C is a general purpose computer programming language. A general purpose language is a language that is widely used in various domains and not specific to a particular domain. C programming language was created in 1972 by Dennis Ritchie at AT&T bell laboratories in U.S.A.
Dennis Ritchie is known as the founder of C programming language.
Ken Thompson wanted to develop a Fortran compiler but later gave up on that idea and shifted his focus to develop an advanced version of BCPL system programming language. He made modifications in the syntax and made it much simple, he named this language as ‘B programming language’.
In 1971, Dennis Ritchie started to improve the features of B language, by 1972 he was able to write a new modified compiler which he renamed to ‘C’. C language is a successor of ‘B programming language’. The B programming language didn’t gain as much popularity as ‘C programming language did’. C language developed to overcome the issues and shortcomings of the previous programming languages such as B, BCPL etc.
Since 2000, C programming language consistently ranked among top two languages in TIOBE index, an index that measure the popularity of a programming language.
Programming language developed before C:
ALGOL: ALGOL (short form of Algorithmic language) is a family of imperative computer programming languages originally developed in 1958.
BCPL: BCPL is a procedural, imperative, and structured programming language. It was originally created for writing compilers for other programming languages. BCPL is no longer in common use. It was developed by Martin Richards.
B: It was developed by Ken Thompson in 1970. This is known as the predecessor of ‘C’ programming language.
Traditional C: It was developed by Dennis Ritchie in 1972.
K&R C: It was developed by Kernighan & Dennis Ritchie in 1978.
ANSI C: It was developed by ANSI Committee in 1989. It is also referred as ‘C89’ and ‘C90’.
ANSI/ISO C: Developed in 1990 by ISO Committee.
C99: Developed in 1990 by Standardization Committee. It is a revised version of C.