C Language Tutorial Version 0.042 March, 1999 Original MS-DOS tutorial by Gordon Dodrill, Coronado Enterprises. Moved to Applix by Tim Ward Typed by Karen Ward C programs converted by Tim Ward and Mark Harvey with assistance from Kathy Morton for Visual Calculator Pretty printed by Eric Lindsay Applix 1616 microcomputer project Applix Pty Ltd
Introduction The C programming language was originally developed by Dennis Ritchie of Bell Laboratories, and was designed to run on a PDP-11 with a UNIX operating system. Although it was originally intended to run under UNIX, there was a great interest in running it on the IBM PC and compatibles, and other systems. C is excellent for actually writing system level programs, and the entire Applix 1616/OS operating system is written in C (except for a few assembler routines). It is an excellent language for this environment because of the simplicity of expression, the compactness of the code, and the wide range of applicability. It is not a good "beginning" language because it is somewhat cryptic in nature. It allows the programmer a wide range of operations from high level down to a very low level approaching the level of assembly language. There seems to be no limit to the flexibility available. One experienced C programmer made the statement, "You can program anything in C", and the statement is well supported by my own experience with the language. Along with the resulting freedom however, you take on a great deal of responsibility. It is very easy to write a program that destroys itself due to the silly little errors that, say, a Pascal compiler will flag and call a fatal error. In C, you are very much on your own, as you will soon find. Since C is not a beginners language, I will assume you are not a beginning programmer, and I will not attempt to bore you by defining a constant and a variable. You will be expected to know these basic concepts. You will, however, not be expected to know anything of the C programming language. I will begin with the highest level of C programming, including the usually intimidating concepts of pointers, structures, and dynamic allocation. To fully understand these concepts, it will take a good bit of time and work on your part, because they not particularly easy to grasp, but they are very powerful tools. Enough said about that, you will see their power when we get there, just don’t allow yourself to worry about them yet. Programming in C is a tremendous asset in those areas where you may want to use Assembly Language, but would rather keep it a simple to write and easy to maintain program. It has been said that a program written in C will pay a premium of a 50 to 100% increase in runtime, because no language is as compact or fast as Assembly Language. However, the time saved in coding can be tremendous, making it the most desirable language for many programming chores. In addition, since most programs spend 90 percent of their operating time in only 10 percent or less of the code, it is possible to write a program in C, then rewrite a small portion of the code in Assembly Language and approach the execution speed of the same program if it were written entirely in Assembly Language. Approximately 75 percent of all new commercial programs introduced for the IBM PC have been written in C, and the percentage is probably growing. Apple Macintosh system software was formerly written in Pascal, but is now almost always written in C. The entire Applix 1616 operating system is written in C, with some assembler routines. Since C was designed essentially by one person, and not by a committee, it is a very usable language but not too closely defined. There was no official standard for the C language, but the American National Standards Association (ANSI) has developed a standard for the language, so it will follow rigid rules. It is interesting to note, however, that even though it did not have a standard, the differences between implementations are usually small. This is probably due to the fact that the original unofficial definition was so well thought out and carefully planned that extensions to the language are not needed.
Even though the C language enjoys a good record when programs are transported from one implementation to another, there are differences in compilers, as you will find any time you try to use another compiler. Most of the differences become apparent when you use nonstandard extensions such as calls to the MS-DOS BIOS, or the Applix 1616/OS system calls, but even these differences can be minimized by careful choice of programming means. Applix 1616 builders have only the HiTech C compiler available. This version of the tutorial is customised to suit HiTech C. The original MS-DOS version by Gordon Dodrill was ported to the Applix 1616 (with great effort) by Tim Ward, and typed up by Karen Ward. The programs have been converted to HiTech C by Tim Ward and Mark Harvey, while Kathy Morton assisted greatly in getting Visual Calculator working. All have been tested on the Applix 1616/OS multitasking operating system. The Applix distribution disks contain the complete original text of this tutorial, plus all the converted C source code. The second disk contains executable, relocatable versions of all the programs, ready to run on an Applix 1616. There is also a directory of the original IBM source code, for those using IBM computers, who may wish to try them with a different compiler. This printed version has been edited, indexed and pretty printed by Eric Lindsay, who added the Applix specific material. This printed version of the tutorial includes copies of all the code, for easier reference. It also includes a comprehensive table of contents, and index.
1 Getting Started This tutorial can be read simply as a text, however it is intended to be interactive. That is, you should be compiling, modifying and using the programs that are presented herein. All the programs have been tested using the HiTech C compiler, and we assume that you have a copy of this. In addition, you should have a copy of various updates and header files for the C compiler, which appear on Applix User disks. You can use either the builtin Applix 1616/OS editor edit, or the $30 Dr Doc editor in non-document mode. Dr Doc is somewhat more powerful, however as it loads from disk, it is slightly slower to get started. The source code has been edited to suit a tab setting of 5, so invoke your editor with tabs set to a spacing of 5. For example, edit sourcecode.c 5 would let you edit a file called sourcecode.c. Before you can really use C, there are certain equipment requirements that must be met. You must have a disk co-processor card, and at least one disk drive. If your drives are smaller than 800k, you will probably require two disk drives. We assume you either have 1616/OS Version 4 multitasking, or else have an assign MRD available on your boot disk. You should make use of the xpath, and the assign commands to set up your boot disk in a form suitable for use with C. This should be done in the autoexec.shell file on your boot disk, as set out below. 1.1 C Boot Disk Make a new, bootable copy of your 1616 User disk, following the directions in your Users Manual. To ensure sufficient space, delete any obviously unwanted files you notice on the copy. Copy the contents of your HiTech C distribution disk to the new disk, keeping the subdirectories the same as on the HiTech disk. If you have received any updated C header files or other updates, copy these also to their respective subdirectories on your new disk. Using edit, alter the xpath and assign commands in your autoexec.shell file in the root directory of your new disk. Your xpath should include /F0/bin (if it is not already included). Add the following lines to your autoexec.shell, to recreate the environment used by Tim Ward when originally running these programs. assign /hitech /f0/bin assign /sys /f0/include assign /temp /rd This will allow code to be written without regard to where you actually put your files. If you are using a second drive, or a hard disk, simply change the assign to point /hitech to the correct drive. C tends to use temporary files extensively. If you have sufficient memory available on your ram disk, use /rd for temporary files. If not, use the current drive and directory, as indicated by the assign /temp . Make sure you copy the new C preprocessor relcc.xrel from the user disk into the /bin subdirectory of your new C disk. Getting Started C Tutorial 1-1