Despite some aspects mysterious to the beginner and occasionally even to the adept, C remains a simple and small language, translatable with simple and small compilers. Its types and operations are well-grounded in those provided by real machines, and for people used to how computers work, learning the idioms for generating time- and space-efficient programs is not difficult. At the same time the language is sufficiently abstracted from machine details that program portability can be achieved. Equally important, C and its central library support always remained in touch with a real environment. It was not designed in isolation to prove a point, or to serve as an example, but as a tool to write programs that did useful things; it was always meant to interact with a larger operating system, and was regarded as a tool to build larger tools. A parsimonious, pragmatic approach influenced the things that went into C: it covers the essential needs of many programmers, but does not try to supply too much.
C is a portable Macro-Assembler. Has always been.
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