Monday, 2 May 2011

History of C and C++ Language

History of C and C++ Language

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.

Java evolved from C++, which evolved from C, which evolved from BCPL and B. BCPL was developed in 1967 by Martin Richards as a language for writing operating systems software and compilers. Ken Thompson modeled many features in his language B after their counterparts in BCPL, using B to create early versions of the UNIX operating system at Bell Laboratories in 1970.

C++, an extension of C, was developed by Bjarne Stroustrup in the early 1980s at Bell Laboratories (now part of Lucent). C++ provides a number of features that "spruce up" the C language, but more important, it provides capabilities for object-oriented programming (discussed in more detail in Section 1.16 and throughout this book). C++ is a hybrid languageit is possible to program in either a C-like style, an object-oriented style or both.

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