C/C++ Languages

C is an older programming language developed in the 1970s by Dennis Ritchie while Unix was being developed and its various improvements have been used by professional programmers and hobbyists alike for decades.

It is considered a low level procedural compiled language while Python is called a high level, object oriented interpreted language which is easier to learn than C or C++. Low level means that a language accesses the bits and bytes of the computers hardware faster than one that is a high level slower language. But with faster processors like GPUs, speed isn’t as much of an issue as it was in the 1980s when code could not be sloppy or poorly written.

C has been upgraded to an object oriented language called C++ and is used to program everything from computer games to website backends and robots.

You see many similarities when you look at a piece of code written in C or C++ or Java or in an Arduino program called a Sketch or in Python.

The simple program that everyone first creates with C is the “hello world” program and the first program or sketch that anyone creates or just loads from the built in included programs using an Arudino microcontroller is “blinking LED light”.

Most C type programs start out by calling a command called include to bring in previously written code so that you don’t have to rewrite the wheel or write code that someone has already written a thousand times before 5 years ago.

You then define a bunch of variables and have a main function and then a bunch of other functions are called to do whatever your program has to do.

The most difficult part of C was dealing with things called pointers and arrays and in this carries on in some form with more modern versions of C and becomes important in robot AI which deals with massive amounts of data stored in matrixes and arrays and such.

If you were repairing a robot vacuum or trying to adjust its program, some people use some form of C.

VPL or Microsoft VPL is based on C# and is used with the iRobot by Roomba.