n. 1. The third letter of the English alphabet. 2. ASCII
1000011. 3. The name of a programming language designed by
Dennis Ritchie during the early 1970s and immediately used to
}; so called because many features derived
from an earlier compiler named `B' in commemoration of
*its* parent, BCPL. Before Bjarne Stroustrup settled the
question by designing C++, there was a humorous debate over whether
C's successor should be named `D' or `P'. C became immensely
popular outside Bell Labs after about 1980 and is now the dominant
language in systems and microcomputer applications programming.
See also languages of choice
, indent style
C is often described, with a mixture of fondness and disdain
varying according to the speaker, as "a language that combines
all the elegance and power of assembly language with all the
readability and maintainability of assembly language".