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Brief History Of The C Programming Language

Updated on June 17, 2012
Dennis Ritchie. Source : gualtar.eb23.org
Dennis Ritchie. Source : gualtar.eb23.org

Before we start any complex program in C, we must understand what really C is, how it came into existence and how it differs from other languages of that time. In this tutorial I will try to talk about these issues and then move towards view structure of a typical C program.

C is a programming language which born at “AT & T’s Bell Laboratories” of USA in 1972. It was written by Dennis Ritchie. This language was created for a specific purpose: to design the UNIX operating system (which is used on many computers). From the beginning, C was intended to be useful--to allow busy programmers to get things done.

Because C is such a powerful, dominant and supple language, its use quickly spread beyond Bell Labs. In the late 70’s C began to replace widespread well-known languages of that time like PL/I, ALGOL etc. Programmers everywhere began using it to write all sorts of programs. Soon, however, different organizations began applying their own versions of C with a subtle difference. This posed a serious problem for system developers. To solve this problem, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) formed a committee in 1983 to establish a standard definition of C. This committee approved a version of C in 1989 which is known as ANSI C. With few exceptions, every modern C compiler has the ability to adhere to this standard. ANSI C was then approved by the International Standards Organization (ISO) in 1990.

Now, what about the name? Why it was named C, why not something else. The C language is so named because its predecessor was called B. The B language was developed by Ken Thompson of Bell Labs.

Why Use C?

In today's world of computer programming, there are many high-level languages to choose from, such as Pascal, BASIC, and Java. But C stands apart from all these languages. This is due to its many desirable qualities. It is a robust language whose rich set of built-in functions and operators can be used to write any complex logic program. The C language compiler combines the capabilities of a low level language with the features of a high level language. Therefore the language is suitable for writing both system software as well as business packages & other software. You will find many compilers available in the market written in C.

Advantages of C

• Program written in c are very efficient and fast. This is due to its variety of data types and powerful operators. It is many time faster than BASIC. This helps developers in saving their valuable time.

• C is a powerful and flexible language which helps system developers to deliver various complex tasks with ease. C is used for diverse projects as operating systems, word processors, graphics, spreadsheets, and even compilers for other languages.

• C is popular among professional programmers for programming, as a result, a wide variety of C compilers and helpful accessories are available.

• C is highly portable language. This means that a C program written for one computer system (an IBM PC, for example) can be run on another system (a DEC VAX system, perhaps) with little or no modification. Portability is enhanced by the ANSI standard for C, the set of rules for C compilers.

• C’s another striking feature is its ability to extend itself. A C program is basically a collection of various function supported by C library (also known as header files). We can also add our own functions to the C library. These functions can be reused in other applications or programs by passing pieces of information to the functions, you can create useful, reusable code.

• Writing C program with user-defined functions(UDF) makes program more simple and easy to understand. Breaking a problem in terms of functions makes program debugging, maintenance and testing easier.

As these features shows that C is an excellent choice for your first programming language. But what is C++? You might have heard this term C++ and the programming technique called Object-Oriented Programming (OOP). Possibly you're wondering what the differences are between C and C++ and whether you should learn C or C++.

C++ is a superset of C, means that C++ is the new improved version of C for the latest programming needs. It contains everything C does, plus new additions for OOP concept. If you will learn C++ later, you will find that almost everything which you learnt in C is applicable in C++ too. In learning C, you are not only learning one of today's most powerful and popular programming languages, but you are also preparing yourself for other similar programming languages.

Another language that has gotten lots of attention is Java for its OOP and portability. Java, just like C++, is based on C. If later you decide to learn Java, you will find that almost everything you learned about C applies here.

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    • profile image

      aarti rajput 19 months ago

      its a very usefulll history of c language......... in about c language everything is including there which are the basics of c language

    • profile image

      binal 23 months ago

      thank you so much☺

    • profile image

      2 years ago

      thanks for your kind information

    • profile image

      harshasri 2 years ago

      thank u for giving such a wonderfull information. by this i clarified my doubts. i learn new things.

    • profile image

      manoj 3 years ago

      seriouly very useful & important languages.

    • profile image

      dimpy 3 years ago

      its very helpful thank u..........

    • profile image

      jyoti 3 years ago

      vry useful nd intresting........

    • profile image

      maritoni93# 3 years ago

      thank you for these knowledgeable article because it helps me a lot specially that im a freshmen student entering the course BS IT

    • profile image

      david krishna 4 years ago

      a wonder full info and thanx a lot

    • profile image

      thulluri naresh 4 years ago

      a wonderful information given by u thanks boss

    • profile image

      rehana shaikh 4 years ago

      full bakwass information is provided

    • profile image

      anusha 4 years ago

      thank you sir .This information is very nice

    • profile image

      pinky 4 years ago

      thankyou so much

    • profile image

      disha 4 years ago

      nice

    • profile image

      venkatakrishna 4 years ago

      a wonderful information given by u thank u so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • profile image

      IMRAN KHAN ITM(CS) 4 years ago

      VERY NICE HISTORY OF[C]

    • profile image

      kumar 4 years ago

      really good but i know it properly......good synchronization.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BE CONTINUE ......................OK TAKE CARE.

    • profile image

      Uttam Pandey 4 years ago

      very very thank to u ................ u site help me at important time .......... thanks by heart ................

    • profile image

      anup 4 years ago

      thanx 4 Great "C" LANGS.

    • profile image

      atish lohar 4 years ago

      nice...............

      thankxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.

    • profile image

      thhhannnnkssssssssss 4 years ago

      thanks for this information

    • profile image

      Sirisha 4 years ago

      Very good presentation for the new users thanks a lot

    • profile image

      princy bandil 4 years ago

      thankssssssssss

      this is lot of onformation........

    • profile image

      anurag 5 years ago

      nice piece of info..............

    • rajkishor09 profile image
      Author

      RAJKISHOR SAHU 5 years ago from Bangalore, Karnataka, INDIA

      you are most welcome to read my other articles on C language. Hope you will learn lots of thing in easier way.

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      ASHWINI 5 years ago

      THANKS FOR THIS IMPORTANT INFORMATION....

    • profile image

      diksha 5 years ago

      thanks

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      Naveed ghouri 5 years ago

      Thanks sir dennis ritchie.I belive it the blessing of God for us.

    • profile image

      rea 5 years ago

      thanks

    • profile image

      Ruhi 5 years ago

      Thanxxxxxxxxxxx i learn a lot of information

    • profile image

      ruhi 5 years ago

      thanks a lot

    • rajkishor09 profile image
      Author

      RAJKISHOR SAHU 5 years ago from Bangalore, Karnataka, INDIA

      Thank you frnd, keep visiting for more info on programming languages....

    • profile image

      Avinash upadhyay 5 years ago

      Thanx i learn so much from this

    • profile image

      Suresh Balakrishnan 5 years ago

      Yes, It's really helpful information about "C" but i want to know who is the owner of "C"? i mean which organization has developed "C"?

    • profile image

      pavani 5 years ago

      i wanna want to know about the A & B languages and the abrvation of c mainly thank uuuuuu

    • profile image

      siva 5 years ago

      its more helpful for me

    • profile image

      niteen 5 years ago

      Thank you

    • profile image

      Pranitha Reddy 5 years ago

      thanq for history of c...........

    • profile image

      sonam stanzin 5 years ago

      very clear brief history .. very easy to understand thanks for the luvly linesssss.....

    • profile image

      shalini 5 years ago

      I am really happy because this is very helpful to me to know about the 'c' language.

    • profile image

      sanjay 5 years ago

      i'm a BCA student i don't know nothing.... its very tuff to study... and also very boring.....

    • profile image

      gautam anil 5 years ago

      its gave me the knowledge that i don't know that is quite better for me but i need a more than this how is it possible

    • profile image

      vinay 5 years ago

      what is the abrivation of main in c

    • profile image

      rita 5 years ago

      thnk u so mch

    • profile image

      selva 5 years ago

      this info know only c history

      you fully provide for detailed in A&B language

    • profile image

      Krishna57 5 years ago

      Thnks 4 supporting us

    • profile image

      M ADIL NASIR 5 years ago

      A lot of thanx for the usfl info....God bless u.

    • profile image

      teja 5 years ago

      thank u

      it was helpful......

    • profile image

      SMRUTI 5 years ago

      wao ... helped me in viva a lot thanksssssssssss

    • profile image

      afrozyahya 5 years ago

      thank you for giving information about c-language its very helpful to many students like me... :)

    • profile image

      sreepadh 5 years ago

      good level of teaching

    • profile image

      pooja 5 years ago

      thanx.................................................

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      mannai thenmozhi 5 years ago

      hints are very useful.

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      baristo 5 years ago

      thanx

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      Noman iftikhar 5 years ago

      i feel very good after feading this.thanks

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      satyam 5 years ago

      thanx

    • profile image

      Marlon 5 years ago

      Thanks i realy appreciate...

    • profile image

      Aastha 5 years ago

      Thanx 4 this history its really very useful n there r more to learn.........

      Its very nice

    • profile image

      EMMANUEL 5 years ago

      Tanx so much for making it possible for me to become a programmer today with the aid of informations.

    • profile image

      la name 5 years ago

      thnx for the info...it helps me to answer my assignment....

    • profile image

      nandini mvgr 5 years ago

      i really proud of you sir,i like c programming language,my branch is cse,thanks a lot sir

    • profile image

      bindu 5 years ago

      really good

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      namratha 5 years ago

      really good

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      tayyeba bhatti 5 years ago

      thax a lot...........

      i m very appreciated u.....

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      hariharan 5 years ago

      thank you

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      alonna_18 5 years ago

      thanxs its very helpful :)

    • profile image

      Jaga 5 years ago

      Its interesting to study about history of c language . Thanx a lot for ur info. . .

    • profile image

      tom 5 years ago

      tnxxxxxxx sa information

    • profile image

      umer farooq 5 years ago

      i like c parogaraming languag

    • profile image

      ammar 5 years ago

      many ,many thanxxxxxxxxxxxx a lot for C.............

    • profile image

      celyn_sati 5 years ago

      thank you for giving information about c-language its very helpful to many students like me... :)

    • profile image

      Deepak Kumar Harvansh 5 years ago

      Gada Gada Badhai HO Sir.......................

    • profile image

      Taswar Qaisrani 5 years ago

      thank u so much for giving good history about C language.

    • profile image

      Samia Rox 5 years ago

      Thanko Soo Much For The Great Info :)

    • profile image

      Ann Mary Thomas 5 years ago

      very helpful .thanks

    • profile image

      dua jan khanam 5 years ago

      thenkw 4 info

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      harvey 5 years ago

      major...major thanks to the author......yepehhh

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      nikhil 5 years ago

      thanks to give usefull information.

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      muralimanohar 5 years ago

      thankyou for giving information

    • profile image

      sahiti 5 years ago

      very very very usefullllllllllllll!!!!!!!!

    • profile image

      shiva 5 years ago

      very very use ful for c.programmmmmmm

    • profile image

      jitendra sharma 5 years ago

      very useful and very helpful language thank you so much

    • profile image

      sujee 5 years ago

      thank u for giving me best information

    • profile image

      Er_Vijay Singla 5 years ago

      Is Exception handling possible in C++ Language By Using Try Catch Block Which is used in Java and other Language. Please reply me on my email vijaysingla43@gmail.com

    • profile image

      bhanu 5 years ago

      thank u giving Gd information

    • profile image

      sai krishna 5 years ago

      i feel so much happy in this lab.

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      jagan 5 years ago

      youth rokazzz

    • profile image

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    • profile image

      honey 5 years ago

      I have one doubt. who got thought first for creation of 'c' language and also this much difficulty. what is the reason behind this language creation?????????????

    • profile image

      Amol Wagh 5 years ago

      i feel very good after feading this.thanks

    • profile image

      sahil 5 years ago

      thankoo

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    • profile image

      faisal 6 years ago

      thx a lot for givng a detail infrmtn which i have could not gained in detail without help of these

    • profile image

      tejinder kaur 6 years ago

      thanx for valueable info about c......

    • rajkishor09 profile image
      Author

      RAJKISHOR SAHU 6 years ago from Bangalore, Karnataka, INDIA

      thanks @Snigdha for your help...

    • profile image

      snigdha 6 years ago

      AT & T means American Telephone and Telegraph company

    • profile image

      swaroop 6 years ago

      thankzzzz

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      vs 6 years ago

      it is looking good yaar...

    • profile image

      john 6 years ago

      nice information about C language...thank you to your help.................

    • profile image

      rose 6 years ago

      it helps a lot...thanks for the information