Computer Software

What is C programming?
Answered by Science Channel
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    Science Channel

  1. C programming is one of thousands of computer programming languages that allow users to create instructions for a computer to follow. While C has a slightly more cryptic style than some other programming languages, it's fairly easy to learn and allows you to read and write code for many different platforms. Because it's so efficient and gives the user a lot of control, C is very popular with programmers.

    The C programming language has been around since the early '70s, when it was developed by Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie at Bell Laboratories. They saw the need for a more user-friendly programming language, and after several attempts at new languages, C was eventually finalized and released. Throughout the '80s, the developers created various standards for the language. As computers became more complex, programmers were able to use C to build their own compilers and programming languages. The C programming language has led to the development of both Java and C++, which are popular today and both simplified programming even further.

    C is a compiled language, which means that once your C program is written, you'll need to run it through a C compiler to convert the program to an executable form. The computer can then run the C program. The C compiler is vital to creating a C program, because without it, your program will remain in human-readable form as opposed to machine-readable form [source: King]. Programmers can either purchase a commercial compiler or download a free C compiler online.

    One of the things that programmers like about C is that it enables them to scale down programs so they can run on very little memory. This has become especially important in recent years, when so many people are using small-scale computers like smartphones and tablets.

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