Saturday 5 September 2015

History of C language

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The C language was developed in late 60’s and early 70’s, in Bell Laboratories. In those days BCPL and B languages were developed there. The BCPL language was developed in 1967 by Martin Richards as a language for writing operating systems software and compilers. In 1970 Ken Thompson used B language to create early versions of the UNIX operating system at Bell Laboratories. Thus both the languages were being used to develop various system software even compilers. Both BCPL and B were ‘type less’ languages, every data item occupied one ‘word’ in memory and the burden of treating a data item as a whole number or real number, for example was the responsibility of the programmer.

Dennis Ritchie developed a general purpose language, called C language, by using different features of BCPL and B languages. C uses many important concepts of BCPL and B while adding data typing and other features. In the start C became widely known as the development language of the UNIX operating system, and the UNIX operating system was written by using this C language. The C language is so powerful that the compiler of C and other various operating systems are written in C. C language has almost unlimited powers to do with computers. You can program to turn on or off any device of computer. You can do a lot to hard disk and other peripherals. It is very easy to write a program in C that stops the running of computer. So be careful while programming in C.

The C language and UNIX operating system widely spread in educational and research institutions. There was C and UNIX everywhere. Due to the wide spread of C, different researchers started to add their features in the language. And thus different variations in C came into existence. Many universities developed their own C by adding different features to the C language developed by Dennis Ritchie. These variations led to the need of a standard version of C. In 1983 a technical committee was created under the American National Standards Committee on Computer and Information Processing to provide an unambiguous and machine-independent definition of the language. In 1989 the standard was approved. ANSI cooperated with the International Standard Organization (ISO) to standardize C worldwide.

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