C (programming language)

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C is a general-purpose computer programming language initially developed by Dennis Ritchie between 1969 and 1973 at AT&T Bell Labs. Its design provides constructs that map efficiently to typical machine instructions, and therefore it has found lasting use in applications that had formerly been coded in assembly language, most notably system software like the Unix operating system.


  • One of the main causes of the fall of the Roman Empire was that, lacking zero, they had no way to indicate successful termination of their C programs.
    • Robert Firth; cited in: Jane Sales (2005) Symbian OS Internals: Real-time Kernel Programming. p. 45
  • A C program is like a fast dance on a newly waxed dance floor by people carrying razors.
    • Waldi Ravens, quoted in: Magnus Lie Hetland (2002) Practical Python. p. xix
  • In other words, the only way to do good, efficient, and system-level and portable C++ ends up to limit yourself to all the things that are basically available in C. And limiting your project to C means that people don't screw that up, and also means that you get a lot of programmers that do actually understand low-level issues and don't screw things up with any idiotic "object model" crap.

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