Return to Topic Menu | Computer Science Main Page |  | Terms of Use

A Brief History of C++ 

     In the early 1970s, Dennis Ritchie of Bell Laboratories was engaged in a project to develop a new operating system.  Ritchie discovered that in order to accomplish his task he needed the use of a programming language that was concise and that produced compact and speedy programs. This need led Ritchie to develop the programming language called C.

     In the early 1980's, also at Bell Laboratories, another programming language was created which was based upon the C language.  This new language was developed by Bjarne Stroustrup and was called C++.  Stroustrup states that the purpose of C++ is to make writing good programs easier and more pleasant for the individual programmer.  When he designed C++, he added OOP (Object Oriented Programming) features to C without significantly changing the C component.  Thus C++ is a "relative" (called a superset) of C, meaning that any valid C program is also a valid C++ program.

     There are several versions of the C++ language, of which Visual C++ is only one.  Other dialects include Borland C++, Turbo C++, and Code Warrior (Mac).  All of these software packages enable you to create computer programs with C++, but they all implement the C++ language in a slightly different manner.  In an attempt to maintain portability of both the C and C++ languages, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) developed a standard of consistency for C and C++ programming.  While we will be working primarily with this ANSI standard, we will also be examining the idiosyncrasies of Microsoft Visual C++ 6.0.

Note:  Due to their power and ease of use, C and C++ were used in the programming of the special effects for Star Wars.



Return to Topic Menu | Computer Science Main Page |  | Terms of Use