Practical Overview: Basic Structure of C Programs Simplified (2024)

C is one of the most popular and widely used programming languages even today. This programming language has influenced almost every programming language that followed it. Even today's most popular language, Java, inherits the syntax and several aspects of C language. It is one of the most preferred languages for firmware and embedded applications.

This article covers a brief explanation of the basic structure of a C program with examples.

In this article
  1. Role of C and C++ Programming Languages in Software Development
  2. What is the Basic Structure of C Program
  3. Basic Structure of C Program with Example
  4. What is Array of Structure in C?
  5. How to Create a Programming Flowchart Using EdrawMax
  6. Conclusion

Part 1: Role of C and C++ Programming Languages in Software Development

C and C++ have played a very crucial role in the growth of software development over the past few decades. These are a few key contributions they made:

  • System Programming: Being closer to hardware and offering low-level memory access, C and C++ are used for programming operating systems, device drivers, compilers, kernels, etc. Some examples are Windows, Linux, MacOS, Android OS, MySQL, Git, and Python Interpreter.
  • High Performance: C/C++ codes can be fine-tuned to achieve optimal performance critical applications as they are closer to hardware. Most databases are built using C/C++ to achieve faster processing speed.
  • Gaming Engines and VFX: C++ is the most preferred language for developing gaming engines and animation/VFX software where high performance is required. Some examples are Unreal Engine, CryEngine, Blender 3D, etc.
  • Foundation for New Languages: Many new languages such as C#, Java, JavaScript, Perl, PHP, and Python inherit their syntax and designs from C/C++ languages.

So in summary, C/C++ forms the foundation of many software technologies we use every day due to their speed, efficiency, stability, and richer ecosystems.

Part 2: What is the Basic Structure of the C Program

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Any C program has the following basic structure:

  • Preprocessor Commands: Directives that start with #, eg: #include, #define. Used for including header files and creating macros respectively.
  • Main Function: Every C program must contain this function where program execution begins. It can optionally have command line arguments.
  • Function Definitions (other than main): A C program can contain various functions defined by the programmer to modularize the code.
  • Variable Declarations: Global and local variables must be declared before use in C programs.
  • Statements & Expressions: These inside functions perform required tasks. Conditional statements control flow while expressions perform calculations and manipulate variables.
  • Comments: Lines starting with // or between /* and */ are comments ignored by the compiler.

Part 3: Basic Structure of C Program with Example

Here's an example of the basic structure of a C program explained:

  • Header Files Inclusion: Begin with including necessary header files like for input/output functions.
  • Main Function: Every C program contains a main() function where execution starts and ends.
  • Variables Declaration: Define variables to store data, specifying their data types.
  • Executable Statements: Write executable statements (printf, scanf, calculations) within the main() function.
  • Return Statement: Conclude the main() function with a return statement, typically return 0;.

Part 4: What is Array of Structure in C?

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An array of structures in C is a composite data type that combines the concepts of arrays and structures. It involves creating an array where each element is a structure. This setup allows you to store multiple instances of a structured data type in a sequential manner.

For instance, imagine a structure called Student with attributes like name, age, and grade. By creating an array of Student structures, you can store multiple student records contiguously. This approach facilitates organized and efficient storage, retrieval, and manipulation of related data sets, providing a convenient way to manage collections of structured information within C programs.

Part 5: How to Create a Programming Flowchart Using EdrawMax

Creating a programming flowchart using EdrawMax holds significant importance in software development. It serves as a visual representation that simplifies complex algorithms and logic, aiding both developers and stakeholders in understanding the program's structure and workflow.

EdrawMax's intuitive interface and extensive symbol libraries enable precise mapping of the program's logic, fostering clear communication among team members, facilitating debugging, and enhancing overall project comprehension.

Here are the steps to create a simple programming flowchart using EdrawMax:

Step 1:

Open the EdrawMax software on your computer. Choose the "Flowchart" category or search for "Flowchart" in the template search bar. Select a template that suits your needs or start with a blank canvas.

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Step 2:

Drag and drop the required symbols and shapes from the symbol library onto the canvas. Use shapes like rectangles for processes, diamonds for decisions, ovals for terminators/start-end points, and arrows to connect them.

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Step 3:

Label each shape or symbol with appropriate text to describe the action or process it represents. This helps in understanding the logic of the flowchart.

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Step 4:

Modify the colors, fonts, sizes, and styles of the shapes and text to enhance readability and clarity.

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Step 5:

Save your work in the desired format (EdrawMax's native format or other compatible formats like PDF, PNG, etc.). Export the flowchart to share or integrate it into your programming documentation or presentations.

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Conclusion

C is still very relevant today as the foundation of many modern languages and technologies. Understanding the basic structure of a C program allows programmers to delve deeper into learning the C language and becoming expert software developers. EdrawMax further makes it easy for programmers to plan their code logic visually before starting to write actual code in C. This improves efficiency in the overall software development life cycle.

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Practical Overview: Basic Structure of C Programs Simplified (2024)
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