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With all the new "modern" languages out today, how is it that C is still heralded as the fastest and "closest to the machine"? I don't really believe in there ever being only one correct way to do things, and C has been around for a really long time (since the 60's!). Have we really not come up with anything better than something written nearly 50 years ago?

I am aware that modern languages are higher-level and take care of certain tasks like garbage collection and memory allocation and utilize libraries and such. I'm just asking why there has never been a true second option to C.

Can it be that C is so perfect that no other way of operating a computer could be possible (developer-adoption aside)?

EDIT Look, I'm not trying to knock C or whatever your favorite language is. I'm wondering why C has become the standard and why other alternatives never emerged and C was just "accepted".

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Apr 15 '11 at 7:24

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Thomas Owens Aug 5 '13 at 23:49

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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C++ is just as fast and much more productive to write in. <3 –  GManNickG Dec 8 '09 at 6:16
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I would argue assembly is the fastest and "closest" to the machine. –  AlbertoPL Dec 8 '09 at 6:17
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why all the motions to close? i'm really curious... i'm not trying to start flame wars or anything –  Jason Dec 8 '09 at 6:18
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seriously? can we reopen this? –  Jason Dec 8 '09 at 6:24
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closed again? after being reopened by jeff atwood himself? why would you possibly want to close this? –  Jason Dec 10 '09 at 19:36
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