C is a general-purpose computer programming language used for operating systems, games and other high performance work.

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58
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15answers
37k views

I don't know C. And why should I learn it? [closed]

My first programming language was PHP (gasp). After that I started working with JavaScript. I've recently done work in C#. I've never once looked at low or mid level languages like C. The general ...
165
votes
12answers
247k views

When to use C over C++, and C++ over C?

I've been introduced to Computer Science for a little over a year now, and from my experience it seems that C and C++ are both considered to be "ultrafast" languages, whereas others such as Python and ...
145
votes
19answers
143k views

Is there any reason to use C++ instead of C, Perl, Python, etc.? [closed]

As a Linux (server side) developer, I don't know where and why should I use C++. When I'm going for performance, the first and last choice is C. When "performance" isn't the main issue, programming ...
63
votes
13answers
32k views

What's the benefit of object-oriented programming over procedural programming?

I'm trying to understand the difference between procedural languages like C and object-oriented languages like C++. I've never used C++, but I've been discussing with my friends on how to ...
19
votes
5answers
4k views

When does it make sense to compile my own language to C code first?

When designing an own programming language, when does it make sense to write a converter that takes the source code and converts it to C or C++ code so that I can use an existing compiler like gcc to ...
91
votes
5answers
106k views

How to write a very basic compiler

Advanced compilers like gcc compile codes into machine readable files according to the language in which the code has been written (e.g. C, C++, etc). In fact, they interpret the meaning of each codes ...
77
votes
4answers
45k views

How is a Java reference different from a C pointer?

C has pointers and Java has what is called references. They have some things in common in the sense that they all point to something. I know that pointers in C store the addresses they point to. Do ...
40
votes
3answers
16k views

How could the first C++ compiler be written in C++?

Stroustrup claims that Cfront, the first C++ compiler, was written in C++ (Stroustrup FAQ). However, how is it even possible that the first C++ compiler be written in C++? The code that makes up the ...
74
votes
15answers
32k views

What makes C so popular in the age of OOP? [closed]

I code a lot in both C and C++, but did not expect C to be the second most popular language, slightly behind Java. TIOBE Programming Community Index I'm curious as to why, in this age of OOP, C is ...
35
votes
11answers
9k views

Is this a decent use-case for goto in C?

I really hesitate to ask this, because I don't want to "solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion" but I'm new to C and want to gain more insight into common patterns used in the ...
0
votes
6answers
2k views

Why languages that compile to C/C++ generate unreadable, cryptic code? [closed]

I'm willing to compile certain language to C or C++ for some speedups. My idea was, though, to generate readable code and use structures such std::vector and similar wherever I can, expecting CLANG to ...
68
votes
17answers
101k views

Is the C programming language still used?

I am a C# programmer, and most of my development is for websites along with a few Windows application. As far as C goes, I haven't used it in a long time, as there was no need to. It came to me as a ...
22
votes
22answers
9k views

Is learning how to use C (or C++) a requirement in order to be a good (excellent) programmer? [closed]

When I first started to learn how to program, real programmers could write assembly in their sleep. Any serious schooling in computer science would include a hefty bit of training and practice in ...
29
votes
8answers
24k views

Are C and/or C++ viable/practical options for web development? [duplicate]

I am proficient in C, and I am learning C++ right now. I always played with websites (HTML/CSS), and I was wondering if it would be viable/practical to create some simple web apps using C and/or C++. ...
26
votes
13answers
8k views

Low level programming - what's in it for me? [closed]

For years I have considered digging into what I consider "low level" languages. For me this means C and assembly. However I had no time for this yet, nor has it EVER been neccessary. Now because I ...
4
votes
6answers
7k views

Why should we use low level languages if a high level one like python can do almost everything? [closed]

I know python is not suitable for things like microcontrolers, make drivers etc, but besides that, you can do everything using python, companys get stuck with speed optimizations for real hard time ...
14
votes
7answers
7k views

When should pointers be checked for NULL in C?

Summary: Should a function in C always check to make sure it is not dereferencing a NULL pointer? If not when is it appropriate to skip these checks? Details: I've been reading some books about ...
5
votes
3answers
8k views

How do we go from assembly to machine code(code generation)

Is there an easy way to visualize the step between assembling code to machine code? For example if you open about a binary file in notepad you see a textually formatted representation of machine code....
18
votes
2answers
5k views

Why does C use the asterisk for pointers? [closed]

I'm just now learning about C. I find it odd that the creators chose the asterisk (*) as the symbol for pointers rather than a symbol that actually looks like a pointer (->). Considering how ...
11
votes
8answers
13k views

Why does C dominate in the embedded software market? [closed]

Almost everyone will now say the blessing: performance! Okay, C does allow to write athletic code. But there are other languages that can do so, after all! And the optimising power of modern ...
4
votes
9answers
3k views

Confusion of scope of a variable: Is Global Variable a solution? [duplicate]

I am newly learning C Programming. When we have a C Program with lot of functions, parameter passing, calling and all - It becomes a great problem as to which variable must be declared where. My ...
150
votes
6answers
30k views

Is every language written in C?

Sometimes while programming in different languages (C/C++, C#), this thought comes to my mind: Is each and every language written in the C programming language? Is the C language the mother/father ...
82
votes
3answers
34k views

Why do programming languages, especially C, use curly braces and not square ones?

The definition of "C-Style language" can practically be simplified down to "uses curly braces ({})." Why do we use that particular character (and why not something more reasonable, like [], which ...
19
votes
7answers
8k views

Learning to program in C (coming from Python) [closed]

If this is the wrong place to ask this question, please let me know. I'm a Python programmer by occupation. I would love to learn C. Indeed, I have tried many times, but I always get discouraged. In ...
61
votes
5answers
13k views

Why are there so few C compilers?

C is one of the most widely-used languages in the world. It accounts for a huge proportion of existing code and continues to be used for a vast amount of new code. It's beloved by its users, it's so ...
59
votes
10answers
28k views

Why has C prevailed over Pascal? [closed]

My understanding is that in the 1980s, and perhaps in the 1990s too, Pascal and C were pretty much head-to-head as production languages. Is the ultimate demise of Pascal only due to Borland's neglect ...
16
votes
7answers
4k views

OO best practices for C programs [closed]

"If you really want OO sugar - go use C++" -- was the immediate response I got from one of my friends when I asked this. I know two things are dead wrong here. First OO is NOT 'sugar', and second, C++ ...
38
votes
6answers
5k views

How to think as a C programmer after biased with OOP language? [closed]

Previously, I've only used Object Oriented Programming languages (C++, Ruby, Python, PHP), and am now learning C. I'm finding it difficult to figure out the proper way to do things in a language with ...
38
votes
2answers
7k views

What is the purpose of NaN boxing?

Reading 21st Century C I arrived at chapter 6 at the section "Marking Exceptional Numeric Values with NaNs", where it explains the use of the bits in the mantissa to store some arbitrary bit patterns, ...
24
votes
12answers
22k views

int* i; or int *i; or int * i; [closed]

What is your favorite method to declare a pointer? int* i; or int *i; or int * i; or int*i; Please explain why. see also: http://www.stroustrup.com/bs_faq2.html#whitespace
22
votes
4answers
5k views

When and for what purposes should the const keyword be used in C for variables?

While getting my code reviewed here the issue of using the const keyword came up. I understand that it is used for implementing read-only behaviour on variables. I am confused about what are the ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Adding unit tests to a legacy, plain C project

The title says it all. My company is reusing a legacy firmware project for a microcontroller device, written completely in plain C. There are parts which are obviously wrong and need changing, and ...
44
votes
16answers
10k views

Languages on a resume: Is it better to put “C/C++” or “C, C++”? [closed]

I'm graduating in a couple of weeks, and my resume (as expected) lists the languages that I've had experience with. Previously I've put "C/C++", however back then I didn't have that much experience ...
13
votes
8answers
17k views

How is C different from C++?

Many people have said that C++ is a completely different language than C, but Bjarne himself has said that C++ is a language that is extended from C hence that is where the ++ comes from. So why does ...
21
votes
9answers
2k views

Why is it so difficult to make C less prone to buffer overflows?

I'm doing a course in college, where one of the labs is to perform buffer overflow exploits on code they give us. This ranges from simple exploits like changing the return address for a function on a ...
16
votes
6answers
9k views

Why pointer symbol and multiplication sign are same in C/C++? [duplicate]

I am writing a limited C/C++ code parser. Now, multiplication and pointer signs give me really a tough time, as both are same. For example, int main () { int foo(X * p); // forward declaration ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

Why do some programmers categorize C, Python, C++ differently? - regarding level

I am taking an introductory course on python and the instructor says that python is a high level language and C and C++ are low level languages. It's just confusing. I thought that C, C++, Python, ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Writing generic code when your target is a C compiler

I need to write some algorithms for a PIC micro controller. AFAIK, the official tools support either assembler or a subset of C. My goal is to write the algorithms in a generic and reusable way ...
2
votes
5answers
8k views

Reference vs dereference pointers in arguments C++/C

OK, I'm facing this all the time in many functions I write, which should I use? void sth(int* a) void sth(int& a) Which one is faster, regarding two separate occasions: a is a small variable or ...
3
votes
5answers
2k views

What is the best method to start understanding BIG project source code? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How do you dive into large code bases? Sometimes before developing new products we need to understand some existing products or existing source code. Sometimes to write ...
2
votes
1answer
296 views

Design for migrating to Multitenant architecture

We are in a process of redesigning our product code in such a way so as to support multitenancy. Currently the implementation is such that one product deployment caters to only one customer. Thus ...
13
votes
2answers
930 views

How important it is to fix memory leaks?

I found by Valgring that some GTK+ programs leaks memory. How important it is to fix those leaks? I mean, often those programs works very well but on the other hand, one can never be sure if one wants ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Why can't arrays be passed as function arguments in C?

Following this comment, I've tried to google why, but my google-fu failed. Comment from link: [...] But the important thing is that arrays and pointers are different things in C. Assuming ...
6
votes
8answers
1k views

Why has the rate of programming language popularization slowed down in recent decades? [closed]

If I understand correctly, there was a huge birth of programming languages during the early decades of computing, but then things have stabilized. Basically, why are many universities and industries ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Why is scanf called scanf? (Same for printf.)

I am just curious why in the C programming language the function to read formatted input was called "scanf" as opposed to "readf". I assume it is derived from an earlier language, so in that case why ...
6
votes
2answers
519 views

Writing functional tests for a legacy project

I am trying to add a couple of tests to a legacy C project. The project basically consists of a command line tool that prints something to stdout every time an event happens. Now, since writing unit ...
5
votes
6answers
2k views

Addressable memory unit

From Wikipedia: the term endian or endianness refers to the ordering of individually addressable sub-components within a longer data item as stored in external memory (or, sometimes, as ...
4
votes
3answers
5k views

Why does an unsigned int compared with a signed character turn out with an unexpected result? [closed]

Why does the following code output y>x when clearly 1>-1? unsigned x=1; signed char y=-1; if(x>y){ printf("x>y"); } else { printf("y>x"); } Please explain this result.
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Are file-scope `static` variables in C as bad as `extern` global variables?

In C, you'd often/sometimes (as a matter of style) use a file-scope static variable where you'd use a private class member variable in C++. When scaling to multithreaded programs, simply adding ...
2
votes
1answer
223 views

Endianness at bit level

I am learning the union and struct and I wrote the code below. What I do not understand is why the output is different when I change from a little endian to a big endian machine. My understanding is ...