Is there something wrong in this headline? Should the text not sound: Compiled C ? This is the first misunderstanding: Here in this elaboration, the C programming language shall not be understood by computers only, but also by humans. Time and again there are programs, beginning with the following words: The code in this file is in no way ment to be human readable. The problem is: How shall debugging be time- and cost-effective without understanding by the human users?
The intension of The C Programming Language by Kernighan and Ritchie has been to write programs, that can be understood by almost each machine. A program should not be varied too much, if the machine is changed. Usually, these changes can be done by compiler and linker options. If something was forgotten in such programs, then a corresponding use of #define will help. Therefore, the old C standards clarify, what can be told to be C code, and what not.
Now, this elaboration has got the further intension to write programs, that can be understood by almost each human, too. Since there are many cultural languages on the earth, this means to write programs, that can easily be translated into any cultural language and its scripture system.
From the beginning, the C programming language has got the ability to translate each command by use of #define. The pre-compiler commands can be translated in an own pre-compiler to other languages and scripture systems, a possibility existing for the older C compilers, too.
What is the use of this senseless burden to the pre-compiler ? ―
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