History of C language

In this article, you will learn about C programming history, its evaluation since it comes into existence, and how c became so much popular among the programmer community. 

History of C programming

The main inspiration for creating the C programming language started with the introduction of a programming language called ‘ALGOL’. It was first introduced in 1960 by European and American scientists. This language introduced the concept of structured programming.

In 1967, a new computer language has been introduced by Martin Richards called ‘BPCL’ which stands for Basic combined programming language. This language was mainly used for writing system software.

After that, in 1970 another programming language was invented by Ken Thompson called ‘B’ which contained many features of BPCL. Both BPCL and ‘B’ were system programming languages. At this time Unix operating system was started to create using B language.

In 1972, Dennis Ritchie developed a new programming language called ‘C’ at the Bell Laboratories. ‘C’ programming language is crated from the predecessor ‘BPCL’ and ‘B’ programming languages and contains most of the features from these languages. Apart from these, it contains many new features which make it unique from the other languages.

In 1978, Brian Kernighan and Dennis Ritchie produced the first publicly available description of C, now known as the K&R standard.

‘C’ was mainly developed to re-implement the Unix operating system and since then it became the most widely used programming language. Most of the Unix operating systems are coded in the ‘C’ programming language. It gradually started spreading around the world and become commercial, and many compilers were released for cross-platform support which was written in ‘C’. Many different versions of the language started to be released with the popularity of the C language. To assure that ‘C’ language remains standard, American National Standards Institute (ANSI) defined a commercial standard for ‘C’ language in 1989.

Later on, in 1990, it was approved by the International Standards Organization (ISO). ‘C’ programming language is also called ‘ANSI C‘.

C History Timeline

Language Year Developed By
Algol 1960 Europian and American Scientist
BCPL 1967 Martin Richard
B 1970 Ken Thompson
Traditional C 1972 Dennis Ritchie
K & R C 1978 Kernighan & Dennis Ritchie
ANSI C 1989 ANSI Committee
ANSI/ISO C 1990 ISO Committee
C99 1999 Standardization Committee

Final Word

Many modern languages like C++, Java were developed from ‘C’ and inherits the concept of ‘C’.  Thus ‘C’ is called the base or mother of all other modern languages.

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