Introduction to C
In this topic, we are going to learn about the Introduction to C. C language is one of the most popular high-level programming languages which was initially developed by the developer named Dennis Ritchie for the Unix OS primarily. The first time it was used on a Digital Equipment Corporation computer called PDP-11 in 1972. It is a procedural programming language whose main purpose was to be used as a system’s programming language to write an operating system. Many popular operating systems such as Unix operating system and all the Unix related applications are written in C language. It is among the most popular languages between developers as it’s easy to learn and code, produces efficient programs, is a structured language, able to handle low-level activities, can be compiled on a variety of computers.
Main Components of C
As we learned about Introduction to C in the above section here, Let us study the main components:
- This programming language was created so that Unix could be written using it.
- This language has B language as its immediate parent language which was developed in the 1970s.
- The ANSI(American National Standard Institute) formalized this language as an official programming language in 1988.
- When it comes about System friendly programming language, there is no better choice than C.
- The state of the art software is built using C language.
- The main reason for making use of C language as the system-specific programming language is because of its high speed and efficiency which is as close as the assembly language.
- The c programs have an extension of .c
Characteristics of C
Here are the main characteristics of the C language include
- Low-level memory access: The lightweight programming language requires a low level of memory access and hence is a good fit for system programming.
- Simplified keyword set: Rich and easy to understand and use a set of simplified keywords that meet one of the most important characteristics of this language
- The clean style: This language focuses on keeping the code neat and tidy and hence the code flow is clean.
- Pointer mechanism: The efficient use of a pointer and addressing mechanism in C language makes it a unique and a different characteristic from all other programming languages.
- An efficient language for compiler designing: The reasons such as the lightweight, rich and varied set of commands and features, ability to be able to work extremely well with hardware, low memory utilization makes it an ideal language for the development of compiler designing.
- It is a very robust language with a rich set of built-in operators and functions.
- The programs which are coded in C are fast and more efficient
- It is a highly portable language. It means that once the programs which are written in C can easily run on various other machines with next to no modification.
- It has a very huge collection of the library or built-in functions. It also provides us the capabilities to custom or create our own function and include it in the collection of C library.
- It is a highly extensible language.
Applications of C
The characteristics of this language there are many uses too:
- Operating systems: This language is used to develop operating systems because of its high flexibility and versatility.
- Microcontrollers: This language is used in system programming due to its efficiency and speed and hence at times replaces the need to use assembly language. The compiler of C directly converts into machine language. It also makes a good choice as it allows maximum control with a minimal set of commands.
- Scientific systems: This language is used in building and creating many scientific systems.
- Parent language for advanced languages: All the high-level programming languages are a result of C language, therefore knowing this language opens many doors for various other programming languages.
- Assemblers: All the assemblers which are put to use to execute machine-level hardware-specific systems are created in C language.
- Text Editors: One of the important feature or a characteristic of the text editor is that it’s lightweight and no language better than C can create the text editors.
- Print spoolers: The software program which is responsible to send the jobs to the printer once the command is fired is created with the help of C programming language.
- Network Drivers: The network drivers responsible for accessing the internet and running the WIFI and other kinds of drivers are all written in C language
- Modern Programs: Various modern programs whose prime requirement is to consume less memory and be closer to hardware communication are written in the C programming language.
- Databases: There are many databases which are required to store huge amount of data in them and thus are written in C language.
- Language interpreters: The various language interpreters are the ones who are responsible to change the language type from a high level to a machine level language.
- Utilities: Various command and program system specific utilities are also written in C language.
Advantages and Disadvantages
We are going to explore the advantages and disadvantages:
Below are the advantages:
- C language forms as the building block for many major programming languages and have huge and powerful operators and data types and therefore makes it a fast and an efficient programming language.
- It is a highly portable language which means it is interoperable.
- The 32 keywords which are present as a part of built-in functions are present in ANSI-C. Alongside, user-built functions are also used widely.
- This language can be extended by making use of many other library functions.
- The modular structure of the programming language makes debugging, testing and programming of this language much easier.
Below are the disadvantages:
- C language is devoid with the terminology and the concept of OOPS which is a very popular and an important concept these days among all high-level programming language.
- No Strict type checking possible.
- No checks for runtime
- It doesn’t give us the provision of having a namespace.
- It also doesn’t have the concept of the constructor as well as a destructor.
This has been a guide on the introduction to c. Here we have discussed characteristics, components, application, advantages, and disadvantages of c. You may also look at the following article to learn more –