2017-04-29 16:10:07 UTC
I have taken a position as to what "C" means that is not
looked on favorably by several regulars on comp.lang.c.
But I think I have never been clear exactly what I meant
(I was probably unclear myself). I think now that I can
say exactly what I think.
I would say that the C language is the language defined by
the phrase structure grammar. I usually use the grammar
from C89 but the later standards, so far a I know, haven't
changed it much. The grammar in K&R 78 is too incomplete
The C so defined is incomplete as a programming tool. These
days there is both pre and post processing. But - as I see
the situation - neither are intrinsic parts of C.
Today I would call the part of a bigger system (like gcc)
that parses the phrase structure the compiler. But maybe
compiler should be reserved for a full construction and the
phrase structure handled by the parser.