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  C++ Level 2

A Brief History of C++




What is a program? A common definition of a program is set of written instructions created by a programmer, which are executed by a computer. In general, a programmer constructs a program using source code which is then turned into executable code by a compiler.

Source code can be written in many different programming languages, such as BASIC, COBOL, PASCAL, Visual Basic, Java, C and C++. C and C++ are two separate, but related, programming languages.

In the 1970's, Dennis Ritchie and Brian Kernighan designed the C programming language based upon earlier languages and it became very widely used. In essence though, C is a procedural language. You can think of of a procedural language as organizing code as a set of instructions or functions, to be executed one after the other.

  Object Orientation

One problem with procedural languages was that programmers found themselves constantly reinventing new solutions to old problems. In other words, "reinventing the wheel". If a programmer wanted to include say - a spreadsheet - in a program, then the code would be written from scratch, even though similar code would probably have been written many times by different programmers.

In the 1980's. new ideas of reusability became important and programming languages started to develop object orientated capabilities. The idea behind reusability is to build components and then to be able to plug them into your program as you need them. For example, if you want to insert a command button into your program you certainly don't want to have to draw it pixel by pixel in your program. Far better to use a program component for a command button that someone has already written.

If you think about it, reusability is more like real life. For example, have you ever considered building your own computer? It is quite simple to do using separately made components. You certainly don't have to make your own silicon chip processor from scratch. Object-oriented programming attempts to achieve this type of reuse of software components

This is where C++ come into play. In 1985, Bjarne Stroustrup created C++ based on the C programming language. C++ is an extension of C that adds object-oriented programming capabilities.

You could say that C++ is currently the most popular programming language, particularly for developing graphical programs that run on platforms such as Macintosh and Windows. Visual C++ is a visual development environment for creating C and C++ applications. You can create both C and C++ applications in Visual C++. The C and C++ language syntax used in Visual C++ conforms to ANSI C/C++ specifications.

Note: Visual C++ itself is not a programming language. It is a development environment used for creating programs with the C/C++ languages.

Thats it!
Now try creating your first program.