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Guide 1- C Programming Roadmap

The c programming language is a general-purpose, high-level language that was originally developed by Dennis M. Ritchie and then developed the UNIX operating system at Bell Labs. C programming language was originally first implemented on the DEC PDP-11 computer in 1972.

The UNIX operating system, the C compiler, and essentially all UNIX application programs have been written in C language. The C programming language has now become a widely used professional language for various reasons −

  • Easy to learn
  • Structured language
  • It produces efficient programs
  • It can handle low-level activities
  • It can be compiled on a variety of computer platforms

Facts about C

  • C was invented to write an operating system called UNIX.
  • C is a successor of B language which was introduced around the early 1970s.
  • The language was formalized in 1988 by the American National Standard Institute (ANSI).
  • The UNIX OS was written in C.
  • Today C is the most widely used and popular System Programming Language.
  • Most of the state-of-the-art software have been implemented using C.
  • Today's most popular Linux OS and RDBMS MySQL have been written in C.

Why use C programming language?

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

  • Operating Systems
  • Language Compilers
  • Assemblers
  • Text Editors
  • Print Spoolers
  • Network Drivers
  • Modern Programs
  • Databases
  • Language Interpreters
  • Utilities

C Programs

A C program can vary from 3 lines to millions of lines and it should be written into one or more text files with extension ".c"; for example, hello.c. You can use "vi""vim" or any other text editor to write your C program into a file.

This robust guide assumes that you know how to edit a text file and how to write source code inside a program file.

The C - Environment Setup

If you want to set up your environment for C programming language, you need the following two software tools available on your computer, (a) Text Editor and (b) The C Compiler.

Text Editor

This will be used to type your program codes. Examples of a few editors include Windows Notepad, OS Edit command, Brief, Epsilon, EMACS, and vim or vi. The files that you will create with your editor are called the source files and they contain the program source codes. The source files for C programs are typically named with the extension ".c".

The C Compiler

The source code written in the source file is the human-readable source for your program. It needs to be "compiled", into machine language so that your CPU can execute the program as per the instructions given.

Here, the compiler compiles the source codes into final executable programs. The most frequently used and free available compiler is the GNU C/C++ compiler, otherwise, you can have compilers either from HP or Solaris if you have the respective operating systems.