History of C

C is a general-purpose, structured programming language. C was originally developed in 1970’s by Dennis M. Ritchie to develop the UNIX operating system at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

In 1978, Brian Kernighan and Ritchie published a definitive description of the language. This description is commonly referred to as “K&R C.”

Following the publication of the K&R description, computer professionals, impressed with C’s many desirable features, began to promote the use of the language and by the mid-1980s, C had become widespread. Many C compilers and interpreters had been written for computers of all sizes, and various commercial application programs had been developed. Moreover, numerous commercial software products were re-written in order to take advantage of its efficiency and its portability.

Early implementations of C were quite different from K&R’s definition, resulting in minor incompatibilities between different implementations of the language. Due to these differences the portability that the language attempted to provide diminished.

Consequently, the language in 1988 by the American National Standard Institute (ANSI committee X3J11) has developed a standardized definition of the C language. Virtually all commercial C compilers and interpreters now adhere to the ANSI standard.

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