Library and IDE in C Programming Language
In this article, I am going to give a brief introduction to Library and IDE in C Programming Language. Please read our previous article where we discussed the History of C Programming Language. Before going to write the first program, we need to understand two things. They are as follows.
- Library of C Language
- IDE (Integrated Development Environment)
After understanding the above two things only we can start the first application development.
What is the C library and what it contains?
In general, to understand it in simple words, we can say that to write a program, variables and methods are very important. Methods are also called functions. So, what is a library means, to develop our c applications or programs, so many predefined things are already available? Predefined things mean variables and functions only. Here, a library is a collection of header files or you can C library is a collection of header files where each header file contains some predefined functions and methods.
What is a header file and why they divided the C library into header files?
Consider in our computer, why we are dividing the hard disk into a number of drives and in each drive why we are creating different, different folders and why we are not placing the complete information into a single place or in a single drive.
Why we are creating a number of folders means for easy access that we can understand. Folder creation means the related information we are always placing into a particular folder. So, whenever a requirement comes, we can directly access that particular folder only. That is an easy access policy.
In the same way, in a library also, so many predefined things are available and so many predefined functions and predefined variables are available in the C language. All these are divided into related groups called header files in C Language.
Examples of C header files:
Some of the header files available in C Language are as follows:
- Stdio.h: standard input/output header file contains some of the standard functions. To print a message on the console we can use the predefined printf() function. No need to write the code once again, the printf function is already ready. I just want to print a message on the output screen from my program. So, directly we can use the printf function. If you want to read something from the end-user for scanning purpose, the scanf() function they have given.
- Conio.h: Console input/output header file. This contains console-related functions. For example, if you want to clear the console, clear the console means clear the output window, clrscr() predefined function is available. If you want to read a character from the console, then have provided getch() predefined function.
- String.h: This header file contains methods to manipulate the string. For example, if you want to find the length of a string, then you can use the predefined strlen() function and if you want to reverse the character of a string, then you can use the strren() function.
- Graphics.h: C language allows writing graphical programming also. Some 2D games we can develop using c programming also. For example, if you want to set the color, you can use setcolor() function and if you want to set the background color, then you can use setbkcolor predefined functions. There are so many functions available in the Graphics header file.
- Math.h: This header file provides functions and variables to perform math operations. For example, if you want to generate a random number, you can use the predefined rand() function and if you want to calculate the power of a number, then you can use pow() function.
- Dos.h: This header file contains functions that you can use to access operating system information. Dos stands for disk operating system. Operating system-related information if you want to access from your c program, then you can go for dos.h header file. For example, to get the date, you can use getdate function and to get the time you can use gettime predefined function.
So, a header file is a collection of related predefined functions and a c library is a collection of predefined header files.
Why C library is bi-forgetting into a number of header files?
For easy access.
IDE (Integrated Development Environment)
IDE stands for Integrated Development Environment. Generally, if you want to execute any program, one environment setup is required. For example, here I am taking a class, the class is nothing but one program. To continue means to execute this program one environment setup is required. So, many things are required. For example, whiteboard, Marker, one room, etc. In the same way, if you want to execute any program, for example, C, C++, or Java programs also one environment set is required.
In general, the C and C++ Programs execute in the original environment of operating systems like Windows, Mac, or Linux. Every operating system is having its own environment to execute the program. Whenever we click on a program, it is executing in the background with the help of the operating system. To run that application, the operating system will set one environment and from that environment only we can execute the program.
But if you want to execute the C or C++ programs from the original environment, it is a very complex thing. So as a basic programmer or as a learner, directly it is not possible to work with the operating system environments. So that is the reason why they introduced the concept of IDE (Integrated Development Environment).
What is IDE?
IDE is a duplicate environment where we can easily write, compile, and run applications. The best example easily we can understand is a blue screen where we can easily write, compile and run C applications.
Here, if you want to write the program using the blue screen software when you open the blue-screen, an editor will open and that editor is in blue color. We can divide the blue screen into two parts, the blue screen is called editor. So, whatever the screen which appears in blue color is called the editor, and the next one where we can see the output is called a console. This is a black screen. So, using this blue screen editor as a basic c programmer or as a learner, easily we can develop applications.
In the editor, you can directly write the program. After writing the program, if you want to save, a shortcut they have given and you can press a functional key F2. Wherever you press the F2 functional key, then automatically it will ask what is the name of the application including path, so directly you can save your application with a dot C extension.
After saving, next, we need to compile. To compile, they have given a shortcut by holding the alt button and press the F9 key. So, with the functional key F9 with the help of the alt button, we can compile our C program.
If you want to run the program, you can do it by holding the ctrl button and have to press the F9 button. So, whenever you press the shortcut ctrl + F9, what is happening in the background is a bit complex process and that we will understand in our upcoming articles.
If you want to see the output of the program, you have to maximize the console, then only you can see the output. To maximize the console, we need to press the ALT + F5 shortcut key. So, when you press the ALT + F5 shortcut key, automatically the black screen will open, the black screen will maximize and you can see the output of the program.
Whenever the Blue screen minimizes mode, then the console is in maximize mode. Whenever Console in minimize mode, then the blue screen is in maximize mode. So, at a time, we can open only one screen. either blue screen or black screen in this IDE.
Note: The point that you need to remember is, these shortcuts not belong to the C language. Here, to make our task very easy, we are using IDE. So, before using IDE, first, we have to learn how to use that IDE