Introduction to C++ Programming
What is C++ programming ?
C++ programming is a statically typed, compiled, general-purpose, case-sensitive, free-form programming language that supports procedural, object-oriented, and generic programming.
C++ is regarded as a middle-level language, as it comprises a combination of both high-level and low-level language features.
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.
C++ is a superset of C, and that virtually any legal C program is a legal C++ program.
Note: A programming language is said to use static typing when type checking is performed during compile-time as opposed to run-time.
key features of C++ programming:
C++ fully supports object-oriented programming, including the four pillars of object-oriented development:
- Data hiding
Standard C++ consists of three important parts:
- The core language gives all the building blocks including variables, data types and literals, etc.
- The C++ Standard Library gives a rich set of functions manipulating files, strings, etc.
- The Standard Template Library (STL) gives a rich set of methods manipulating data structures, etc.
The ANSI Standard
The ANSI standard is an attempt to ensure that C++ is portable; that code you write for Microsoft’s compiler will compile without errors, using a compiler on a Mac, UNIX, a Windows box, or an Alpha.
The ANSI standard has been stable for a while, and all the major C++ compiler manufacturers support the ANSI standard.
Learning C++ programming
The most important thing while learning C++ is to focus on concepts.
The purpose of learning a programming language is to become a better programmer; that is, to become more effective at designing and implementing new systems and at maintaining old ones.
C++ programming language supports a variety of programming styles. You can write in the style of Fortran, C, Smalltalk, etc., in any language. Each style can achieve its aims effectively while maintaining runtime and space efficiency.
Use of C++ programming
C++ is used by hundreds of thousands of programmers in essentially every application domain.
C++ is being highly used to write device drivers and other software that rely on direct manipulation of hardware under real-time constraints.
C++ is widely used for teaching and research because it is clean enough for successful teaching of basic concepts.
Anyone who has used either an Apple Macintosh or a PC running Windows has indirectly used C++ because the primary user interfaces of these systems are written in C++ programming language.
Brief history of C++ programming
C++ programming language has a fascinating history. It began in the 1980s when Bjarne Stroustrup developed it at Bell Labs. He wanted to expand the C language. The first edition of “The C++ Programming Language” often referred to as the C++ Bible was published in 1985.
Throughout the years C++ has undergone revisions, each introducing features, improvements and optimizations. These updates have brought advancements like the inclusion of the Standard Template Library (STL) in the 1990s. This addition revolutionized data structures and algorithms within C++.
Today C++ remains widely used across domains. Continues to evolve with each standard update to meet modern software development demands.
Here is a brief timeline of the history of C++:
- 1979: Bjarne Stroustrup starts developing C++ at Bell Labs.
- 1983: The first version of C++ is released.
- 1985: The first book on C++, The C++ Programming Language by Bjarne Stroustrup, is published.
- 1987: The first commercial C++ compiler, Cfront, is released.
- 1989: The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) forms a committee to standardize C++.
- 1995: The first ANSI/ISO C++ standard is published.
- 1998: The first edition of the C++ standard library is published.
- 2003: The second edition of the C++ standard library is published.
- 2011: The C++11 standard is published, adding significant new features to the language.
- 2014: The C++14 standard is published, adding additional features to the language.
- 2017: The C++17 standard is published, adding even more features to the language.
- 2020: The C++20 standard is published, adding new features such as concepts and modules.
- 2023: The C++23 standard is scheduled to be published, adding additional features such as structured bindings and consteval.
In summary C++ programming language holds a place in programming as a language. It offers a balance between performance, flexibility and high level abstraction. Whether your goal is to create software, for platforms or delve into system level programming details C++ provides the necessary tools and capabilities to tackle these challenges.