1. The third letter of the English alphabet. 2. ASCII
1000011. 3. The name of a programming language designed by Dennis
Ritchie during the early 1970s and immediately used to reimplement
Unix; so called because many features derived from an earlier
compiler named `B' in commemoration of its parent, BCPL.
(BCPL was in turn descended from an earlier Algol-derived language,
CPL.) Before Bjarne Stroustrup settled the question by designing
C++, there was a humorous debate over whether C's successor should
be named `D' or `P'. C became immensely popular outside Bell Labs
after about 1980 and is now the dominant language in systems and
microcomputer applications programming. See also languages of choice,
C is often described, with a mixture of fondness and disdain
varying according to the speaker, as "a language that combines
all the elegance and power of assembly language with all the
readability and maintainability of assembly language".