What is C language

C is a general-purpose, structured and procedural programming language. It is widely used in those applications which were previously developed in assembly language, and such applications are operating systems, various applications software.

C was developed by Dennis Ritchie at Bell Labs to make utilities that run on UNIX operating system. In 1980, it gained popularity and became the most widely used programming language. It is an imperative procedural language that compiles using a compiler to convert the high-level language into a low-level language. The standards of C program have been written in such a way that the compiled programs can run on various platforms and operating systems.

C is the base for the other programming languages which means that if we have the knowledge of C programming language then we can easily learn other programming languages also.

History of C language

The ‘ALGOL’ was the first programming language developed in 1960. It was mainly used in the European countries. In ALGOL, structured programming concept was introduced. In 1967, a new computer language was developed known as BCPL (Basic Combined Programming Language) by Martin Richards. The ‘BCPL’ language was mainly used for developing system software. In 1970, a new programming language was developed known as ‘B’ by Ken Thompson which has all the features of ‘BCPL’ and some additional features. The ‘B’ language was created using UNIX operating system at the Bell laboratories.

After ‘B’ language, a language was developed in 1972 by Dennis Ritchie. Initially, ‘C’ was used in UNIX operating system, and then it became a very powerful language. Many C compilers were designed and developed to obtain portability. Now, C can run on various operating systems. We can say that the ‘C’ language is a base for the other programming languages as C++ or java have been developed using C language.

Why C language?

The following are the reasons ‘why do we use a C language’”:

  • Base for other programming languages

C language is a structured programming language, and it forms the base for the other programming languages. The concepts such as data types, loops, conditional statements are all used in other programming languages also. It is easy to understand and has a faster execution.

  • Structured programming language

As it is a structured programming language, so C program consists of various modules and each module is written separately. After developing all the modules, they are combined together to form a single C program. Due to this structure, C program is easy to test, debug, and execute.

  • Extensibility

A ‘C’ program contains various in-built functions that are pre-defined in a library. We can extend them by adding our features and functionalities.

  • Highly portable

This language is highly portable as various C compilers have been developed for the cross-platform systems. Due to the availability of various C compilers, the C program on various platforms and hardware.

Working of C language

When we write the C program then it is known as the source code. The compiler will take this source code and converts it into an object code or machine instructions which is machine readable. When the compilation process is completed, then the linker takes all the object files and converts into a single executable file.

Applications of C language

The following are the applications of C language:

  • Operating systems

C programming language is the best choice for developing operating systems. The first operating system, i.e., UNIX was developed using C programming language.

  • Drivers

C language can be considered as an optimal choice for developing drivers as we know that C is a system programming language which means that the C language is closely related to the hardware.

  • GUI

C language is also used in creating GUI (Graphical User Interface). The Adobe photoshop is a commonly used and a very popular photo editor tool; this tool is also developed with the help of C language.

  • New Programming languages

The development of C programming language leads to the development of other new programming languages. After C language, C++ was developed from C language that contains the features of C language and additional features of object-oriented programming language. Not only C++, various different programming languages were developed from C like MATLAB.

  • Google

Google has also used the C language in various projects like google file system and google chromium browser had been developed with the help of C language.

  • MySQL

As we know that MySQL is an open-source, and used for database management systems is also written in C language.

  • Compiler Design

Compiler design is one of the most popular use of the C language. Many compilers are developed using C language. The compilers developed using C language are Bloodshed Dev- C, MINGW, and Apple C.

  • Gaming and Animation

The use of the C language was also found in the gaming sector. Many popular games like Tic-Tac-Toe, Dino game were coded in a C language.