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Introduction to the C Programming Language

Fred Kuhns

.ppt   C.ppt (Size: 456 KB / Downloads: 330)
• The C programming language was designed by Dennis Ritchie at Bell Laboratories in the early 1970s
• Influenced by
– ALGOL 60 (1960),
– CPL (Cambridge, 1963),
– BCPL (Martin Richard, 1967),
– B (Ken Thompson, 1970)
• Traditionally used for systems programming, though this may be changing in favor of C++
• Traditional C:
– The C Programming Language, by Brian Kernighan and Dennis Ritchie, 2nd Edition, Prentice Hall
– Referred to as K&R
Standard C
• Standardized in 1989 by ANSI (American National Standards Institute) known as ANSI C
• International standard (ISO) in 1990 which was adopted by ANSI and is known as C89
• As part of the normal evolution process the standard was updated in 1995 (C95) and 1999 (C99)
• C++ and C
– C++ extends C to include support for Object Oriented Programming and other features that facilitate large software development projects
– C is not strictly a subset of C++, but it is possible to write “Clean C” that conforms to both the C++ and C standards.
Elements of a C Program
• A C development environment includes
– System libraries and headers: a set of standard libraries and their header files. For example see /usr/include and glibc.
– Application Source: application source and header files
– Compiler: converts source to object code for a specific platform
– Linker: resolves external references and produces the executable module
• User program structure
– there must be one main function where execution begins when the program is run. This function is called main
• int main (void) { ... },
• int main (int argc, char *argv[]) { ... }
• UNIX Systems have a 3rd way to define main(), though it is not POSIX.1 compliant
int main (int argc, char *argv[], char *envp[])
– additional local and external functions and variables
A Simple C Program
• Create example file: try.c
• Compile using gcc:
gcc –o try try.c
• The standard C library libc is included automatically
• Execute program
• Note, I always specify an absolute path
• Normal termination:
void exit(int status);
– calls functions registered with atexit()
– flush output streams
– close all open streams
– return status value and control to host environment
Source and Header files
• Just as in C++, place related code within the same module (i.e. file).
• Header files (*.h) export interface definitions
– function prototypes, data types, macros, inline functions and other common declarations
• Do not place source code (i.e. definitions) in the header file with a few exceptions.
– inline’d code
– class definitions
– const definitions
• C preprocessor (cpp) is used to insert common definitions into source files
• There are other cool things you can do with the preprocessor


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.pdf   C PROGRAMMING.pdf (Size: 2.77 MB / Downloads: 34)

A Tutorial Introduction

Let us begin with a quick introduction in C. Our aim is to show the essential elements of the language in real programs, but without getting bogged down in details, rules, and exceptions. At this point, we are not trying to be complete or even precise (save that the examples are meant to be correct). We want to get you as quickly as possible to the point where you can write useful programs, and to do that we have to concentrate on the basics: variables and constants, arithmetic, control flow, functions, and the rudiments of input and output. We are intentionally leaving out of this chapter features of C that are important for writing bigger programs. These include pointers, structures, most of C's rich set of operators, several control-flow statements, and the standard library.
This approach and its drawbacks. Most notable is that the complete story on any particular feature is not found here, and the tutorial, by being brief, may also be misleading. And because the examples do not use the full power of C, they are not as concise and elegant as they might be. We have tried to minimize these effects, but be warned. Another drawback is that later chapters will necessarily repeat some of this chapter. We hope that the repetition will help you more than it annoys.
In any case, experienced programmers should be able to extrapolate from the material in this chapter to their own programming needs. Beginners should supplement it by writing small, similar programs of their own. Both groups can use it as a framework on which to hang the more detailed descriptions that begin in Chapter 2.

Symbolic Constants

A final observation before we leave temperature conversion forever. It's bad practice to bury ``magic numbers'' like 300 and 20 in a program; they convey little information to someone who might have to read the program later, and they are hard to change in a systematic way. One way to deal with magic numbers is to give them meaningful names.

Character Input and Output

We are going to consider a family of related programs for processing character data. You will find that many programs are just expanded versions of the prototypes that we discuss here.
The model of input and output supported by the standard library is very simple. Text input or output, regardless of where it originates or where it goes to, is dealt with as streams of characters. A text stream is a sequence of characters divided into lines; each line consists of zero or more characters followed by a newline character. It is the responsibility of the library to make each input or output stream confirm this model; the C programmer using the library need not worry about how lines are represented outside the program.
The standard library provides several functions for reading or writing one character at a time, of which getchar and putchar are the simplest. Each time it is called, getchar reads the next input character from a text stream and returns that as its value.


Let is write a program to count the number of occurrences of each digit, of white space characters (blank, tab, newline), and of all other characters. This is artificial, but it permits us to illustrate several aspects of C in one program.
There are twelve categories of input, so it is convenient to use an array to hold the number of occurrences of each digit, rather than ten individual variables.

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