The C programming language is one of the more classic languages we have today. C was developed by a computer scientist named Dennis Ritchie, when we worked at Bell Laboratories (affiliated with AT&T), between the years 1969 – 1973. The Unix operating system was new at the time, and Ritchie and his colleagues were developing programs during that time period to do things with Unix.
The language prior to C was simply called the “B” programming language, however that language had shortcomings, such as it was slower and not able to take advantage of some features in Unix. Ritchie took most of the syntax from B, and he added improvements such as having data types and giving the language the ability to represent structured data. Logically, he called it “C.”
In 1978, Ritchie and Brian Kernighan wrote and released a book entitled “The C Programming Language” which for a long time was the unofficial documentation of the language. It would be another five years though before C was ratified, and the first formal version of the language became official. In 1989, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standardized the C programming language.
Today, C is still a primary language for operating systems, as Unix and Linux have major parts written in C, and other operating systems like MacOS and Windows also contain a lot of C code. Additionally, other programming languages have C as the “under-the-hood” language, like Python, Java, and C++. Having a good understanding of C can be helpful when working with other products that are developed by the language.
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