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The Development of the C Language

The Development of the C Language* Dennis M. Ritchie Bell Labs/Lucent Technologies Murray Hill, NJ 07974 USA ABSTRACT The C programming language was devised in the early 1970s as a system implementation language for the nascent Unix operating system. Derived from the typeless language BCPL, it evolved a type structure; created on a tiny machine as a tool to improve a meager programming environment, it has become one of the dominant languages of today. This paper studies its evolution. Introduction NOTE: *Copyright 1993 Association for Computing Machinery, Inc. This electronic reprint made available by the author as a courtesy. For further publication rights contact ACM or the author. This article was presented at Second History of Programming Languages conference, Cambridge, Mass., April, 1993. It was then collected in the conference proceedings: History of Programming Languages-II ed. Thomas J. Bergin, Jr. and Richard G. Gibson, Jr. ACM Press (