History of C Programming Language

It is good to learn the history of C programming. C was developed and written by Dennis M. Ritchie in the year 1972, and hence he is known as the founder of C.

C programming language was developed to overcome the difficulties found in older programming languages such as BCPL, BASIC, B, etc.

History of Programming Languages and C

Here are the lists of programming languages that were developed with or before C:

Programming LanguageDevelopment Year
Regional Assembly Language1951
Autocode1952
IPL (forerunner to LISP)1954
FLOW-MATIC (led by COBOL)1955
FORTRAN (First compiler)1957
COMTRAN (precursor to COBOL)1957
LISP1958
ALGOL 581958
FACT (forerunner to COBOL)1959
COBOL1959
RPG1959
APL1962
Simula1962
SNOBOL1962
CPL (forerunner to C)1963
Speakeasy (computational environment)1964
BASIC1964
PL/I1964
JOSS1966
BCPL (forerunner to C)1967


C is imperative language and designed to compile in a relatively straightforward manner which provides low-level access to the memory. With the gradual increase in the popularity of the program, the language and its compiler have become available on a wide range of platforms from embedded microcontrollers to supercomputers.

With the introduction of K&R C language (which is a new edition of C published in 1978 by Brian Kernighan and Denis Ritchie), several features have been included in C language.

Some of these features are:

  • Standard I/O (Input/Output) Library
  • long int - data type
  • unsigned int - data type
  • Compound assignment operators

During the late 1980's, C was started to use for a wide variety of mainframe computers, micro and mini computers which began to get famous. Gradually C got its superset - i.e., C++ which has added features, but its developed from C with all its initial concepts.


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