The scope of C and C ++ is surprisingly wide. Even in today’s world, despite all the variety of modern reliable tools, these two programming languages remain indispensable. Let’s find out what popular applications are written in these languages and why we should use them today.
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When and why are C and C ++ used?
1. Operating systems
The C language was originally created for systems programming, so it is not surprising that it is so actively used in the creation of operating systems and software.
Fast and energy efficient, it is close enough to the hardware layer to handle low-level code.
This is why it is ideal for operating system development.
Any operating system must first of all start quickly and efficiently manage system resources. For example, Linux, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS are written entirely in C, while Android and iOS are partially.
A C developer can implement all data structures on his own, fine-tuning the smallest details of the operating system. This high flexibility is a strong argument for the language.
Unlike other programming languages, the C language has no runtime dependencies. This means that the program can be executed in hardware without the involvement of the memory manager, input or output layer.
2. Programming embedded systems
The C programming language is a must for embedded systems design.
Mainly due to high performance and ease of use… The C language is very economical in consumption of system resources, which makes the program run quickly. As a result, embedded systems run in real time without slowdown.
More importantly, the C code, being platform independent, is not tied to any particular microprocessor or system. So the embedded program can be compiled across devices and platforms with little or no modification.
This is why self-driving cars, smartwatches, sensors, and IoT devices (such as coffee machines) all have embedded software written entirely in C or C ++. On linked systems, C allows you to work directly with memory resources and edit any part of the code.
3. Development of games and game engine
Performance is critical to the game, so the choice of programming language is limited.
Being the fastest programming language today, C ++ turns out to be one of the best for 3D games, multiplayer and others.
For example, Counter-Strike, StarCraft: Brood War, Diablo I, World of Warcraft are all written in C ++. Not to mention the Xbox and PlayStation consoles, which are based on C ++ programming.
The core of the Unity game engine – the most popular engine for creating video games for multiple operating systems at the same time – also used C ++.
C ++ development tools can handle even the most complex game graphics. They allow you to optimize and regulate how memory resources and data structures are used in the game.
4. Development of desktop and cross-platform applications
C ++ can also be used to build desktop applications. All thanks to excellent cross-platform development tools (sometimes called frameworks) like Qt. It lets you target Windows, Linux, macOS, Android, and embedded systems – all from a single codebase. So developing applications with Qt turns out to be a great solution for those looking to save on programming time and cost.
It is worth mentioning the SDL library, packed with functions that allow you to create applications simultaneously for Windows, Linux, Android, MacOS and iOS.
By the way, Photoshop, Illustrator and Adobe Premiere are written entirely in C ++.
What other applications are there?
Facebook has translated some of the code from PHP into C ++ to reduce energy costs per user. Perhaps cloud storage systems, databases, device drivers, and other kinds of software also use C ++.
This also includes banking and other applications that have a high degree of multithreading and low latency. In short, everything that should work quickly and without problems.
Considering all of the above, we will assume that the C / C ++ languages are quite suitable for:
- development of operating systems,
- embedded systems programming,
- game development,
- database development,
- development of desktop and cross-platform applications (using C ++ tools).
It can also be noted that in projects dealing with complex data types, software development using C ++ prevents data overload and similar problems.
So if you ask:
Why are we still using C / C ++?
There is a short answer: C and C ++ are flexible, very fast and efficient. Plus, they’re closer to machine code than any other programming language. That is why in some cases these languages are simply irreplaceable.
So our prediction is this: in the near future, the C language will not leave the technological arena. Especially due to the growing number of devices supporting IoT technology, and these devices are tightly tied to machine code and memory management.
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