bc is a language (and compiler) whose syntax resembles that of C, but with unlimited-precision arithmetic. bc consists of identifiers, keywords, and symbols, which are briefly described in the following entries. Examples are given at the end.
Interactively perform arbitrary-precision arithmetic or convert numbers from one base to another. Input can be taken from files or read from the standard input. To exit, type quit or EOF.
Print help message and exit.
Make functions from the math library available.
Ignore all extensions, and process exactly as in POSIX.
When extensions to POSIX bc are used, print a warning.
Do not display welcome message.
Print version number.
An identifier is a series of one or more characters. It must begin with a lowercase letter but may also contain digits and underscores. No uppercase letters are allowed. Identifiers are used as names for variables, arrays, and functions. Variables normally store arbitrary-precision numbers. Within the same program you may name a variable, an array, and a function using the same letter. The following identifiers would not conflict:
Element i of array x. i can range from 0 to 2047 and can also be an expression.
Call function x with parameters y and z.
ibase, obase, scale, and last store a value. Typing them on a line by themselves displays ...