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A Brief History of C

C is a general-purpose language which has been closely associated with the UNIX operating system for which it was developed - since the system and most of the programs that run it are written in C.

Many of the important ideas of C stem from the language BCPL, developed by Martin Richards. The influence of BCPL on C proceeded indirectly through the language B, which was written by Ken Thompson in 1970 at Bell Labs, for the first UNIX system on a DEC PDP-7. BCPL and B are "type less" languages whereas C provides a variety of data types.

In 1972 Dennis Ritchie at Bell Labs writes C and in 1978 the publication of The C Programming Language by Kernighan & Ritchie caused a revolution in the computing world.

In 1983, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) established a committee to provide a modern, comprehensive definition of C. The resulting definition, the ANSI standard, or "ANSI C", was completed late 1988.

A Rough Guide to Programming Languages is available on-line for those of you that are interested.