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Introduction to C



(Reference: “Turbo C Programming for PC”, Robert Lafore, SAMS)


 Source of Communication between two

– Example: Human –To- Human
 Source of Communication between User
and Computer is called programming
– Example: Human –To- Machine

Set of instructions which perform any

specific task is called program.
What is programming?
 Series of instructions to a computer to achieve a task

 Instructions must be written in a way the computer can


 Programming languages are used to write programs

 Once the code (language) of a program has been

written, it must be executed (run, started).

 Some programming languages (like C, C++ or Java)

require the code to be compiled (translated to binary)
before it can be started.
History of C language

Year Language Developer

1960 Internal Committee
(Algorithmic Language)
1967 Martin Richards
(Basic Combined Programming Language)

1970 B Ken Thompson

1972 C Dennis Ritchie

What is C?
 C
 A language written by Dennis
Ritchie in 1972 at AT&T Bell Labs
USA. This was to be the language
that UNIX was written in to become
the first "portable" language.

In recent years C has been used as a general-purpose

language because of its popularity with

AT&T-American Telephone and Telegraph

UNIX-Uniplexed Information and Computing System or Service

Why C Still Useful?

 C provides:
 Efficiency, high performance and high quality
 Provide functionality through rich set of function libraries
 Gateway for other professional languages like C  C++  Java

 C is used:
 System software, Compilers, Editors
 Graphics and Geometry
 Databases, operating systems, device drivers
 Also used in application programs
How do you write a program?

 Decide what steps are needed to complete the task

 Write the steps (Algorithm) in pseudo code (written in English)

or as a flowchart (graphic symbols)

 Translate into the programming language

 Try out the program and “debug”.

Sample Pseudo code
 Task: add two numbers
 Pseudo code (Algorithm) :

1. Start
2. Get two numbers
3. Add them (a + b)
4. Print the answer
5. End
What does a flowchart look like?
 Pseudo code Start
(Algorithm) :

Get 2 numbers
1. Start
2. Get two numbers
3. Add them (A + B) A+B
4. Print the answer
5. End
Print answer

Flow Chart symbols




Integrated Development Environments

 An integrated development environment (IDE) is a software

package that makes it possible to edit, compile, link, execute,
and debug a program without leaving the environment.

Simple C Program
/* A first C Program*/

#include <stdio.h>

void main()

printf("Hello World");

Simple C Program
/* A first C Program*/

#include <stdio.h> Header File

void main() Main Function

{ Opening bracket

printf("Hello World"); Statement Part

} Closing Bracket
Simple C Program
 Line 1: #include <stdio.h>

 As part of compilation, the C compiler runs a program

called the C preprocessor. The preprocessor is able to
add and remove code from your source file.
 In this case, the directive #include tells the
preprocessor to include code from the file stdio.h.
 This file contains declarations for functions that the
program needs to use. A declaration for the printf
function is in this file.
Simple C Program
 Line 2: void main()

 This statement declares the main function.

 A C program can contain many functions but must
always have one main function.
 A function is a self-contained module of code that can
finish some task.
 The "void" specifies the return type of main. In this case,
nothing is returned to the operating system.
Simple C Program
 Line 3: {

 This opening bracket denotes the start of the program,

function or segment.
Simple C Program
 Line 4: printf("Hello World ");

 Printf is a function from a standard C library that is used

to print strings to the standard output, normally your
 The compiler links code from these standard libraries to
the code you have written to produce the final
 If there were another printf in this program, its string
would print on the next line.
Simple C Program
 Line 5: }
 This closing bracket denotes the end of the program,
function or segment.
 Comment should be enclosed between /* */
 It is used to increase the readability of the program.
 Any number of comments can be given at any place
in the program.
 Comment cannot be nested

/* A first C Program*/
Getting started with C

 Steps in learning English language

Alphabets Words Sentences Paragraph

 Steps in learning C
Alphabets Instruction Program
The C character Set

• A character denotes any alphabet, digit

or special symbol used to represent

Alphabets A,B, …. ,Y, Z

a,b, ….. ,y, z

Digits 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9

Special Symbols ~‘!@#%^&*( )_-+=

|\{}[] :;“‘< > , .? /
Constants, Variable and keywords
 The alphabets, numbers and special symbol
when properly combined form constants,
variables and keywords

 A constant is a quantity that doesn’t change

 A variable is a name given to the location in

memory where an information is stored

 Example: 3x + y = 20
3 & 20 are constants, which cannot change
x & y can vary or change hence are called variables
• Keywords are the words whose meaning has
already been explained to the C compiler
• Sometimes called reserved words.
• They cannot be used as variable names.
• There are only 32 keywords available in c

auto double if static do

break else int struct goto
case enum long switch signed
char extern near typedef while
const float register union default
continue far return unsigned for
short void
Escape Sequence
Certain non printing characters can be expressed in terms
of escape sequences

 \n new line
 \t tab
 \a alert
 \\ backslash
 \” double quote
 \0 Null
 \b Backspace
Data Types

• C Supports several different types of

data, each of which may be represented
differently within the computers memory.
• Basic data types are listed below:

Data Type Description Typical Memory

int integer quantity 2 bytes

char single character 1 bytes
float floating point number 4 bytes
Escape Sequences in C
 Certain non printing characters can be expressed in terms of
escape sequences

Character Escape Sequence

bell \a
backspace \b
horizontal tab \t
vertical tab \v
newline \n
carriage return \r
quotation mark (“) \”
question mark(?) \?
backslash (\) \\
null \0
Development with C
 Four stages
 Editing: Writing the source code by using some IDE or editor
 Preprocessing or libraries: Already available routines
 compiling: translates or converts source to object code for a
specific platform source code -> object code
– linking: The object code of a program is linked with libraries
that are needed for execution of a program. The linker is used to
link the program with libraries. It creates a file
with '*.exe' extension.
Program Development


Source File


Modified Source Code in RAM


Program Object Code File


Executable File

 Sometimes called reserved words.

 Are defined as a part of the C language.
 Can not be used for anything else!
 32 keywords in C
 Examples:
– int
– void
– while
– for