Comparing the programming languages C and C++ is a bit like comparing a traditional typewriter with an electric typewriter. That’s because C++ is a direct descendent of C, the “grandfather” of many modern programming languages, just with more under the hood. C++ boasts better efficiency and productivity; however, with more bells and whistles comes more responsibility.
C is generally considered to be the foundation of many modern high-level programming languages like C# and Java. C++ language is one of those—an enhanced version of the language that adds an object-oriented layer, which definitely boosts developer speed and productivity. C++ is also one of the foundation languages for the MongoDB database and the Apache HTTP server.
To get a better understanding of how C++ builds upon C and adds new features, here’s a look at these two closely related programming languages.
A Bit About C
C is a system programming language, whereas C++ is a general-purpose programming language commonly used in embedded systems. C is procedural, so it doesn’t support classes and objects like C++ does (although, despite being object-oriented, C++ can be procedural like C, making it a bit more hybrid).
Generally, you’d opt to use C over C++ if you didn’t want the extra overhead of C++—however you can always just pick the features of C++ you want to use and exclude the others.
A Bit About C++
C++ is everything C is, and more. It’s not new, either, and has itself been the inspiration for many languages that have come behind it like Python, Perl, and PHP. It does however add in a few modern elements that make it a step up from C.
For a C++ developer to know the language, they’ll also know C—and quite a bit more, which can make it difficult to learn. C++ was created in the 1980s and has been used in the creation of desktop and web applications, although it’s most popular for applications such as games, operating systems, and low-level hardware programming for a PC or server.
- C++ is directly derived from the C language. This means it shares some properties with C while also adding some improvements.
- C++ is object-oriented. This translates to productivity and organization of code, which is a boon for more complex applications. It’s great for fast applications and server-side software.
- C++ is lightweight and compiled. This means that before a C++ application is launched on a PC or the server, the code is converted into a binary file, or an executable .EXE file. C++ compiled files are pretty lightweight vs. files with more overhead, like C#. With C++, you can code for any platform including Mac, Windows and Linux.
- It has benefits of both high-level and low-level programming languages. This makes it more of a mid-level language.
- The power of C++ lies in its performance and speed. This makes it ideal for complex, large applications that require a lot of speed at scale. It’s super efficient where higher level languages might not be as efficient, making it a better Go to the full article.