Difference Between C and C++ Programming

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Difference Between C and C++ Programming

Vinay Khatri
Last updated on November 15, 2022

    Every beginner has the question that what should be the right choice to start the programming with? Also, many newcomers aren't aware of the differences between C and C++.

    Here in this article, we will cover all the differences between the two popular programming languages (C vs C++) and also discuss what language you should choose between the two.

    Difference Between C and C++ Programing

    Before jumping to compare the two popular programming languages, let’s briefly discuss each of them.

    What is C?

    Designed by Dennis Ritchie at Bell Labs, C is a high-level programming language that first appeared in 1972. It follows the procedure-oriented (procedural) programming approach that makes it different from the other languages that came into existence afterward. It, however, has limited keywords, which is not enough to solve real-world problems.

    If you wish to learn the C language in-depth, then you can sign up for this course .

    What is C++?

    C++ is a high-level programming language, which is developed by Bjarne Stroustrup at Bell Labs. It is the upgraded version of the C programming language. Unlike its predecessor, C++ ditches the procedural programming paradigm and adheres to the object-oriented programming paradigm, which helps a lot to solve real-time problems. It is also popular use for designing graphical applications.

    One conclusion that we can draw by comparing the two programming languages is that the syntax of C is more complex than its successor. Compared to its antecedent, C++ uses more human-legible code.

    What Language Should Beginners Choose?

    If we look at the current scenario, C++ is more popular than the C language. All the developers have moved to C++ now because of its growth and use in the software industry. The object-oriented programming language contains all the elements of C and more. Also, it offers more flexibility than its predecessor.

    So, it would be a good choice if the beginners choose to start with C++ as their first programming language.

    C vs C++: A Head-to-Head Comparison

    Area C C++
    Basic Approach High-level Language. High-level language.
    Data security The user can interface the code so it is not that secure. The user cannot manipulate the code so it is highly secured.
    Function Overloading No support is available. Supports overloading.
    Variable definition All variables must be defined after the Main function. Variables can be defined anywhere in the program.
    Flexibility Less flexible. More flexible.
    Class Doesn't support. It supports the concept of classes.
    The basic code for input and output scanf() for input and printf() for output. cin>> for input and cout<< for output.
    Object-Oriented concepts It does not support objects. It supports the creation of objects and all concepts of object-oriented programming.
    Function inside structure Does not support. Allows defining functions inside the structure.

    Advantages and Disadvantages of C

    Advantages

    • It is a procedure-oriented programming language , which means it follows the procedure of the program and reads the program line by line. This increases the efficiency of programs written in it.
    • It contains a total of 32 keywords with an easy syntax that helps the user to understand the program. Moreover, it is very easy to learn for beginners.
    • Portability is another desirable feature of the popular programming language. The output of the C language is stored in the format of a .exe file, which makes it more portable. A program written in it can be used in any other computer system without making any changes to the code.
    • It is very easy to debug the problem in C programs.
    • The procedure-oriented programming language supports pointers that helps the user to understand the concept of memory allocation.
    • As it follows the procedural programming paradigm, the compiling speed of the C compiler is very fast. It can compile 1,000 lines of code in just 1 to 2 seconds.
    • It is the inspiration behind many leading programming languages, such as C++, C#, and Python .
    • One of the main advantages of the programming language is that users can extend their libraries. The user can add their own functions to the C library.
    • It is one of the programming languages used for software development with which beginners can start their programming journey. Once they have a good working experience with the C programming language, it is easy to decide what language they should choose for the future.

    Disadvantages

    • It does not support the concept of OOPs. Thus, there is no support for OOPs features, such as inheritance, encapsulation, and polymorphism.
    • The user cannot declare two variables having the same name in one scope because the procedure-oriented programming language does not support the concept of a namespace.
    • It does not support class, constructor/destructor, and run-time type checking.

    Real-World Applications of C

    • It is the building block of languages like C++ and Csharp. It helps to develop new languages. Many high-level languages are influenced by the C language.
    • Due to the fast performance of the programming language, it finds heavy use in calculation programs.
    • It was created to script the Unix Kernel, Microsoft Windows, and Android.

    Advantages and Disadvantages of C++

    Advantages

    • It works for both procedural and object-oriented programs.
    • It is a portable language. This means that code written for one system can run on another system without making any changes in the code.
    • Choosing the object-oriented programming language as the first programming language enables learners to understand the concepts of programming easily.
    • You can run C programs on the C++ platform.
    • As it supports the concept of OOPs, so concepts like classes, inheritance, polymorphism, data abstraction, and encapsulation are also available.
    • It follows three programming paradigms; Generic, Imperative, and Object-oriented. Hence, it is a multi-paradigm language. The programming paradigm refers to the concept that deals with the logic, structure, and procedure of the program.
    • One of the advantages of the C++ language is that one can do graphics programming with it.
    • It is one of the programming languages that flaunts a large, active community. A community of a programming language refers to those people who are using it so if you are stuck anywhere in the same you can take help from the community through popular development collaboration platforms and software repositories like GitHub, and Stack Overflow.
    • The syntax of the C++ programming language is very easy to understand.
    • It supports the concept of pointers, which helps the developer to understand the concept of program memory. Consequently, it gives more flexibility to the developer over the memory usage.

    Disadvantages

    • Using the object-orientated programming paradigm increases the complexity of the program. Thus, it becomes difficult to understand.
    • It performs only on a specific platform.
    • If we try to execute the C++ program on other platforms such as the web it becomes very difficult to debug the program.
    • One of the major disadvantages of C++ is that it does not support garbage collection.
    • It provides less security.

    Real-World Applications of C++

    • It helps to create 3D games.
    • A lot of popular applications, such as Adobe Premiere, Photoshop, and Google Chrome are written in the object-oriented programming language.
    • Due to the fast performance of C++, many browsers and web applications like Chrome and Mozilla Thunderbird use C++ scripting.
    • It is excellent for physical simulations.
    • The programming language also finds use in high-performance image processing.
    • C++ programming is great for mobile sensor applications.

    Conclusion

    C vs C++ is a topic of eternal debate. Although C++ is more popular than its predecessor, both are among the most popular programming languages. Starting with C++ is good for easily understanding the concepts related to programming.

    Through this article, you get to know the difference between C and C++ programming. Beginning your programming journey with C is challenging but it will help you develop a robust understanding of the concepts involved in programming and software development.

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    FAQs


    While C is a procedural and function-driven language, C++ is an object-oriented and class-driven language. C++ is an extension of the C language, and hence, it is referred to as 'C with Classes.'

    Being a procedural language, C does not support polymorphism, abstraction, inheritance, encapsulation, classes, and objects. Meanwhile, C++ supports all these concepts.

    No, there is no need to learn C before C++. However, learning C would be beneficial for understanding basic programming concepts.

    C is a programming language close to hardware and is machine-dependent. It is used for developing operating systems, graphical user interfaces, and embedded systems, designing compilers, and developing new programming languages.

    With C++, you can build desktop and web applications, operating systems, embedded systems, web browsers, GUI-based applications, games, banking and finance applications, libraries, cloud systems, graphics, and computations.

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