Introduction to C++ language: History and Characteristics

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Introduction to C++

C++ is a compiled, general purpose programming language that supports procedural, object-oriented, and generic programming. C++ is a also a case sensitive language as well as C language. C++ is regarded as a middle-level language, as it comprises a combination of both high-level and low-level language features. C++ is an object oriented programming(we will study this in next article) language that allows programmers to build large and complex applications in a useful and efficient way. The prime purpose of C++ programming was to add object orientation to the C programming language, which is in itself one of the most powerful programming languages.

C++ was developed by Bjarne Stroustrup starting in 1979 at Bell Labs in Murray Hill, New Jersey as an enhancement to the C language and originally named C with Classes but later it was renamed C++ in 1983. 


History of C++

–        Extension of C

–        Early 1980s: Bjarne Stroustrup (Bell Laboratories)

–        “Spruces up” C

–        Provides capabilities for object-oriented programming

  • Objects: reusable software components

–        Model items in real world

  • Object-oriented programs

–        Easy to understand, correct and modify

–        Hybrid language

  • C-like style
  • Object-oriented style
  • Both

Characteristics of C++ Language

1. C is a compiled language:

C++ compiles directly to a machine’s native code, allowing it to be one of the fastest languages in the world, if optimized.

2. C++ is portable

As one of the most frequently used languages in the world and as an open language, C++ has a wide range of compilers that run     on many different platforms that support it. Code that exclusively uses C++’s standard library will run on many platforms with few to no changes..

3. C++ is upwards compatible with C

C++, being a language that directly builds off C, is compatible with almost all C code. C++ can use C libraries with few to no  modifications of the C library code.

4. C++ is ISO-standardized language

For a time, C++ had no official standard and was maintained by a de-facto standard, however since 1998, C++ is standardized by a committee of the ISO.

5. C++ offers many paradigm choices. 

C++ offers remarkable support for procedural, generic, and object-oriented programming paradigms, with many other paradigms        being possible as well.


Mohit Arora
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