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Why Use C Programming?

The C and C++ programming languages are hugely popular despite having been around for 40 years. Behind that popularity are thousands of developers working together to bring out the best C and C++ compiler solutions which incorporate the very latest enhancements and improvements. Today we have C++ CLANG standards with names like C++17 and C++20. But the initial spark for the C language started in 1970’s and still it is stronger language in programming. It is really powerful with C features like printf(), scanf, calloc, malloc functions, dowhile loops, structs, arrays etc. But why use C programming when there are so many other computer languages available?

The C language remains very popular on all platforms such Windows, iOS, Android, Linux, and others such as IoT systems. But why we need C programming? Why are C and C++ still so popular? How can we develop C apps with the latest modern IDE and compilers ?

Why use C programming, isn’t it old ?

It’s fair to describe C as ‘mature’. The C Programming Language was developed and first documented in the 1970s. Since 1970, there have been many more programming languages emerge and the C language itself has experienced many changes from its original format. The C++ programming language incorporates the C language at its heart but takes C a little further by adding object oriented programming features like classes, objects and methods. Despite innovations, the venerable C language is still extremely popular, frequently appearing in the top 3 programming language choices. If we consider its other variations and its usage on microchips and IoTs it is the most used programming language worldwide.

Here is a C example of a screenshot from the RAD Studio / C++ Builder 11.2 IDE released in 2022 which can be used to write programs in both the C and C++ programming languages. RAD Studio also comes with the latest Delphi programming language which is based on the Pascal programming language.

Why Use C Programming? A screenshot of the RAD Studio IDE
The latest RAD Studio, C++ Builder 11.2 in C programming, released in 2022

Why use C programming when we could use Python?

There are two types of programming languages: interpreted and non-interpreted (compiled). All computers work with machine code, code that can be directly programmed by assembler codes, that tells the computer what to do; exe files are this kind of file albeit with some additional information for section relocations and headers. 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. A compiler such as a C or C++ compiler is a computer program that converts one programming language i.e., C/C++ code written with text into executable machine code with a linker.

Here is an example of C code:

Such code may not be as fast as assembler code, but the difference in speed is very small because both machine code and compiler-based code in text form are much more compatible with other CPU/GPUs and/or with other Operating Systems when you compile them on a machine. This is one reason why C++ is the fastest and most powerful programming language. Interpreted programming languages run inside executable applications like Java, Python, or Visual Basic. This is why they are slower when executing operations, as they need to use compiled libraries for faster operations. Again, they mostly use C/C++ compilers to build these 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 use C programming in 2022?

Since 1983 C++ has gradually overshadowed the C programming language. However, there is still a lot of code written in the classic C language, and these can be compiled with C++ compilers and IDEs. Sometimes we combine and use C functions in the methods of C++ classes. Generally, a C++ compiler can also compile C language-specific commands. That perhaps should not be too much of a surprise since most of the standard C++ commands like for()while()printf() actually come from the C language.

The C++ Compiler and C++ IDE features really evolved from the early and auspicious beginnings of Turbo C, C++ and Borland C++. Today we have a wide array of features supporting a rich and diverse amount of OS platforms running on thousands of types of devices encompassing everything from cell phones, watches, cars to a broad collection of IoT (internet of things) specialized hardware.

C and C++ Compilers are great tools to develop when they are paired with a professional C++ IDE for Windows app development. According to the TIOBE Index [1] and many similar ‘high score tables’, the C and C++ programming language have more than 23+% share of programming languages 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 more than 33% share in worldwide and note that these are recorded from online data only.

There might be more C and C++ developers if we include those kinds of other operating systems which are offline or embedded systems and not included in these records.

Why Use C Programming? A picture of someone holding up a yellow not which says "code" on it

Why Use C++ Builder IDE for the C Programming?

cbuilder_11_512x5121x-6842885-6973897

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, and C++ Builder is one of the most professional IDE’s that work under RAD Studio. It is the oldest IDE (it began as Borland TurboC in 1990 and was later renamed Borland C++ Builder). Under the Embarcadero brand, it comes with new versions, features, updates, and support. 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.

In 2022, Embarcadero announced the RAD Studio and C++ Builder 11.1.5 . C++ Builder 11.1.5 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 documentation on configuring C++ Code Insight in order to tune its behavior for your projects and needs. RAD Studio 11 versions are introduced several new features, enhancements, and quality updates in key areas including:   

  • Provision apps for Windows 11
  • Compile for Android API 30
  • Compile for macOS M-series (Apple Silicon) processors
  • Design on high-DPI 4k+ screens
  • View VCL Styles in design time
  • New & modernized VCL components  
  • Use enhanced remote desktop support to collaborate remotely 
  • Many Quality Improvements And Bug Fixes

References

[1] https://www.tiobe.com/tiobe-index/



You can download the free C++ Builder Community Edition

Professional developers can use the Professional, Architect or Enterprise versions of C++ Builder.

Please visit https://www.embarcadero.com/products/cbuilder.


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About author

33+ years of coding with more than 30+ programming languages, mostly C++ on Windows, Android, Mac-OS, iOS, Linux and some other operating systems. Dr. Yilmaz Yoru was born in 1974, Eskisehir-Turkey. He graduated from the department of Mechanical Engineering of Eskisehir Osmangazi University in 1997. One year later he started to work in the same university as an assistant. He received his MSc and PhD degrees from the same department of the same university. He has married and he is a father of a son. Some of his interests are Programming, Thermodynamics, Fluid Mechanics and Artificial Intelligence. He also likes the graphical 2D & 3D design and high-end innovations.
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