Introduction to the C and C++ Programming languages


Before C ++, there was C. A systems programming language (such as an operating system) was developed by Dennis Ritchie at Bell Telephone Laboratories in 1972. His goal was to design a minimalist language that was easy to compile, offered efficient memory access, could be executed relatively quickly, and could be used to write efficient code. So, in the development of a high-level language, the C language was created, which, in many respects, belonged to the low-level languages, without requiring any specific platform for which to run.

More than half of the Unix operating system was coded in C, in 1973, when Ritchie and Thompson used C to code it. In the past, operating systems were often written in assembly language. UNIX became widespread due to the high portability of C, enabling developers to recompile it for other technologies. Contrary to Assembler, which was targeted at specific processors, SSE was designed for a broader audience. Both UNIX and C have had a positive impact on each other, and the success of the latter also resulted in the success of the former.

Dennis Ritchie and Brian Kernighan published a book called The C Programming Language in 1978. The book has become a standard and a kind of instruction for the language C, aka K&R (the first letters of the authors’ surnames). K&R served as a guide to programmers who wished to maximize the portability of their code since most compilers at the time met these standards.

It was in 1983 that the American National Standards Institute (abbreviated « The ANSI » from the English. « The American National and International Standards Institute ») set up a committee to approve the official C language standard. As part of the C89 project, they developed and released the ANSI C standard in 1989.

 In 1990, the International Organization for Standardization (abbreviated ISO from the English. “International Organization for Standardization”) adopted ANSI C (with minor changes). The C90 version of the language is referred to as C90. Programming languages that required maximum portability were written with these standards in mind, and compilers adapted to meet the requirements of ANSI C / C90.

In 1999, the ANSI committee released a new version of the C language called C99. This was due to a number of features that had already been implemented in compilers (in the form of various extensions) or in C++.

C ++ language

The C ++ programming language (pronounced “C++” ) was developed at Bell Telephone Laboratories by Bjorn Stroustrup in 1979 as an addition to C. In addition to adding new features to C, he also added many other features. As a result of its object-oriented nature, the language has become popular.

In the corresponding lessons, we will discuss object-oriented programming (OOP) and its differences from traditional programming methods.

In 1998, C ++ was ratified (approved) by the ISO committee, and it was re-ratified (approved) in 2003. In addition, there have been numerous versions of the C ++ language standard (released every 3 years) that have added even more functionality:

   C ++ 11 in 2011;

   C ++ 14 in 2014;

   C ++ 17 in 2017;

   C ++ 20 in 2020.

Philosophy of C and C ++

By the expression “trust the programmer”, one can summarize the philosophy of the language C and C++. In other words, the compiler will not hinder you from trying new things that make sense, but it will not prevent you from trying something that could cause a bug. Creating C / C++ programs is often fraught with danger, which is why you should know both what to avoid and what to do.


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