C - the system language C.

Note: for an explanation of the command to compile C programs, see "expl c command". For more information on other aspects of C, see "expl c index".

C is a computer language originally designed for recursive, primarily non-numeric applications. C is certainly able to perform integer and floating point arithmetic, but it is too good a language to waste on mere "number-crunching".

C is an intermediate level language; it affords the control structures of high level languages (e.g. "while" and "switch" statements) but allows such low level operations as bit manipulation. It is also a general purpose language -- by avoiding specialization, C allows you to do many things well.

C is designed for program portability. Since C is now available on most computer systems (it is very popular on micros and minis), you may write a program on one computer and be fairly confident that it will run on another with minimal adaptation.

One of the most important aspects of C is the run-time library that comes as part of the C package. The routines in this library make the programmer's job easier by performing many of the basic tasks that are common to all types of programs. Most of the routines in the library are written in C; even the C compiler is written in C.

The C run-time package contains I/O routines, memory management routines, string manipulation functions, mathematical functions, time functions, and other miscellaneous functions.

C was originally designed and implemented by Bell Telephone Laboratories. This implementation is maintained by Thinkage Ltd.

Copyright © 1996, Thinkage Ltd.