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C vs. C++

What is C?

C is a structural or procedural oriented programming language which is machine-independent and extensively used in various applications.

C is the basic programming language that can be used to develop from the operating systems (like Windows) to complex programs like Oracle database, Git, Python interpreter, and many more. C programming language can be called a god's programming language as it forms the base for other programming languages. If we know the C language, then we can easily learn other programming languages. C language was developed by the great computer scientist Dennis Ritchie at the Bell Laboratories. It contains some additional features that make it unique from other programming languages.

What is C++?

C++ is a special-purpose programming language developed by Bjarne Stroustrup at Bell Labs circa 1980. C++ language is very similar to C language, and it is so compatible with C that it can run 99% of C programs without changing any source of code though C++ is an object-oriented programming language, so it is safer and well-structured programming language than C.

Let's understand the differences between C and C++.

C vs C++

The following are the differences between C and C++:

  • Definition
    C is a structural programming language, and it does not support classes and objects, while C++ is an object-oriented programming language that supports the concept of classes and objects.
  • Type of programming language
    C supports the structural programming language where the code is checked line by line, while C++ is an object-oriented programming language that supports the concept of classes and objects.
  • Developer of the language
    Dennis Ritchie developed C language at Bell Laboratories while Bjarne Stroustrup developed the C++ language at Bell Labs circa 1980.
  • Subset
    C++ is a superset of C programming language. C++ can run 99% of C code but C language cannot run C++ code.
  • Type of approach
    C follows the top-down approach, while C++ follows the bottom-up approach. The top-down approach breaks the main modules into tasks; these tasks are broken into sub-tasks, and so on. The bottom-down approach develops the lower level modules first and then the next level modules.
  • Security
    In C, the data can be easily manipulated by the outsiders as it does not support the encapsulation and information hiding while C++ is a very secure language, i.e., no outsiders can manipulate its data as it supports both encapsulation and data hiding. In C language, functions and data are the free entities, and in C++ language, all the functions and data are encapsulated in the form of objects.
  • Function Overloading
    Function overloading is a feature that allows you to have more than one function with the same name but varies in the parameters. C does not support the function overloading, while C++ supports the function overloading.
  • Function Overriding
    Function overriding is a feature that provides the specific implementation to the function, which is already defined in the base class. C does not support the function overriding, while C++ supports the function overriding.
  • Reference variables
    C does not support the reference variables, while C++ supports the reference variables.
  • Keywords
    C contains 32 keywords, and C++ supports 52 keywords.
  • Namespace feature
    A namespace is a feature that groups the entities like classes, objects, and functions under some specific name. C does not contain the namespace feature, while C++ supports the namespace feature that avoids the name collisions.
  • Exception handling
    C does not provide direct support to the exception handling; it needs to use functions that support exception handling. C++ provides direct support to exception handling by using a try-catch block.
  • Input/Output functions
    In C, scanf and printf functions are used for input and output operations, respectively, while in C++, cin and cout are used for input and output operations, respectively.
  • Memory allocation and de-allocation
    C supports calloc() and malloc() functions for the memory allocation, and free() function for the memory de-allocation. C++ supports a new operator for the memory allocation and delete operator for the memory de-allocation.
  • Inheritance
    Inheritance is a feature that allows the child class to reuse the properties of the parent class. C language does not support the inheritance while C++ supports the inheritance.
  • Header file
    C program uses <stdio.h> header file while C++ program uses <iostream.h> header file.

Let's summarize the above differences in a tabular form.

No. C C++
1) C follows the procedural style programming. C++ is multi-paradigm. It supports both procedural and object oriented.
2) Data is less secured in C. In C++, you can use modifiers for class members to make it inaccessible for outside users.
3) C follows the top-down approach. C++ follows the bottom-up approach.
4) C does not support function overloading. C++ supports function overloading.
5) In C, you can't use functions in structure. In C++, you can use functions in structure.
6) C does not support reference variables. C++ supports reference variables.
7) In C, scanf() and printf() are mainly used for input/output. C++ mainly uses stream cin and cout to perform input and output operations.
8) Operator overloading is not possible in C. Operator overloading is possible in C++.
9) C programs are divided into procedures and modules C++ programs are divided into functions and classes.
10) C does not provide the feature of namespace. C++ supports the feature of namespace.
11) Exception handling is not easy in C. It has to perform using other functions. C++ provides exception handling using Try and Catch block.
12) C does not support the inheritance. C++ supports inheritance.

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