Why do you (or aspire to) program in C?

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    Why do you (or aspire to) program in C?

    You, personally.

    Me personally, I think I was born in the wrong point in history for computers. A couple of years ago I was an English major and that was my path. I somehow got to tinkering around with my wife's old palm pilot (m100) and seeing how much you could get squeeze out of that tiny 2mb device, and that snowballed into my fullblown journey towards a computing career.

    Along the way, I've satisfied my newfound techno-lust with documentaries and reading, and nothing quite does it for me like the scene from late 70's to 90's where you had this resourceful people hacking away, ingeniously unlocking the potential of hardware that would be infantile by today's standards. C, of course, is kind iconic of that era where resourcefulness and fine detail work was not optional. I think I'm nolstalgic for that kind of experience, not to mention that someday I do plan to make some c-based programs to toy with on my ancient palm someday.

    Others? Is it purely a hobby? Is it part of your work? Just fascinated like me?

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    In mechanical engineering issues you still have to program with c because the ressources of electronic control units (for exampe within automobiles) are in a similar way limited as the hardware you were talking of. So that would be an example for a non-hobby appliance. ;-)

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    I program in C when speed and efficiency are primary goals.

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    C++まいる!Cをこわせ! Elysia's Avatar
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    For what platform?
    Quote Originally Posted by Adak View Post
    io.h certainly IS included in some modern compilers. It is no longer part of the standard for C, but it is nevertheless, included in the very latest Pelles C versions.
    Quote Originally Posted by Salem View Post
    You mean it's included as a crutch to help ancient programmers limp along without them having to relearn too much.

    Outside of your DOS world, your header file is meaningless.

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    Generalizing that into embedded programming, yes. Specific (usually non-Intel) processor, memory measured in KB instead of GB... it all adds up to fun.

    I like C because it's the only language that I feel I have a total handle on. I can write C++ and Java code, but I always feel that although perfectly valid it's not using all the little constructs built into the language. C is sufficiently lightweight that you can get experience using all statements in less time.

    It's also worth noting that many of the modern web languages (PHP, Ruby) were built from C and thus code written in them could be boiled down to it. It would be hefty, but it would still run as fast.

    As we seem to keep saying, C is not dead. It's just that for most concepts you will find it easier expressing them in C++/Java/whatever than writing everything out in C.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wildcard_seven View Post
    You, personally.

    Me personally, I think I was born in the wrong point in history for computers. A couple of years ago I was an English major and that was my path. I somehow got to tinkering around with my wife's old palm pilot (m100) and seeing how much you could get squeeze out of that tiny 2mb device, and that snowballed into my fullblown journey towards a computing career.

    Along the way, I've satisfied my newfound techno-lust with documentaries and reading, and nothing quite does it for me like the scene from late 70's to 90's where you had this resourceful people hacking away, ingeniously unlocking the potential of hardware that would be infantile by today's standards. C, of course, is kind iconic of that era where resourcefulness and fine detail work was not optional. I think I'm nolstalgic for that kind of experience, not to mention that someday I do plan to make some c-based programs to toy with on my ancient palm someday.

    Others? Is it purely a hobby? Is it part of your work? Just fascinated like me?
    I program in MUMPS(aka M), a language that makes C look new and cutting-edge :P though that's for my job. I learned C as my first programming language, back in the 90s.
    You ever try a pink golf ball, Wally? Why, the wind shear on a pink ball alone can take the head clean off a 90 pound midget at 300 yards.

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    Others? Is it purely a hobby? Is it part of your work? Just fascinated like me?
    It's a hobby.
    I'm fashinated.
    I was a professional programmer some 30 years ago [COBOL - PL1].
    I'm still enjoying it a lot.

    Take care.
    Last edited by frktons; 07-25-2010 at 01:09 PM.

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    I was recently working on a project (just for fun / a learning exercise - but I really wanted to make it high-quality) that required the ability to work on a lot of extremely large numbers. I started using a JVM-based language (Clojure, in case you care) that made a lot of the project much easier to complete. I had convinced myself that the JIT-compiler's optimizing (which would certainly be better than mine), the fast development time, the portability, and the big standard libraries would be a huge advantage. I really enjoyed the new language, but I had barely started on the project when I saw that working with Java's "BigInteger" class would be massively slow. I started comparing it to GMP, both in my own benchmarks and research online, and it was quickly apparent that the JVM was a very long way from even competing with this library (We're talking about a factor of 100 times slower).

    So the moral of the story is: GMP is written in C and uses a lot of optimized assembler. It can be used in language like PHP and Python, but the simple fact is - even when using an extremely high performance computer, I have definitely found that there are times when your code needs to squeeze out every ounce of performance. Those times will become more and more specialized over time, but I don't think they will ever disappear. My Dad works on mainframes, and still has the same mindset you describe. Cutting down development time is important, but the ultimate goal is 100% reliability and maximum speed.

    So to answer your question, I aspire to work on the same kind of things you describe. Right now I'm a Flex developer, and my job really doesn't interest me that much (despite being a good job). Once I'm done with school, all the things I envision myself doing involve working on systems that still push the boundaries of their hardware. I rarely get excited about languages that make development easier, or things like that.

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    Great posts. I guess since we are all here, I shouldn't feel that weird...but sometimes I look at myself and go, "What are you doing, Mike? Don't you know the way of the world is C## and Mega-Java 3.0?"

    lulz

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    I like tearing stuff apart.
    when I was young I would always try to rip plants apart to see how they work. Then I got into computers and started getting good at flying through the windows operating system. Then I learned so much about how to do stuff on windows that people would be asking stuff thats second nature to me. One day I went onto youtube and I saw a video that said how to watch youtube at school. Who doesn't want to watch youtube at school. But I clicked it and it brought me to a .bat file tutorial (didn't work). I started doing stuff with .bat files then I got interested in video editing which went on for a while then I wanted to program for real. thats when I went to youtube to thenewbostons videos. The C tutorials only go to 15 so I have been teaching my self ever since.

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    (Future) Career: C with OpenGL.
    Hobby: making 2D games and Computer Troubleshooting.

    oh well, Computer Troubleshootings is also a hobby for me! it think that began
    when by computer got a failure and always restarted from loading windows,
    thats when i started (literally) ripping my PC apart to fix the problem... as for
    C and OpenGL, the Speed of C is closed to assembly and OpenGL is LowLevel.
    so C and OpenGL are a good combination.... (atleast for me).

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    I learned C and then C++ in the early 90's used them both for everything, then got a job and used C# and the .NET framework more often than not. But now at my current job we have a huge code base that was C and has some C++ thrown into it, working on that code base is the only time I really use C/C++ on a regular basis, although every now and then I will dabble in some C and openGL but not that often since I have almost not free time anymore, everything else at work is all in C#
    "only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and im not sure about the former." - albert einstein

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    Linguistic Engineer... doubleanti's Avatar
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    once I needed a resistor who's conductance was controlled by an externally applied voltage. I was going to use this to do automatic gain control for a type of compression effect.

    I asked my advisor at the time, and he didn't know immediately. I scratched my head for a few weeks, and then one day realized that what I wanted was a transistor...

    so... I was born fifty, sixty years too late... dang...
    hasafraggin shizigishin oppashigger...

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