What is C Programming Language? Basics, Introduction, History

The Brave Warriors of C Program | Part 2

What is C Programming Language? Basics, Introduction, History

What is C Programming Langauge?

C is a general-purpose programming language that is extremely popular, easy, and flexible to use. It is a structured programming language that is machine-independent and extensively used to write various applications, Operating Systems like Windows, and many other complex programs like Oracle database, Git, Python interpreter, Games, and more.
It is said that ‘C’ is a god’s programming language. One can say, C is a base for the programming. If you learn ‘C,’ you can easily understand the knowledge of the other programming languages that use the idea of ‘C’.

It is necessary to have a background in computer memory mechanisms because it is the main aspect when dealing with the C programming language.

IEEE-the best 10 top programming language in 2021
IEEE-the best 10 top programming languages in 2021

History of C language

The Father of programming languages is ‘ALGOL.’ It was first introduced in 1960. ‘ALGOL’ was used on a large basis in European countries. 'ALGOL' presented the idea of organized programming to the developer communityIn 1967, a new computer programming language was announced called ‘BCPL’ which stands for Basic Combined Programming Language. BCPL was designed and developed by Martin Richardsparticularly for writing system software. This was the period of programming languages. After three years, in 1970 a new programming language called ‘B’ was introduced by Ken Thompson that contained multiple features of ‘BCPL.’ This programming language was created using UNIX operating system at AT&T and Bell Laboratories. Both the ‘BCPL’ and ‘B’ were system programming languages.

Dennis Ritchie

In 1972, a great computer scientist Dennis Ritchie created a new programming language called ‘C’ at the Bell Laboratories. It was created from ‘ALGOL’, ‘BCPL’, and ‘B’ programming languages. ‘C’ programming language contains all the features of these languages and many more additional concepts that make it unique from other languages.

C’ is a powerful programming language that is strongly associated with the UNIX operating system. Even most of the UNIX operating system is coded in ‘C’. Initially ‘C’ programming was limited to the UNIX operating system, but as it started spreading around the world, it became commercial, and many compilers were released for cross-platform systems. Now ‘C’ runs under a variety of operating systems and hardware platforms. As it started to develop many different versions of the language were released. At times it became hard for the developers to keep up with the latest version as the systems were running under the older versions. To assure that the ‘C’ language will remain standard, American National Standards Institute (ANSI) defined a commercial standard for the ‘C’ language in 1989. Later, it was approved by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in 1990. ‘C’ programming language is also called ‘ANSI C’.

History of C
History of the C Program

Languages such as C++/Java are developed from ‘C’. These languages are widely used in several technologies. Thus, ‘C’ forms a basis for many other languages that are currently in use.

C Basic Commands

Following are the basic commands in the C programming language:

C Basic commands


#include <stdio.h>

This command includes standard input output header file(stdio.h) from the C library before compiling a C program

int main()

It is the main function from where C program execution begins.


Indicates the beginning of the main function.


Whatever is written inside this command “/* */” inside a C program, it will not be considered for compilation and execution.

printf(“Hello_World! “);

This command prints the output on the screen.


This command is used for any character input from the keyboard.

return 0;

This command is used to terminate a C program (main function) and it returns 0.


It is used to indicate the end of the main function.


These are called single-line comments, and they are utilized not only in the C programming language but in others as well.


The output of the code execution is returned using this function.


This is the function for using a horizontal tab or an empty tab. This belongs to the group of escape sequences and is used to format the program.


This is the integer type character's format specifier. It's used to make the output seem nice.


The user data is taken from the usual console terminal window using this C function.

Reason Behind Popularity of C

For various types of tasks, there are many programming languages that allow developers to be more productive than with C. Higher-level languages have significantly larger built-in libraries that make working with JSON, XML, UI, web pages, client requests, database connections, media bias, and other things much easier.

Regardless, there are many grounds to anticipate that C programming will continue to be popular for a long time.

Portability and Efficiency

C is an assembly language that may be used anywhere. It's as near to the machine as possible while being virtually compatible with existing processor designs. And practically every technology, there is at least one C compiler. Nowadays, because new compilers generate highly optimized binaries, improving their output using hand-written assembly is difficult.

Memory Manipulation

C's ability to access arbitrary memory addresses and perform pointer arithmetic is a key feature that makes it ideal for system programming (operating systems and embedded systems).

Computer systems and microcontrollers map their peripherals and I/O pins into memory locations at the hardware/software boundary. To communicate with the outside world, system applications must read and write to those particular memory regions. As a result, the ability of C to manipulate independent memory addresses is critical for system programming.

Resources Are Used in a Definite Way

Garbage collection, or even dynamic allocation for certain embedded systems, is a common language feature that system programming cannot rely on. Embedded apps have a certain amount of time and memory. They're frequently used in real-time systems in which a non-deterministic garbage collector call isn't an option. If a dynamic allocation is not possible due to a paucity of memory, it is critical to have additional memory management mechanisms in place, such as the ability to place data in custom addresses using C pointers. Languages that rely significantly on dynamic allocation and trash collection would be unsuitable for resource-constrained environments.

Where is C used? Key Applications

C is one of the oldest and most fundamental programming languages, and it is extensively used all over the world. C is a fast, portable language with a large library. It is a middle-level language with the advantages of both low-level and high-level languages. And it's disheartening to learn that C programming is becoming less popular by the day. C has left an indelible mark on practically every field and is widely used for application development and system development.

Some applications of the C programming language include:

  • C’ language is widely used in embedded systems.
  • It is used for developing system applications.
  • It is widely used for developing desktop applications.
  • Most of the applications by Adobe are developed using the ‘C’ programming language.
  • It is used for developing browsers and their extensions. Google’s Chromium is built using the ‘C’ programming language.
  • It is used to develop databases. MySQL is the most popular database software which is built using ‘C’.
  • It is used in developing an operating system. Operating systems such as Apple’s OS X, Microsoft’s Windows, and Symbian are developed using the ‘C’ language. It is used for developing desktop as well as mobile phone operating systems.
  • It is used for compiler production.
  • It is widely used in IOT applications.

Why learn C Language?

As we studied earlier, ‘C’ is a base language for many programming languages. So, learning ‘C’ as the main language will play an important role while studying other programming languages. It shares the same concepts such as data types, operators, control statements, and many more. ‘C’ can be used worldwide in various applications. It is an easy language and provides faster execution. There are many jobs available for a ‘C’ developer in the market.

C’ is a structured programming language in which the program is divided into various modules. Each module can be written separately and together it forms a single ‘C’ program. This structure makes it easy for testing, maintaining, and debugging processes.

C’ contains 32 keywords, various data types, and a set of powerful built-in functions that make programming very efficient.

Another feature of ‘C’ programming is that it can extend itself. A ‘C’ program contains various functions which are part of a library. We can add our features and functions to the library. We can access and use these functions anytime we want in our program. This feature makes it simple while working with complex programming.

Various compilers are available in the market that can be used for executing programs written in this language.

It is a highly portable language which means programs written in ‘C’ language can run on other machines. This feature is essential if we wish to use or execute the code on another computer.

How does C Programming Language Works?

C is a compiled language. A compiler is a special tool that compiles the program and converts it into an object file that is machine-readable. After the compilation process, the linker will combine different object files and creates a single executable file to run the program. The following diagram shows the execution of a ‘C’ program.

How does C Programming Language Works?

Nowadays, various compilers are available online, and you can use any of those compilers. The functionality will never differ and most compilers will provide the features required to execute both ‘C’ and ‘C++’ programs.

Following is the list of popular compilers available online:

  1. Clang compiler
  2. MinGW compiler (Minimalist GNU for Windows)
  3. Portable ‘C’ compiler
  4. Turbo C

    Post a Comment

    Previous Post Next Post