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C is a general-purpose, procedural computer programming language developed at Bell Labs by Dennis Ritchie in the early 1970s. It is one of the most widely used programming languages of all time and has had a huge influence on many other programming languages that succeeded it, such as C++, Java, and Python. The language was designed for systems programming (operating systems and embedded system applications) but has found use in application software as well. C provides constructs that map efficiently to typical machine instructions and has the ability to write compact and fast code with direct control over hardware operations. It supports structured programming through functions and compound statements but also allows low-level access to memory through pointers — a feature highly appreciated among experienced programmers but noted for being potentially error-prone if used incorrectly. To this end, C remains an important tool for coding solutions close to the hardware level while maintaining portability across different platforms.

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