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C

1972, USA


Dennis Ritchie

Kernigham


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Description

 

Dennis Ritchie (USA), another programmer working at the Bell laboratories extends and refines the programming language 'B' in 1972 and calls it 'C'. It combines 'structured programming' features as can be found in PASCAL, with the ability to get at the bits and bytes which is required for efficiency in operating system development. 'C' was originally designed for easier implementation of the UNIX operating system on the DEC PDP mainframes. Especially for the PDP-07[] or PDP-11. The operating system and essentially all UNIX applications are written in C. The great advantage of C lays in the fact that C is not tied to any particular hardware or system and it is relatively easy to write programmes that will run without change on any machine that supports C. This is a property that is generally referred to as PORTABILITY. C however makes intensive use of library modules which must be 'included' (linked with) with each programme in order to run properly. library modules must be written specifically for each different machine or operating system. Thus if you include a library function's name to read and write to a disk drive the include assignment is the same for all but the function itself is different for different machines. For this reason you must feed the computer the SOURCE CODE and have the machine's compiler 'link' the various library functions with the original programm.

The C programming language was released in 1975 and was officially standardized by the ANSI X3J11 committee. C is an derivative of ALGOL. It was designed as a system implementation language for the Unix Operating System. For years it remained exclusively part of the Unix Operating System. Today it is one of the most commonly used languages for systems and applications programming. It is also known as the standard choice for programming requiring detailed control of hardware

 

Language Specifications

see above

 

Chronology

1975 first release

 

 

 

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Footnotes & References