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Writing Word Macros, Second Edition by Steven Roman PhD

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C and C++

The C programming language, a descendant of several older languages (including B) was developed by Dennis Ritchie at Bell Laboratories in 1972. C is a simple language in its syntax with relatively few instructions. However, it has been extended considerably by Microsoft (among others) for use in the PC environment.

The strength of C and its descendants (such as C++) lies in the fact that it combines the advantages of a high-level programming language (such as relative read-ability) with the ability to reach down to the operating system and hardware levels of the computer. Unfortunately, the power of C can sometimes be dangerous in the hands of, shall we say, programmers of only modest capability. Also, the syntax of C allows for what some programmers consider “clever” or “elegant” programming style, but which may be more accurately termed “highly unreadable.”

For comparison purposes, here is the C language version of the BASIC program that computes the average of some numbers. I think you will agree that it is not quite as readable as the earlier BASIC version. Lines beginning with // are comment lines that are ignored by the computer:

 // C program to compute the average // of a set of at most 100 numbers #include <stdio.h> void main(void) { // Declare some variables int Num, i; float Sum, NextNum, Ave; // Ask for the number of numbers printf( "Enter number of numbers: " ); scanf( "%u", &Num ); // If Num is between 1 and 100 then proceed if( (Num > 0) && (Num <= 100) ) { ...

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