introduction to c

C Programming Language Introduction

C Language is a powerful programming language developed by Denis Ritche in 1972. C Language is a general purpose language but normally used for system programming.

C is a High Level Programming Language, Compiler is required in order to convert the high level language (English like) into machine level language (Binary Language).

As a programming language, C is rather like Pascal or Fortran. Values are stored in variables. Programs are structured by defining and calling functions. Program flow is controlled using loops, if statements and function calls. Input and output can be directed to the terminal or to files. Related data can be stored together in arrays or structures.

C allows the most precise control of input and output. C is also rather more terse than Fortran or Pascal. This can result in short efficient programs, where the programmer has made wise use of C’s range of powerful operators. It also allows the programmer to produce programs which are impossible to understand.

Programmers who are familiar with the use of pointers (or indirect addressing, to use the correct term) will welcome the ease of use compared with some other languages. Undisciplined use of pointers can lead to errors which are very hard to trace. This course only deals with the simplest applications of pointers.

It is hoped that newcomers will find C a useful and friendly language. Care must be taken in using C. Many of the extra facilities which it offers can lead to extra types of programming error. You will have to learn to deal with these to successfully make the transition to being a C programmer.

Advantages of C

Easy to learn

Structured language

It produces efficient programs.

It can handle low-level activities.

It can be compiled on a variety of computers.

It has huge knowledge base

Purpose of C Language

C was initially used for system development work, in particular the programs that make-up the operating system. C was adopted as a system development language because it produces code that runs nearly as fast as code written in assembly language. Some examples of the use of C might be:

Operating Systems
Language Compilers
Text Editors
Print Spoolers
Network Drivers
Modern Programs
Language Interpreters
Application development
Embedded Systems
Test Automation etc…


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