What is the C++ Programming Language?
C++ is a general-purpose object-oriented programming (OOP) language, developed by Bjarne Stroustrup, and is an extension of the C language. It is therefore possible to code C++ in a “C style” or “object-oriented style.” In certain scenarios, it can be coded in either way and is thus an effective example of a hybrid language.
C++ is considered to be an intermediate-level language, as it encapsulates both high- and low-level language features. Initially, the language was called “C with classes” as it had all the properties of the C language with an additional concept of “classes.” However, it was renamed C++ in 1983.
What is C, What is C++, and What is the Difference?
C is a programming language originally developed for developing the Unix operating system. It is a low-level and powerful language, but it lacks many modern and useful constructs. C++ is a newer language, based on C, that adds many more modern programming language features that make it easier to program than C.
Basically, C++ maintains all aspects of the C language, while providing new features to programmers that make it easier to write useful and sophisticated programs.
For example, C++ makes it easier to manage memory and adds several features to allow “object-oriented” programming and “generic” programming. Basically, it makes it easier for programmers to stop thinking about the nitty-gritty details of how the machine works and think about the problems they are trying to solve.
So, what is C++ used for?
C++ is a powerful general-purpose programming language. It can be used to create small programs or large applications. It can be used to make CGI scripts or console-only DOS programs. C++ allows you to create programs to do almost anything you need to do. The creator of C++, Bjarne Stroustrup, has put together a partial list of applications written in C++.
How do you learn C++?
No special knowledge is needed to learn C++, and if you are an independent learner, you can probably learn C++ from online tutorials or from books. There are plenty of free tutorials online, including Cprogramming.com’s C++ tutorial – one which requires no prior programming experience. You can also pick out programming books from our recommendations.
While reading a tutorial or a book, it is often helpful to type – not copy and paste (even if you can!) – the code into the compiler and run it. Typing it yourself will help you to get used to the typical typing errors that cause problems and it will force you to pay attention to the details of programming syntax. Typing your program will also familiarize you with the general structure of programs and with the use of common commands. After running an example program – and after making certain that you understand how it works – you should experiment with it: play with the program and test your own ideas. By seeing which modifications cause problems and which sections of the code are most important to the function of the program, you should learn quite a bit about programming.
C++ is a high-level programming language developed by Bjarne Stroustrup at Bell Labs beginning in 1979.
The original title of C++ was “C with classes”. While he was a graduate student, Stroustrup was frustrated that available languages offered him either fast performance or high-level features for program organization, but not both. This inspired him to write his own programming language.
He set out to create a programming language that compiles to lean, efficient code, but also provides high-level abstractions to better manage large development projects. The language was later named “C++”, a tongue-in-cheek reference to ++, an operator in C that increments a value by one.
Since then, C++ has become one of the most widely-used languages in the world, especially in projects where performance comes at a premium. C++ continues to be updated and maintained; the current version is C++ 11, released in 2011.