History of C Language

C is a general-purpose, procedural programming language developed in 1972 by Dennis M. Ritchie at the Bell Laboratories to develop the UNIX Operating system. C is the most widely used and popular computer programming language because of its structure, high-level abstraction, machine independent feature etc.

The idea behind creating C language was to create an easy language which requires a simple compiler and enables programmers to efficiently interact with the machine/system, just like machine instructions. C language compiler converts the readable C language program into machine instruction.

C language has evolved from three different structured language ALGOL, BCPL and B Language. It uses many concepts from these languages while introduced many new concepts such as datatypes, struct, pointer etc. In 1988, the language was formalised by American National Standard Institute(ANSI). In 1990, a version of C language was approved by the International Standard Organisation(ISO) and that version of C is also referred to as C89.

C Programming Language Standard :

  • C89/C90 standard : First standardised specification for C language was developed by the American National Standards Institute in 1989. C89 and C90 standards refer to the same programming language.
  • C99 standard : Next revision was published in 1999 that introduced new features like advanced data types and other changes.
  • C11 standard : C11 standard adds new features to C programming language and library like type generic macros, anonymous structures, improved Unicode support, atomic operations, multi-threading and bounds-checked functions. It also makes some portions of the existing C99 library optional and improves compatibility with C++. Embedded C includes features not available in C like fixed-point arithmetic, named address spaces, and basic I/O hardware addressing.