C programming language

From Computer History Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

The C programming language was derived from an earlier language called B. There was a short-lived intermediary language called NB, or New B.

A number of object-oriented languages have been influenced by C, including Objective-C, C++, D, Vala.


There are two popular dialects, the original was K&R C, which spread with the original C compiler, and pcc, the portable C compiler. Later there was a ANSI standard to the C language, and it's usually refered to as just ANSI C.

The C language evolved continuously starting in 1972. Some milestones:

  • 1972 - Primeval C - no struct, automatic variables can't be initialized.
  • 1973 - preprocessor added.
  • 1976? - Typesetter C - introduced long, unsigned, typedef, union, and changed =+ etc to +=.
  • 1978 - K&R C
  • 1989 - ANSI C

hello world


char *hello "hello"; /* No = for initialization. */

main (argc, argv)
int argc;               /* Parameter declarations as in K&R. */
char **argv;
        char *world;    /* Auto variables can't be initialized. */
        world = "world";
        cprint ("%s %s\n", hello, world);       /* No stdio yet. */


#include <stdio.h>
int argc;
char **argv;
        printf("Hello World\n");
        exit (0);


#include <stdio.h>
int main(int argc, char *argv[])
        printf("Hello World\n");
        return 0;


See also

External links