What is C?
C is the general-purpose programming language. It is a structure-based language that is machine-independent. It has been used to create the world’s most popular applications such as the Windows operating system, Oracle database, Git, Python interpreter, and even other programming languages.
The language was originally associated with the UNIX operating system as most of the UNIX system is coded in C. It was even initially limited to the UNIX operating system. Of course, the simplicity and power of the language spread far and wide until it took over as “the most powerful language” or “god’s programming language”.
As such a widely used language and the basis for most programs and programming languages, learning C is considered to be an inexhaustible skill in programming.
What is Python?
Python is an interpreted general-purpose programming language that was created by Guido van Rossum at Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica in the Netherlands. The main implementation of Python was written in C. However, Python is an object-oriented language rather than a structure-based one.
In 1999, van Rossum further defined his goals for Python. It needed to be easy and intuitive while remaining as powerful as major competitors. It had to be open-source to promote community involvement and development. It needed to be as easy to read as plain English and it needed to be suitable for everyday tasks.
In 2022, Python is exactly what Guido van Rossum wanted. It is the most popularly used programming language worldwide.
Both these languages can be used to create applications and have wide compatibility. They are both somewhat independent of the machine they are operated on. Most find it easier to explain the differences between the two rather than the similarities.
C vs Python: Side-by-Side Comparison
Both programming languages are incredibly powerful. Python is currently the most popularly used programming language in the world. C is the language that makes the foundation of nearly everything else. However, there are differences in the performance and application of each language. Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons of each language and what’s different about them:
|What it is:||Programming Language||Programming Language|
|Primary use:||structure-oriented general-purpose programming language||object-oriented general-purpose programming language|
|Technical Committee:||Bell Laboratories||Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica|
|Influential Developers:||Dennis M. Ritchie||Guido van Rossum|
|Technologies Influenced:||software applications, operating systems, C+, C++, Python, Java||software applications, Boo, Cobra, CoffeeScript|
The Differences Between Them
- Speed: Compiled programs execute much faster than interpreted programs making C faster to execute.
- Usage: Python is easier to write as the syntax requirements are less stringent.
- Variables: In C, variable types much be declared when it is created and only values of the same type can be assigned to them. Python does not require variable types to be declared.
- Debugging: Debugging in Python is simple. As the code is interpreted all at once when it is interpreted, errors are shown instantly and the execution cancels on the instruction that caused the error. In C, errors are found after compilation which can make it more difficult.
- Renaming Functions: Python allows for functions to be renamed and can be used by two different names.
- Memory Management: Python uses an automatic system known as the garbage collector. With C, the programmer is left to fend for themselves.
- Applications: C is more commonly used for hardware firmware and hardware-related applications. Python has become a widely used general-purpose language for programs and web apps.
- Built-in Functions: Python has a much larger library of built-in functions.
- Implementing Data Structures: Python has built-in functions to make implementing data structures much easier like insert and append.
- Pointers: Pointers are only available in C.
Pros and Cons of C
|Efficient and widely used||Complicated syntax|
|Portability and compatibility||Programmer manages code debugging|
|Used to build other languages||Easy to overwrite information and memory|
|User-defined functions||Code must be rewritten as C is not object-oriented|
|See hidden objects||Requires technical coding techniques|
|Embedded into nearly every software application||High-level development can only be done with access to third-party libraries or manually creating them|
Pros and Cons of Python
|Easy learning curve||Code execution speed is slower|
|Fast development speed||No multithread support|
|Portability, compatibility, and extensibility to other languages||Heavy memory usage|
|Versatile application||Poor compatibility with mobile development|
|Open-source and community-supported|
C vs Python: Which is Better?
In the modern development scene, professional programmers will want to dip their toes into multiple languages. It doesn’t hurt to master more than one. However, it can make it easier to choose a starting language by thinking about the end applications. If you’re learning to code for hardware-related tasks, C is the best option. If you’ve just got a good idea for a computer program, Python is easier to get into.
C vs Python: Five Must-Know Facts
- C is a structural programming language. Python is an interpreted object-oriented programming language.
- C is most commonly used to write instructions for hardware. Python is meant to be for general purposes.
- Pointers do not exist in Python.
- C is compiled, while Python is interpreted.
- Python has a much larger library of functions to access than C.