Operators in C and C++ Wikipedia

return type

A successor to the programming language B, C was originally developed at Bell Labs by Ritchie between 1972 and 1973 to construct utilities running on Unix. It was applied to re-implementing the kernel of the Unix operating system. It has become one of the most widely used programming languages, with C compilers available for practically all modern computer architectures and operating systems. C has been standardized by ANSI since and by the International Organization for Standardization .

  • If the computation of the default value does not have side effects, unwrap_or() can be used as a more concise choice.
  • The null coalescing operator replaces null pointers with a default value.
  • The C# language definition and the CLI are standardized under ISO/IEC and Ecma standards that provide reasonable and non-discriminatory licensing protection from patent claims.
  • For example, when shifting a 32 bit unsigned integer, a shift amount of 32 or higher would be undefined.
  • The second edition of the book has since been translated into over 20 languages.

Break is used to leave the innermost enclosing loop statement and continue is used to skip to its reinitialisation. There is also a non-structured goto statement which branches directly to the designated label within the function. Switch selects a case to be executed based on the value of an integer expression. Different from many other languages, control-flow will fall through to the next case unless terminated by a break.

Language tools

It was created in the 1970s by Dennis Ritchie, and remains very widely used and influential. By design, C’s features cleanly reflect the capabilities of the targeted CPUs. It has found lasting use in operating systems, device drivers, protocol stacks, though decreasingly for application software. C is commonly used on computer architectures that range from the largest supercomputers to the smallest microcontrollers and embedded systems.

  • The precedence table determines the order of binding in chained expressions, when it is not expressly specified by parentheses.
  • Many of these attributes duplicate the functionality of GCC’s and VisualC++’s platform-dependent preprocessor directives.
  • However, Novell maintained that Mono does not infringe any Microsoft patents.

Contemporary C compilers include checks which may generate warnings to help identify many potential bugs. The code generated after compilation doesn’t demand many system features, and can be invoked from some boot code in a straightforward manner – it’s simple to execute. Memory can be allocated to a program with calls to library routines.


In 2012, an eBook version of the second edition was published in ePub, Mobi, and PDF formats. In addition to the standard CLI specifications, there are many commercial and community class libraries that build on top of the .NET framework libraries to provide additional functionality. Managed memory cannot be explicitly freed; instead, it is automatically garbage collected. Garbage collection addresses the problem of memory leaks by freeing the programmer of responsibility for releasing memory that is no longer needed in most cases.

He continued, “You can learn the C language without getting Kernighan and Ritchie, but that’s doing it the hard way. You’re also working too hard if you make it the only book on C that you buy.” This article includes a list of references, related reading, or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. The Swift language is the product of tireless effort from a team of language experts, documentation gurus, compiler optimization ninjas, and an incredibly important internal dogfooding group who provided feedback to help refine and battle-test ideas.

Shift operators

Some of the standard library functions, e.g. scanf or strncat, can lead to buffer overruns. C and its calling conventions and linker structures are commonly used in conjunction with other high-level languages, with calls both to C and from C supported – it interoperates well with other high-level code. With its rich set of operators, the C language can utilise many of the features of target CPUs.

This can generate unexpected results if the signed value is negative. The next line indicates that a function named main is being defined. The main function serves a special purpose in C programs; the run-time environment calls the main function to begin program execution.

C is an imperative procedural language, supporting structured programming, lexical variable scope and recursion, with a static type system. It was designed to be compiled to provide low-level access to memory and language constructs that map efficiently to machine instructions, all with minimal runtime support. Despite its low-level capabilities, the language was designed to encourage cross-platform programming.

operating systems

The type specifier int indicates that the value that is returned to the invoker (in this case the run-time environment) as a result of evaluating the main function, is an integer. The keyword void as a parameter list indicates that this function takes no arguments. Historically, embedded C programming requires nonstandard extensions to the C language in order to support exotic features such as fixed-point arithmetic, multiple distinct memory banks, and basic I/O operations. C99 is for the most part backward compatible with C90, but is stricter in some ways; in particular, a declaration that lacks a type specifier no longer has int implicitly assumed.

Other systems

Where a particular CPU has more esoteric instructions, a language variant can be constructed with perhaps intrinsic functions to exploit those instructions – it can use practically all the target CPU’s features. The C language statements and expressions typically map well on to sequences of instructions for the target processor, and consequently there is a low run-time demand on system resources – it’s fast to execute. Additional multi-byte encoded characters may be used in string literals, but they are not entirely portable. The latest C standard allows multi-national Unicode characters to be embedded portably within C source text by using \uXXXX or \UXXXXXXXX encoding , although this feature is not yet widely implemented.

Dynamic memory allocation is performed using pointers; the result of a malloc is usually cast to the data type of the data to be stored. Many data types, such as trees, are commonly implemented as dynamically allocated struct objects linked together using pointers. Pointers to other pointers are often used in multi-dimensional arrays and arrays of struct objects. Pointers to functions are useful for passing functions as arguments to higher-order functions , in dispatch tables, or as callbacks to event handlers . C supports the use of pointers, a type of reference that records the address or location of an object or function in memory. Pointers can be dereferenced to access data stored at the address pointed to, or to invoke a pointed-to function.

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C enables programmers to create efficient implementations of algorithms and data structures, because the layer of abstraction from hardware is thin, and its overhead is low, an important criterion for computationally intensive programs. For example, the GNU Multiple Precision Arithmetic Library, the GNU Scientific Library, Mathematica, and MATLAB are completely or partially written in C. Many languages support calling library functions in C, for example, the Python-based framework NumPy uses C for the high-performance and hardware-interacting aspects.

Standardization and licensing

The most common C library is the C standard library, which is specified by the ISO and ANSI C standards and comes with every C implementation . This library supports stream input and output, memory allocation, mathematics, character strings, and time values. Several separate standard headers (for example, stdio.h) specify the interfaces for these and other standard library facilities. Heap memory allocation has to be synchronized with its actual usage in any program to be reused as much as possible. Conversely, it is possible for memory to be freed, but is referenced subsequently, leading to unpredictable results.

intermediate language

Microsoft initially agreed not to sue open-source developers for violating patents in non-profit projects for the part of the framework that is covered by the Open Specification Promise. Microsoft has also agreed not to enforce patents relating to Novell products against Novell’s paying customers with the exception of a list of products that do not explicitly mention C#, .NET or Novell’s implementation of .NET . However, Novell maintained that Mono does not infringe any Microsoft patents. Microsoft also made a specific agreement not to enforce patent rights related to the Moonlight browser plugin, which depends on Mono, provided it is obtained through Novell. Boxing is the operation of converting a value-type object into a value of a corresponding reference type. A developer can query a variety of data sources, provided IEnumerable interface is implemented on the object.

Since 2000, C has consistently ranked among the top two languages in the TIOBE index, a measure of the popularity of programming languages. The influence of The C Programming Language on programmers, a generation of whom first worked with C in universities and industry, has led many to accept the authors’ programming style and conventions as recommended practice, if not normative practice. For example, the Console class used later in the source code is defined in the System namespace, meaning it can be used without supplying the full name of the type . Extension methods in C# allow programmers to use static methods as if they were methods from a class’s method table, allowing programmers to add methods to an object that they feel should exist on that object and its derivatives.

These c# development outsourcings are detailed in various standards such as POSIX and the Single UNIX Specification. Function definitions, in turn, contain declarations and statements. Declarations either define new types using keywords such as struct, union, and enum, or assign types to and perhaps reserve storage for new variables, usually by writing the type followed by the variable name. Sections of code are enclosed in braces (, sometimes called “curly brackets”) to limit the scope of declarations and to act as a single statement for control structures. The large number of extensions and lack of agreement on a standard library, together with the language popularity and the fact that not even the Unix compilers precisely implemented the K&R specification, led to the necessity of standardization.

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Reflection is supported through .NET APIs, which enable scenarios such as type metadata inspection and dynamic method invocation. C# supports strongly, implicitly typed variable declarations with the keyword var, and implicitly typed arrays with the keyword new[] followed by a collection initializer. Statements are commonly grouped into methods , methods into classes, and classes into namespaces. The ANSI SQL-92 standard includes the COALESCE function implemented in Oracle, SQL Server, PostgreSQL, SQLite and MySQL.

R, S and T stand for any type, and K for a class type or enumerated type. Most of the operators available in C and C++ are also available in other C-family languages such as C#, D, Java, Perl, and PHP with the same precedence, associativity, and semantics. String handling using the standard library is code-intensive, with explicit memory management required. The use of pointers and the direct manipulation of memory means corruption of memory is possible, perhaps due to programmer error, or insufficient checking of bad data.


There are several different language structures that can be utilized with C# and LINQ and they are query expressions, lambda expressions, anonymous types, implicitly typed variables, extension methods, and object initializers. Automated source code checking and auditing are beneficial in any language, and for C many such tools exist, such as Lint. A common practice is to use Lint to detect questionable code when a program is first written. Once a program passes Lint, it is then compiled using the C compiler. Also, many compilers can optionally warn about syntactically valid constructs that are likely to actually be errors.

It is expected to be voted on in 2023 and would therefore be called C23. The generated code after compilation has relatively straightforward needs on the underlying platform, which makes it suitable for creating operating systems and for use in embedded systems. Procedures are a special case of function, with an untyped return type void. Data typing is static, but weakly enforced; all data has a type, but implicit conversions are possible. The semicolon separates statements and curly braces are used for grouping blocks of statements. Byte magazine stated in August 1983, ” is the definitive work on the C language. Don’t read any further until you have this book!” Jerry Pournelle wrote in the magazine that year that the book “is still the standard … a bit terse”.

It’s likely the drivers already exist in C, or that there is a similar CPU architecture as a back-end of a C https://forexhero.info/, so there is reduced incentive to choose another language. Tools such as Purify or Valgrind and linking with libraries containing special versions of the memory allocation functions can help uncover runtime errors in memory usage. Another common set of C library functions are those used by applications specifically targeted for Unix and Unix-like systems, especially functions which provide an interface to the kernel.

In early versions of C, only functions that return types other than int must be declared if used before the function definition; functions used without prior declaration were presumed to return type int. Strings are not a distinct data type, but are conventionally implemented as null-terminated character arrays. Mono, a Microsoft-sponsored project provides an open-source C# compiler, a complete open-source implementation of the CLI and a nearly complete implementation of the NET class libraries up to .NET Framework 3.5. Methods in standard libraries regularly throw system exceptions in some circumstances and the range of exceptions thrown is normally documented.