C language is inherited from the two previous programming languages BCPL and B. Kenneth Thompson at AT&T Bell Laboratories developed the language B in 1970.Many of C language ideas were taken from B and its ancestors BCPL and CPL. They both were efficient, capable of machine independent programming and the control of individual bits of information.The one and so far the only drawback of CPL was that it was too big for use in several applications. Today, the language we know is C. It is widely recognized as one of the most powerful languages available today.
The first thing you should know about C++ is that basically it is based on C language. In other words, it is the super set of C. So your familiarity to C syntax would be reasonably a plus point like the basic structure of expressions, how to make choices, how you perform iteration. If you don’t have any programming experience in C language then don’t worry that the first few articles will lead you through the process and give you exposure to how C language works and the basic syntax of C language. If you have studied a book on the first edition of C described in the first edition of Kenighan and Rithchie, you will find some new ideas and different features in C++. The fundamental features of both languages to some extent (except the OOP which we have discussed here) are the same. Now a days, C++ programming language is widely used in the market. One of the main reasons is that mostly the programmers have diverted their minds to this widely and used and expanded language. But if you look at the other hand, C is still popular in the students and has some nuisance value in the market. Initially, C language was very much dominant on other languages. One reason was the popularity of UNIX operating system, which was written in this language, and the other reason that it was widely used in educational institutions as academic language to teach the basics and fundamentals of a programming language.
Development of C++ language
C++ was invented in the very early 80s by Bjarne stroustrup. He had studied in the doctoral program at the computing laboratory at Cambridge university.
C++ is an Object Oriented Language which has gained much more importance than any other object oriented programming language and is increasingly being used. For a long time, C++ was a standardized language and later in 1998 it became an ISO standard.
The first C++ compiler known as cfront was written by the developer at AT&T. It strong ties to C language.
At the beginning, the developer and other scientists viewed the work done as an extension of C language. Actually Bjarne Stroustup wanted to add some new features in the subset of C++ that support Object Oriented concepts. In the subsequent years, he succeeded in his goal which is now adays called the C++ language with object oriented approach. C++ is a separate language to C and is almost a proper superset of C. It is for your information that the original version was called, “C with classes”.
In 1989, the first true C++ compiler, G++, was written by Michael Tiemann of Cygnus was able to produce code for most of the targets that GCC already supported.
In late 90’s and the years following, a number of new C++ compilers were produced but many were unable to keep pace with the standards committee. This era of no development is the fundamental cause of non-portable of C++ programs. One of the plus p[oints of the language and especially the standard one is that it encompasses the language interface to the standard library and also the Standard Template Library (STL). There are many new features added in this language but a few of them are presented in the following manner.
- Built in tool (Boolean) type
- The mutable keyword
- Standard Template library (STL)
There are only a few incompatibilities with C and they are new keywords such as New, delete, Void* pointer type conversion, etc. The last thing which should also be mentioned is that the improved comments where the delimiter gives two types of flavor. The first flavor is the C comment delimiters and the new one is the form of double slash. At the end I would say briefly that C was redesigned, extended and the reimplementation of this process, the resulting language is now called the C++ language.