An introduction to one of the most widely used computer programming languages of all time.
Another benefit of C is that it has been designed to promote cross-platform programming. A portably written C program, which is standards-compliant, can be compiled for a wide variety of operating systems and computer platforms with few changes to its source code.
C can be traced back to the 1970s when Dennis Ritchie at Bell Labs started development of C in 1972 on the PDP-11 Unix system. First appearing in Version 2 Unix, the language was not initially designed for portability. However, the language was soon running on different platforms such as a compiler for Honeywell 6000 and an IBM System/730.
With the language name following alphabetically from the B programming language, by 1972 a large part of Unix was rewritten in C, while in 1973 the addition of struct types resulted in C becoming powerful enough that most of Unix’s kernel was now in C language.
In 1978, Ritchie alongside Brian Kernighan first published The C Programming Language – a book which would serve as a handbook to C programmers and referred to as K&R.
C kept on getting more and more popular, with C being implemented on mainframe computers, minicomputers and microcomputers, including the IBM PC, in the late 1970s and into the 1980s. In 1983 the American National Standards Institute established a standard specification of C, known as ANSI C, with even today’s software developers urged to conform to the standards in order to aid portability between compilers.