List of C-family programming languages

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Due to the success of the C programming language and some of its derivatives, C-family programming languages span a large variety of programming paradigms, conceptual models, and run-time environments.

Language Year started Created by (at) Description/Comments References
BCPL 1966 Martin Richards A procedural, imperative, and structured computer programming language. in
B 1969 Ken Thompson Designed for recursive, non-numeric, machine independent applications, such as system and language software.
C 1969-1973 Dennis Ritchie (Bell Labs) Was an enhancement of Ken Thompson's B language.
Ratfor 1974 Brian Kernighan (Bell Labs) A hybrid of C and Fortran, implemented as a preprocessor for environments without easy access to C compilers.
AWK 1977 Alfred Aho, Peter Weinberger & Brian Kernighan (Bell Labs) Designed for text processing and typically used as a data extraction and reporting tool.
C shell/tcsh 1978 Bill Joy (UC Berkeley) Scripting language and standard Unix shell.
C++ 1979 Bjarne Stroustrup (Bell Labs) Named as "C with Classes" and renamed C++ in 1983; it began as a reimplementation of static object orientation in the tradition of Simula 67, and through standardization and wide use has grown to encompass generic programming as well as its original object-oriented roots. [1]
Newsqueak early 1980s Rob Pike A concurrent programming language for writing application software with interactive graphical user interfaces. Newsqueak's syntax and semantics are influenced by the C language, but its approach to concurrency was inspired by CSP. [2]
AMPL 1985 Robert Fourer, David Gay and Brian Kernighan (Bell Labs) An algebraic modeling language with elements of a scripting language.
PROMAL 1985 Systems Management Associates A C-like programming language for MS-DOS, Commodore 64, and Apple II.
Objective-C 1986 Brad Cox and Tom Love An object-oriented dynamic language based heavily on Smalltalk. A loosely defined de facto standard library by the original developers has now largely been displaced by variations on the OpenStep FoundationKit. [1]
C* 1987 Thinking Machines Object-oriented, data-parallel superset of ANSI C.
Perl 1988 Larry Wall Scripting language used extensively for system administration, text processing, and web server tasks. [citation needed]
Telescript 1990 Marc Porat An object-oriented programming language.
Java 1991 James Gosling (Sun Microsystems) Created as Oak, and released to the public in 1995. It is an OODL based inspired heavily by Objective-C, though with a syntax based somewhat on C++. It also compiles to its own bytecode, a standard part of the language specification. It is strongly typed, a feature that is enforced by the VM. [citation needed]
S-Lang 1991 John E. Davis A library with a powerful interpreter that provides facilities required by interactive applications such as display/screen management, keyboard input, keymaps, etc. [3]
Split-C 1993 ? A parallel extension of the C programming language.
Agora 1993 ? A reflective, prototype-based, object-oriented programming language that is based exclusively on message passing and not delegation.
SAC 1994 (Germany) Development spread to several institutions in Germany, Canada, and the UK. Functional language with C syntax. [4]
Pike 1994 Fredrik Hübinette An interpreted, general-purpose, high-level, cross-platform, dynamic programming language, with a syntax similar to that of C.
Cilk 1994 MIT Laboratory for Computer Science General-purpose programming language designed for multithreaded parallel computing.
Alef 1995 Phil Winterbottom (Bell Labs) Created for systems programming on the Plan 9 from Bell Labs operating system; it was published in 1995 but eventually abandoned. It provided substantial language support for concurrent programming. [5]
Limbo 1995 Limbo succeeded Alef and is used in Inferno as Alef was used in Plan9.
PHP 1995 Rasmus Lerdorf Widely used as a server-side scripting language. C-like syntax.
ECMAScript 1995 Brendan Eich (Netscape) Created as Mocha and LiveScript, announced in 1995, shipped the next year as JavaScript. Primarily a scripting language used in Web page development as well as numerous application environments such as Adobe Flash and QtScript. Though initially based on Scheme and Self, it is primarily a prototype-based object-oriented language with a syntax based on Java[6]. [citation needed]
LPC 1995 Lars Pensjö Developed originally to facilitate MUD building on LPMuds. Though designed for game development, its flexibility has led to it being used for a variety of purposes.
C-- 1997 Simon Peyton Jones, Norman Ramsey Generated mainly by compilers for very high-level languages.
E 1997 Mark S. Miller, Dan Bornstein (Electric Communities) Designed with secure computing in mind, accomplished chiefly by strict adherence to the object-oriented computing model.
C# 1999 Anders Hejlsberg (Microsoft) Created under the name "Cool", it is syntactically very similar to Java, though with a Smalltalk-like unified type system.
Ch 2001 Harry Cheng A C/C++ scripting language with extensions for shell programming and numerical computing. [7][8]
D 2001 Walter Bright (Digital Mars) Based on C++, but with an incompatible syntax having traits from other C-like languages like Java and C#.
Cyclone 2001 Greg Morrisett (AT&T Labs) Intended to be a safe dialect of the C language. It is designed to avoid buffer overflows and other vulnerabilities that are endemic in C programs, without losing the power and convenience of C as a tool for system programming.
Cg 2002 Nvidia Based on the C programming language and although they share the same syntax, some features of C were modified and new data types were added to make Cg more suitable for programming graphics processing units. This language is only suitable for GPU programming and is not a general programming language.
LSL 2003 ? Created for the Second Life virtual world by Linden Lab.
Squirrel 2003 Alberto Demichelis A light-weight scripting language.
Unified Parallel C 2003 ? An extension of the C programming language designed for high-performance computing on large-scale parallel machines.
eC 2004 Jérôme Jacovella-St-Louis (Ecere) A super-set of C adding object-oriented features (inspired by C++), properties, dynamic modules and reflection developed as part of the Ecere SDK project, an open-source cross-platform SDK.
Seed7 2005 Thomas Mertes An extensible general-purpose programming language.
BitC 2006 Johns Hopkins University Aims to support formal program verification.
Fortress 2006 Sun Labs An experimental programming language for high-performance computing, created by Sun Microsystems with funding from DARPA's High Productivity Computing Systems project. [9]
Not eXactly C (NXC) 2006 John Hansen A high-level programming language for the Lego Mindstorms NXT. NXC, which is short for Not eXactly C, is based on Next Byte Codes, an assembly language. NXC has a syntax like C. It is part of the BricX IDE that integrates editor, tools for interfacing with the brick, and the compiler, but supports more languages. [10]
Go 2007 Rob Pike, Ken Thompson, and Robert Griesemer (Google) Released to public in 2009, it is a concurrent language with fast compilations, Java-like syntax, but no object-oriented features and strong typing.
OpenCL C 2009 Apple, Khronos Group OpenCL specifies a modified subset of the C programming language for writing programs to run on various compute devices (e.g. GPUs, DSPs).
C0 2010 Rob Arnold (CMU) A safe subset of C with checked pointers and bounds-checked arrays. Created for CMU introductory computer courses. [11]
Swift 2014 Chris Lattner (Apple) Swift can import any C library, optionally annotating C headers to map C types to Swift objects[12] and import libraries as Swift modules.[13] Swift has two-way bridging with Objective-C on platforms which support Apple's Objective-C runtime. Unlike Objective-C, Swift does not currently support C++ interoperation or exposing Swift types as C structs.
Chapel 2009 Cray Inc. Aims to improve the programmability of parallel computers in general and the Cray Cascade system in particular.
Nim 2008 Andreas Rumpf An imperative, multi-paradigm, compiled programming language.
Nemerle 2003 Andreas Rumpf A general-purpose high-level statically typed programming language designed for platforms using the Common Language Infrastructure (.NET/Mono).
ApeScript ? ? An interpreted procedural dynamic-typed language.
Amiga E 1993 Wouter van Oortmerssen A combination of many features from a number of languages, but follows the original C programming language most closely in terms of basic concepts.
HolyC 2005 Terry A. Davis A dialect of C for Terry's own operating system TempleOS. Most notable changes are the argument passing, variable type naming (U8 instead of unsigned char, I32 instead of int and so on), code structure ("There is no main() function. Any code outside of functions gets executed upon start-up, in order "[14]), switch statement structure and substitution of some parts of the preprocessor like the removal of #define and the use of '$' as the escape character.
Lite-C 2007 Atari Inc A programming language for multimedia applications and personal computer games, using a syntax subset of the C language with some elements of the C++ language.
Not Quite C (NQC) ~1998 David Baum An embedded systems programming language, application programming interface (API), and native bytecode compiler toolkit for the Lego Mindstorms RCX platform, Cybermaster and LEGO Spybotics systems. It is intended as a drop-in replacement for the LabVIEW-based ROBOLAB IDE. It is primarily based on the C language but has specific limitations, such as the maximum number of subroutines and variables allowed. Later replaced with NXC, an enhanced version created for the Mindstorms NXT platform. [15]
Oak 1991 James Gosling (Sun Microsystems) A programming language created initially for Sun Microsystems set-top box project. The language later evolved to become Java.
Handel-C 1996 Oxford University Computing Laboratory A high-level programming language which targets low-level hardware, most commonly used in the programming of FPGAs. It is a rich subset of C.
Dart 2013 Lars Bak and Kasper Lund (Google) A class-based, single inheritance, object-oriented language with C-style syntax.
CINT 1997-1999? Masaharu Goto An interpreted version of C/C++, much in the way BeanShell is an interpreted version of Java.
R 1993 Ross Ihaka and Robert Gentleman A programming language and software environment for statistical computing and graphics.
Hack 2014 Julien Verlaguet, Alok Menghrajani, Drew Paroski (Facebook) A programming language for the HipHop Virtual Machine (HHVM).
Charm 1996 ? An object oriented computer programming language with similarities to the RTL/2, Pascal and C languages in addition to containing some unique features of its own.
Claire 1994 Yves Caseau A high-level functional and object-oriented programming language with rule processing abilities.
Noop 2009 Google Attempts to blend the best features of "old" and "new" languages, while syntactically encouraging good programming practice.
Neko 2005 Nicolas Cannasse (Motion-Twin) A high-level dynamically typed programming language.
Axum 2009 Microsoft A domain specific concurrent programming language, based on the Actor model.
Rust 2010 Graydon Hoare (Mozilla) A language empowering everyone to build reliable and efficient software.
TypeScript 2012 Microsoft Superset of JavaScript.
Umple 2008 University of Ottawa A language for both object-oriented programming and modeling with class diagrams and state diagrams.
TOM (object-oriented programming language) 1990s ? An object-oriented programming language that built on the lessons learned from Objective-C.
Fantom 2005 Brian Frank and Andy Frank An object-oriented, functional, actor concurrent with a null-able aware type system emphasizing pragmatism in building enterprise systems running on top of the JVM or the CLR or JavaScript.
nesC Unknown Unknown Pronounced "NES-see", it is an extension to the C programming language designed to embody the structuring concepts and execution model of TinyOS. TinyOS is an event-driven operating system designed for sensor network nodes that have very limited resources. [16]
Zig 2015 Andrew Kelley A general-purpose programming language and toolchain for maintaining robust, optimal, and reusable software. [17]


  1. ^ a b "The C Family". Retrieved 2015-12-30.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "S-Lang Library Information Page".
  4. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-05. Retrieved 2015-05-11.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Alef Language Reference Manual".
  6. ^ "Chapter 4. How JavaScript Was Created". Archived from the original on 2020-02-27. Retrieved 2020-06-13.
  7. ^ "Scientific Numerical Computing".
  8. ^ "cross platform Ch Shell Programming".
  9. ^ "Project Fortress: Wiki: Home — Project Kenai". Archived from the original on 2013-01-12. Retrieved 2015-05-11.
  10. ^ "NXC - Not eXactly C".
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ "The Temple Operating System". 2017-03-25. Archived from the original on 2017-03-25. Retrieved 2019-04-16.
  15. ^ "NQC - Not Quite C".
  16. ^ GitHub - tinyos/nesc: Master nesc repository., TinyOS, 2019-03-05, retrieved 2019-03-17
  17. ^ "The Zig Programming Language".

Edited: 2021-06-18 15:16:48