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Why Is C The Most Popular Programming Language?

While Python and many other programming languages are widely spread around the programming world, the C programming language still holds the crown as one of the World’s most popular programming languages. Today, you can learn how to write C and C++ code to easily develop desktop, mobile and IoT applications for the different operating systems. A C compiler and also C++ compiler are great compilers that compile your code to a native machine code. The C language is also extremely popular among developers creating embedded systems, IoT devices and many other technological peripherals, from cameras to mobile phones, simple sensors, complex industrial machines, main boards and it can even be found in AI systems and robots. Despite strong competition from other programming languages C is still there, topping the chart, so why is C the most popular programming language?

Why Is C The Most Popular Programming Language?

Why Is C The Most Popular Programming Language? A collection of C++ and RAD Studio logos

C and C++ Compilers are great tools to develop when they are paired with a professional C++ IDE for Windows app development. According to TIOBE Index and many other statistics web sites, the C and C++ programming languages have more than 23+% share in total. The C language has more than 13.13% share and if you add Objective-C, Swift, and other C and C++ related programming languages it has about more than 33% share worldwide. Note that these are recorded from online data only; the true picture of usage of C and C++ around the World could be much higher.

There are two types of programming languages: Interpreted and Non-Interpreted (Compiled). All computers work with machine code, a low-level set of fairly uncomplicated instructions that tells the computer what to do. These low-level instructions, also called ‘assembly code’, are not very easy for humans to read and don’t contain any sophisticated instructions such as Classes, Objects or complex data types. This is the most native and fastest code, but it requires writing many lines for simple things and is hard to generalize for all kinds of machines. C is a non-interpreted (compiled) programming language. A compiler is a computer program that converts one high-level programming language such as C/C++ into executable machine code.

Here is a simple C code that prints out “Hi” to a screen.

Such compiled code may not be as fast as pure hand-crafted assembler code, but the difference in speed is very small if you choose to use a good quality optimizing compiler such as those found in C++ Builder. C and C++ have a syntax which translates very efficiently into machine language which helps contribute to their power and raw execution speed.

This low-level, ‘close to the metal’ power of C means that programs written with it are very efficient and run at the best possible speed on any given hardware. A really good optimizing compiler can take even the most complex programs and remove any unnecessary program statements so that all is left is the code which absolutely has to be there. Add that to C’s already succinct language constructs creates a winning combination which is hard to beat – and developers love it.

Why Is C++ The Most Popular Programming Language?

C++ builds on the success of the C language into a truly powerful modern language that allows you to develop apps with modern libraries, database connections, you can use 2D-3D visualizations, modern GUIs with styled skins, High-DPI settings etc. in your 4K+ screens. The latest C++ Builder can be used to develop these kinds of apps in Windows 11, including x86, x64 and ARM CPUs, in addition to iOS and Android operating systems. C++ can be thought of as ‘C with objects’ although it has become much more than that.

Why Is C The Most Popular Programming Language? The Embarcadero dev tools logos.

Interpreted programming languages run inside executable runtime applications like Java, Python, or Visual Basic. This is why they are slower when executing operations, as they need to use external compiled libraries for faster operations.

Funnily enough most of those interpreted languages are actually written using C or C++ compilers both for the runtimes and external libraries. Using an interpreted programming language is like being carried by a runner, while a compiled (non-interpreted) programming language is like running itself. This subtle difference turns into a huge gap when you run the same routine for example in face recognition, millions of times a millisecond.

Why Does RAD Studio Use The Most Powerful Programming Languages?

RAD Studio is a specialized C++ Builder and Delphi integrated development environment (IDE) that supports modern visual programming in multiple operating systems today. It is not a programming language in its own right. With C++ Builder you can create C++ programs for the Microsoft Windows operating system as well as cross-platform apps for various desktop and mobile targets. You can also use C++ Builder to write and compile C language programs. C++ Builder supports the VCL and FireMonkey (FMX) GUI frameworks.

Why Is C The Most Popular Programming Language? A small C++ logo.

C++ Builder is the easiest and fastest C and C++ IDE for building simple or professional applications on the Windows, iOS & Android operating systems. It is also easy for beginners to learn with its wide range of samples, tutorials, help files and LSP support for code. C++ Builder comes with Rapid Application Development Studio, also known as RAD Studio. RAD Studio comes with the award-winning VCL framework for high-performance native Windows apps and the powerful FireMonkey (FMX) framework for cross-platform UIs. There is a free C++ Builder Community Edition for students, beginners, and startups.

C++ Builder only allows you to create apps written in the C++ and C programming languages. The full RAD Studio allows you to create programs and apps in the C++, C and Delphi programming languages.

What is RAD Studio version 11.2?

In 2022, Embarcadero announced the RAD Studio and C++ Builder 11.2 . C++ Builder 11.2 contains a number of improvements and quality fixes for C++ developers using C++Builder and RAD Studio 11.1, including performance improvements, display of code completion results, improved navigation, as well as a variety of quality fixes including resolving an issue for users of the classic compiler, issues saving all files in a project, and more. There are also several new features, including handling multiple navigation destinations when Control-clicking on an identifier, delayed indexing to reduce CPU usage, and a third option for LSP Code Insight behavior which indexes all files in all projects. We recommend reading the what’s new in RAD Studio 11.2 article.

Why Is C The Most Popular Programming Language? RAD Studio screenshot.
RAD Studio, C++ Builder 11 with Dark Theme

What are the changes in RAD Studio 11.2?

RAD Studio 11.2 versions are introduced many new features, enhancements, and quality updates in key areas including:   

  • Provision apps for Windows 11
  • C++Builder CodeInsight Update
  • More Powerful Compilers And Debuggers
  • Improved Code Insight!
  • Support for Android API Level 32
  • Compile for macOS M-series (Apple Silicon) processors
  • New & modernized VCL components  
  • Use enhanced remote desktop support to collaborate remotely
  • High-DPI designers for VCL and FireMonkey
  • IDE Support for Markdown, VCL-Based HTML preview
  • IDE Supports high-DPI 4K+ Screens
  • Many Quality Improvements And Bug Fixes

Although the free C++ Builder Community Edition is extremely powerful it is intended for students, beginners, and startups. If you are a regular business or do not qualify for the free community edition then you can download a free trial of the very latest full RAD Studio C++ Builder version.

Why Is C The Most Popular Programming Language? C++ Logo

C++ Builder is the easiest and fastest C and C++ IDE for building everything from simple to professional applications on the Windows, MacOS, iOS & Android operating systems. It is also easy for beginners to learn with its wide range of samples, tutorials, help files, and LSP support for code. RAD Studio’s C++ Builder version comes with the award-winning VCL framework for high-performance native Windows apps and the powerful FireMonkey (FMX) framework for cross-platform UIs.

There is a free C++ Builder Community Edition for students, beginners, and startups; it can be downloaded from here. For professional developers, there are Professional, Architect, or Enterprise versions of C++ Builder an

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About author

Dr. Yilmaz Yoru has 33+ years of coding with more than 30+ programming languages, mostly C++ on Windows, Android, Mac-OS, iOS, Linux, and some other operating systems. He was born in 1974, Eskisehir-Turkey, started coding in college and graduated from the department of Mechanical Engineering of Eskisehir Osmangazi University in 1997. He worked as a research assistant at the same university for more than 10 years. He received his MSc and PhD degrees from the same department at the same university. Since 2012, he is the founder and CEO of Esenja LLC Company. He has married and he is a father of a son. Some of his interests are Programming, Thermodynamics, Fluid Mechanics, Artificial Intelligence, 2D & 3D Designs, and high-end innovations.
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