Why is the C Programming Language Still Used?

Why is the C Programming Language Still Used?

There are many programming languages ​​today that can help developers be more productive than C for different types of projects. There are higher level languages ​​that offer much larger built-in libraries that make it easier for you to work with JSON, XML, UI, web pages, client requests, database connections, media management, and more.

However, there are many reasons to believe that C programming will remain active for a long time.

In programming languages, one size does not fit all. These are some of the reasons why C is invincible and almost mandatory in some applications.

Portability and efficiency
It’s an almost wearable editing language. It is located as close to the machine as possible, but is available for almost all existing processor architectures. There is at least one C compiler for almost all existing architectures. And today, it’s not easy to enhance your production with a handwritten compilation of highly optimized binaries created by modern compilers.

Portability and efficiency are so great that “compilers, libraries and interpreters for other programming languages ​​are often implemented in C”. Major implementations of interpreted languages ​​such as Python, Ruby and PHP are written in C. Translators even use it to allow other languages ​​to communicate with the machine. For example, C is the underlying language of Eiffel and Forth. This means that instead of generating machine code for each supported architecture, the compilers of these languages ​​simply generate the transmitted C code and the C compiler handles the machine coding.

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Memory manipulation
The occasional use of memory addresses and point calculations is an important feature that makes C a complete system for programming (operating systems and embedded systems).

At the hardware / software interface, computer systems and microcontrollers map peripherals and I / O pins to memory addresses. System applications must read and write to these custom memory locations to communicate with the world. Therefore, C’s ability to manipulate arbitrary memory addresses is critical to system programming.

For example, a microcontroller can be designed so that a common asynchronous receiver / transmitter (or UART, standard hardware component with peripherals) sends a byte of the memory address 0x40008000, as long as bit number 4 of the address 0x40008001 is set to 1 and the device turns off automatically after setting this bit.

Deterministic use of resources
One common language feature that system programming cannot rely on is garbage collection or even dynamic distribution for some embedded systems. The time and memory of the integrated applications are very limited. They are often used in real-time systems where a nondeterministic junk call cannot be made. And if dynamic allocation cannot be used due to lack of memory, it is very important to have other memory management mechanisms, such as inserting data into custom addresses, as allowed by C pointers. alignment Dynamics and waste collection are not suitable for systems with limited resources.

Code size
C has a very short run time. And the memory space of your code is less than most other languages.

Compared to C ++, a binary generated from C goes to the embedded device, for example, about half of a binary created from similar C ++ code. One of the main reasons is the handling of exceptions.

Exceptions are a great tool that C ++ adds to C, and unless they are activated and deployed intelligently, they cost almost no runtime cost (but at the expense of larger code size).

Reasons to learn C
Learning a language isn’t difficult, so all the benefits of learning are pretty cheap. Let’s take a look at some of these benefits.

Lingua franca
As mentioned earlier, C is a development language. Implementations of many new algorithms in books or on the Internet are available first (or only) to their authors in the C format. This provides the best possible portability for the implementation. I’ve seen programmers struggle with the Internet’s Write-C algorithm for other programming languages ​​because they understand the basics of C.

Remember that C is an old and popular language, so you can find all kinds of algorithms written in C online. So you can probably benefit from mastering this language.

Understand the car (think C)
When we discuss with colleagues about the use of certain pieces of code or certain functions in other languages, we end up “speaking in C”: does this part send a “cursor” to the object, or does it copy the entire object? Could there be “shots” here? And so.

We rarely discuss (or think about) the installation instructions executed by a piece of code when we analyze the behavior of high-level language code. Instead, when we discuss how a machine works, we speak (or think) quite clearly about C.

If you can’t stop and think about what you’re doing this way, you may end up programming some kind of superstition about how to do things (magically).

Work on lots of cool C projects
Many interesting projects, from large database servers or operating system cores to small built-in applications that you can do yourself at home for your personal satisfaction and enjoyment, are carried out in C. There is no reason to stop loving you just because you have the old. don’t know and small but solid and proven programming languages ​​like C.

The Illuminati do not rule the world. C programmers do this.

The C programming language does not appear to have an expiration date. Its proximity to hardware, high portability, and deterministic use of resources make it ideal for low-level development, for example on operating system kernels and embedded software. Its versatility, efficiency and good performance make it an excellent choice for highly complex computer software such as databases or 3D animations. Just because many programming languages ​​today are better than C for their intended use does not mean that they outperform C in all areas. It’s always second to none when performance comes first.

The world runs on devices that run on C. We use these devices every day, whether we understand them or not. Many areas of software have a past, a present, and, from what we can see, a future.

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