and implementors relied on an informal specification contained in a book by Dennis Ritchie and Brian Kernighan; that version is generally referred to as "K&R" C. In 1989 the American National Standards Institute published a standard for C (generally called "ANSI C" or "C89"). The next year, the same specification was approved by the International Organization for Standardization as an international standard (generally called "C90"). ISO later released an extension to the internationalization support of the standard in 1995, and a revised standard (known as "C99") in 1999. The current version of the standard (now known as "C11") was approved in December 2011.

The milestones in C's development as a language are listed below:
  • UNIX developed c. 1969 -- DEC PDP-7 Assembly Language
  • BCPL -- a user friendly OS providing powerful development tools developed from BCPL. Assembler tedious long and error prone.
  • A new language ``B'' a second attempt. c. 1970.
  • A totally new language ``C'' a successor to ``B''. c. 1971
  • By 1973 UNIX OS almost totally written in ``C''.
Now you know why it is called "C"!? And why not any other letter! :)


** - This is a property of the program text and is made independent of the runtime call stack by the language implementation. Because this matching only requires analysis of the static program text, this type of scoping is also called static scoping.

Courtesy: Wiki and many other sites.


Thanks,
Anuj

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