C is a very basic high level programming language. This is around 40 years old programming language, but the fun fact is, you can only use this programming language to its fullest only if you know the every working principle of a computing system and vice versa. This is the core programming language of almost every operating system. The most popular operating system among the technical people is written using this programming language.
Let’s start by knowing about some important features of this programming language.
- Structural language
- Fast to compile.
- Statically typed
- Cross platform.
Let’s discuss about these features just to make a clear concept about the above mentioned features.
In this language, every level of programmer need to follow the same usual structure of this programming language. So everyone need to follow the same structure and rules. A coder may use different approach. But it is mandatory to develop a script according to rules and the coder usually follows that rule almost in every case. As we know, this is a library based programming language so we have to start this program by including the header file at the beginning of the program. Following this we can define the functions and other necessary files. But we must have to declare the main function at some point of the file. When the compiler starts to compile the script, it looks for the main function first. Then it goes for the other necessary files and functions. That’s why we say that, this language strictly follows the structural procedure.
Fast to compile:
To understand this feature we need to know the flow of compilation process. There are four steps to get output of a script, but the second step is compiler. On first step it will process the whole script and find the main function; also it will read and start processing the beginning of the script. Once it finds the main function, it will read the variables, loops and functions. After that the compiler will start calling the components one by one and keep compiling those. If the compiler finds any error or warning then it will stop there and report to the user.
A well written script with proper library and other function files can be executed on any operating system. Also we can save this as a single file in different format. A common file we use is .exe file, which actually an executable file written in C. if we do so then we can get rid of maintaining more than one file. That’s why we say that C programming is a portable language.
As we know this programming language is library based, so in every script we have to call at least one or two header files. These kinds of files are also called header files. Why modularity is one of the feature of this language! Because custom header file is allowed in this programming language. If we need we can add custom header files to its library and use as we require. This feature actually made this programming language a powerful one to change the technology.
Statically typed means it needs to be declared the type of data. In C and C++ both the programming languages, it is must to declare the data type. Also it is must to provide the right data type to the variable. If we declare an integer to a floating point value than the floating points will not be calculated during compilation and the ultimate result will be wrong for sure. Same goes to any other data types. A C compiler checks this kind of data and except having a error it shows this kind of data as an warning. But it makes a huge difference if we look at the bigger picture.
Both C and C++ are open source and cross platform languages. We know that by now. Also it has different compilers for different operating systems. So we can run the files on any operating systems. That’s why it is one of the most popular language for backend developers.
We will start with the further lessons on our next articles.