C++ is a general-purpose, object-oriented, easy-to-learn programming language. Nowadays, C++ is widely used for competitive programming. An extension of the C programming language, C++ is a simple and compiled language. It is useful in computer programming and is very useful in teaching a beginner how object-oriented programming works. C++ is not only an object-oriented language but also supports procedural and functional programming.
Being a highly flexible and scalable language, C++ gives programmers high control over system resources and memory, unlike other languages. Furthermore, it is a portable language. You can develop an application in C++ and quickly run it on any other platform.
If we talk about the usage of C++, you can use C++ to develop high-performance applications, game applications, operating systems, browsers, and Graphical User Interfaces (GUI).
In this article, we will discuss the history of C++, its definition, its advantages, and disadvantages, how C++ is different from C language, the applications where C++ is used, and many more. We hope this article will give you all the information about C++ that you want to know.
History of C++
Bjarne Stroustrup, a Danish computer scientist, created C++ in 1980 at Bell Labs. Bjarne wanted a flexible and dynamic programming language with object-oriented features. He wanted to add object-oriented features to the C language. At that time, the C language itself was prevalent for its portability feature. In addition to all the features of the C language, Bjarne included more features like classes, default function argument, basic inheritance, and strong type checking in it. He called this language “C with Classes”. It was a superset of the C language.
The name of the language was changed in 1983. The name was changed from “C with Classes” to “C++”. Many new features were added to the language during this time, like virtual functions, function overloading, the const keyword, references with the & symbol, single-line comments using two forward classes, and many more.
In 1985, the first edition of this language was released and was entitled “The C++ Programming Language”. Since then, almost every year, C++ has gone through changes. Many new versions have been released now, and with each new version, this language becomes simpler, robust, and expressive.
Definition of C++
C++ is a programming language with object-oriented features. C++ is an extension of the C language. C++ is a flexible and powerful language because it supports almost all types of programming like procedural, functional, and object-oriented. Most software programs are written in C++ because of their flexible support for all kinds of programming.
In addition to this, C++ is compatible with the C language. You can easily compile most of your C++ programs in C without making any changes in the source code. Furthermore, C++ is a very well-structured and safer language because it is an OOP-based language. In C++, you can easily divide a complex program into smaller sets with the help of objects. This makes programming an easy and efficient task.
Moreover, after learning C++, it will be easy for you to learn other programming languages like Java, Python, etc. Because of the excellent performance of C++, you can quickly develop games, desktop apps, operating systems, and browsers.
What Makes C++ Different from C?
As we discussed earlier, C++ is the extension of the C language. Many features make C++ different from the C language. Let’s discuss them.
C language is a subset of C++ language.
C++ language is the superset of the C language.
C does not support object-oriented programming.
C++ supports object-oriented programming.
C is known as a function-driven language.
C++ is known as an object-driven language.
C does not support function and operator overloading.
C++ supports function and operator overloading both.
C follows the top-down approach.
C++ follows the bottom-up approach.
File extension of C program is .c.
File extension of C++ program is .cpp.
C does not allow inline functions.
C++ allows inline functions.
In C language, data is not secure.
In the C++ language, data is secure.
C supports only pointers.
C++ supports both pointers and references.
C does not support exception handling.
C++ supports exception handling.
C does not support inheritance.
C++ supports inheritance.
C focuses on method instead of focusing on data.
C++ focuses on data instead of focusing on method.
C does not support virtual and friend functions.
C++ supports virtual and friend functions.
Header file used in C is stdio.h.
Header file used in C++ is iostream.h
C does not support the namespace feature.
C++ supports the namespace feature.
Only built-in data types are supported in C.
Both built-in and user-defined data types are supported in C++.
Data and functions are separated in the C language.
Data and functions are encapsulated in C++ language.
C is a structured programming language.
C++ is an object-oriented programming language.
C contains 32 keywords.
C++ contains 52 keywords.
In C language, you can not use functions in structure.
In C++ language, you can use functions in structure.
In C language, the program is divided into procedures and modules.
In C++ language, the program is divided into functions and classes.
Benefits of Using C++
C++ is widely used all over the world because it is a multi-purpose programming language. There is no doubt that it is one of the oldest and most efficient programming languages. Let’s discuss some benefits of using C++ for a better understanding of this language.
C++ is a portable language. This means that you can develop your code in C++ without worrying about the hardware on which you are working. You can efficiently run your program on any platform without any code changes. For example, if you make a program for the Windows operating system and now you want to run that program in the Linux operating system, you can easily do it without any error. This advantage of C++ makes the programmer work more efficiently.
C++ is an object-oriented language. It includes all the concepts of object-oriented programming like classes, inheritance, polymorphism, data abstraction, encapsulation, and inline functioning. All these features of C++ make your program more readable and efficient. Furthermore, in C++, data is treated as an object. This important feature of C++ helps programmers to deal with many real-world problems.
Another main benefit of using C++ is that its memory management method is superb. It allows the programmer to have complete control over memory management. In C++, memory is allocated by the DMA (Dynamic memory allocation) method with the help of pointers. DMA helps to free and allocate memory. There is no garbage collector in C++. It is the responsibility of a programmer to manage memory according to his need.
C++ uses a multi-paradigm programming approach. By paradigm, we mean the planning involved in programming. It includes the logic of the program, its structure, and the procedure of the program. C++ follows three paradigms, Generic, Imperative, and Object-oriented. In the Generic paradigm, a single piece of data is used to serve multiple purposes. In the Imperative paradigm, steps are used to change the state of the program. In the Object-oriented paradigm, methods and classes are used.
Fast & Powerful
Another vital benefit of C++ is its speed of compilation and execution of programs. As C++ is a compiler-based programming language, compilation and execution speed is faster than other general-purpose programming languages. This feature allows the programmers to create different types of programs in C++ like games, drivers, and complicated GUI applications.
Huge Community Support
The C++ language has vast community support. Community size is an essential aspect because it helps you in getting your problems solved quickly. There are all types of courses available, like free or paid, that can help you in better understanding of language. Moreover, you can also get free or paid lectures for better learning.
C++ has a good set of built-in libraries, which further helps you to write the code quickly. In these standard libraries, many functions are available so that you can do more work in less time. This quality makes it even more popular among programmers.
Where C++ Stands in Competition Among Other Programming Languages?
After discussing the benefits of using C++, now let’s talk about its competition with other programming languages. As we discussed earlier, C++ is an object-oriented language which makes it unique compared to other programming languages. You can develop almost all types of applications with the help of C++. There are some more reasons which make this language even more popular among the developers.
First of all, C++ is one of the oldest programming languages. There are millions of programs written in C++. With each new version, it becomes faster and more efficient, which makes it a developer’s favorite.
Moreover, the installation process of C++ is simple as compared to other programming languages. It is also an intermediate-level programming language which means it has both low-level and high-level features, which makes it a tough competition among other programming languages.
As you also know, C++ is a compiler-based programming language. So the execution speed of the program written in C++ is much faster than other general-purpose programming languages. In addition, C++ is a universal language. You can use C++ for the development of infrastructure on the client-side or network communication. That’s why C++ is highly compatible with other programming languages.
Is C++ the Ultimate Programming Language?
After discussing so many things about C++, now is the time to discuss whether we can consider C++ an ultimate programming language. A good programming language has all the qualities like simplicity, ease to learn and use, fast, good readability features, and many more. Here are some features of C++ which are enough to prove that C++ is the ultimate programming language.
- C++ is a simple language. You can easily break the problem into parts and then design the solution.
- C++ is a platform-independent language which means you can execute C++ programs on any machine with less or no change in code.
- You can do both low-level and high-level programming in C++.
- C++ has a rich set of libraries which makes the development fast and saves time.
- C++ is an object-oriented language. Data abstraction, inheritance, data hiding, data encapsulation, and many more features of object-oriented programming are included in C++.
- C++ is also a compiler-based language which makes it faster and more efficient.
- C++ also supports dynamic memory allocation, which allows you to free the allocated memory at any time.
All these features of C++ make it an ultimate fully packaged programming language.
Disadvantages of Using C++
Every programming language has its advantages as well as disadvantages. C++ is not an exception to this. Let’s have a look at the drawbacks of this language.
Use of Pointers
One of the significant disadvantages of C++ is the use of pointers. If you are working on a large project, then pointers can take a lot of system memory which is not suitable for your project. Moreover, if you forget to initialize a pointer, then your system might fail. Pointers also consume a lot of system memory.
Object-oriented languages are considered safe as compared to other programming languages, but specific security issues might be possible. The use of pointers, global variables, friend functions, etc., makes C++ an unsafe language. Your whole program can be corrupted because of your poor coding.
Absence of Garbage Collector
There is no garbage collector feature available in C++. All the data memory is managed by the user. That’s why most of the unnecessary data can not be filtered out, which further results in storing redundant data.
Not User Friendly
The syntax of C++ is rigorous. A slight mistake in code leads to a series of errors. So we can not say that it is a user-friendly language. It also requires a lot of time to excel in the language because it is not easy to write code in C++ for a beginner.
Lack of Custom Operators
One more disadvantage of C++ is we can not define operators for specific operations. We can only specify an existing operator using operator overloading.
Applications of C++
C++ is a compiled, general-purpose, free-form programming language. It also includes all the object-oriented features like inheritance, polymorphism, encapsulation, and abstraction. These features help the developers to develop applications quickly and efficiently. Furthermore, C++ also supports all types of programming like procedural, object-oriented, and generic.
C++ is mainly used in developing large software applications that run on limited resources. Programmers can quickly run their code on any platform using C++ because C++ is a platform-independent language. You can use C++ in developing GUI-based applications. Image ready and Adobe Premiere are good examples of GUI-based applications made in C++.
Moreover, C++ is also used in developing games. The complexity of a 3D game can be easily handled in C++. You can also use C++ in animation work. Some browsers like Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox are also made in C++. Furthermore, C++ is also used in developing database software. MySQL is the best example of database software developed in C++.
In addition to this, you can also develop a media player with the help of C++. Compilers, operating systems, and scanning devices like film scanners or camera scanners are also developed in C++. In short, we can say that C++ is a widely used language and preferable for developing applications that require good performance.
Examples Where C++ is Used as a Programming Language
Here is the list of some applications where C++ is used as a programming language.
As we all know, C++ is a strongly typed language. Moreover, it is also a fast programming language. These features make C++ the best choice for developing an operating system. Whether we talk about Microsoft Windows, Linux, or macOS, all are programmed using C++. It also has a huge collection of system-level functions, which further helps in writing low-level programs.
C++ is a fast language in terms of the execution process. Users don’t like to waste their time waiting for the page to load. C++ helps in developing fast rendering engines in browsers. Furthermore, it also supported all the major browsers like Google Chrome, Safari, Opera, Mozilla, and many more.
As we said earlier, C++ is a fast language. Because of this feature, in all the graphic applications which require faster loading, C++ is used as a back-end programming language. Moreover, it is also used as the primary programming language in popular game applications. We can also run the applications very smoothly on low-end devices.
C++ is an object-oriented language that includes all the concepts like classes, objects, and functions. These features make C++ a good choice for developing database software. Most popular DBMSs like MySQL, PostgresSQL, Redis, and Oracle are developed using C++. Many big companies like Google, Wikipedia, Quora, and YouTube are using these databases.
C++ is also used in developing banking applications because of its speed, faster execution, and closeness to the hardware features. In the banking sector, there are millions of transactions processed daily, which further requires high speed. Because of its speed and multithreading support, C++ is the best choice in developing banking applications. The most popular core-banking system – Infosys Finacle, uses C++ as its back-end programming language.
In this article, we discussed all the topics of C++ like its definition, history, advantages, disadvantages, applications, why C++ is considered a good programming language, and many more. After discussing all this, you must have learned a lot about C++.
Moreover, it is easy to learn and pure concept-based language. Its syntax is also simple, which makes developing an easy task. Most developers prefer C++ among other languages because of its wide usage and compatibility features. For any developer who wants to work in programming languages, C++ is a good start.