Since the dawn of the programming era, many developers have developed different programming languages. To meet divergent requirements like structure, styling, functions, storage, etc., developers have revolutionized the programming platform to a whole new level.
The first popular entry to this field was C programming, after which came C++ and C#. Although they sound alike, C, C++, and C# are different programming languages. Let us understand the difference between two of the most widely used programming languages, C++ and C#.
What is C++?
C++ is a programming language that was developed by Bjorne Stroustrup. His idea was to produce a strong programming object-oriented language with the powers of C. It was initially known as C with classes as it had a combination of object orientation with class functionality. It covers both high-level and low-level language and thus is an intermediate language. It is easier to learn C++ if one knows C, as C++ is just an extended language. A beginner can pick C++ if object-oriented programming is their preference.
C++ is a language that allows multiple inheritances or inheriting of more than one class for a base class. For example, ‘class a’ can inherit from ‘class b’, and ‘class c’ of a program to include functions from both classes at a single place. C++ has numerous libraries based on Standard Template Library covering major functions needed for a program.
Features of C++
- Object-Oriented Programming: As mentioned earlier, C++ is an object-oriented programming language. It helps in efficient program writing and makes it easier to modify the code as needed without changing the entire structure. It enhances code readability and troubleshooting, thus adding a huge value in solving real-time problems.
- Independence: C++ is a machine-independent language. Programs in C++ can be written once and run on any platform like Windows, MAC, Linux, etc. However, it is only machine-independent and not platform-independent. This means that it creates a different .exe file on every platform.
- Simple: C++ is a simple, user-friendly language whose syntax closely resembles that of C. It is also easy to deconstruct a program and understand the approach.
- Intermediate Language: It is encapsulated with both high-level( a language that simplifies the code and runs independently of the hardware or machine) and low-level(a language that is dependent on the hardware or machine) programming languages. It is near to human-readable codes.
- Compiler Based: C++ is a compiler-based language and is efficient compared to other object-oriented languages like Python, R, etc.
- Dynamic Memory Allocation: Unused memory of the variables in a program gets allocated directly.
- Integration: C++ has integration tools such as code optimizers, program visualizers, incremental compilers that can amplify working with the language.
What is C#?
C# or also known as C Sharp is a programming language developed by Anders Hjelsberg. It was initially known as ‘Cool’ which later got renamed as C Sharp. C Sharp is a high-level object-oriented program which like C++, is built over C. C# has C as its backbone. Owned by Microsoft, C# was introduced along with .NET and visual studio.
The C# compilers expect a minimum and specific set of class libraries for its functioning. Class libraries that are built over the .NET framework give additional functionality.
Features of C#
- Object-Oriented Programming: C# with its .NET framework makes it a pure object-oriented programming language. Encapsulation, Polymorphism, and Inheritance make it stronger.
- Harmony with other languages: The .NET framework allows users to use libraries of different programming languages along with C# making it easier to build, manage, and deploy the code.
- Simple: C# is a complex but simple language to learn. It does not include complex operators.
- Type-safe: The C# accesses memory and has access to execute the program, making it secure. Arrays are indexed zero-based and are checked rapidly.
- Speed: The C# has many integrations inbuilt that are useful for developers to develop a code with fewer errors making the compilation and execution process faster.
- Record Type: C# comes with record types that allow users to create immutable objects which can be used instead of class and structs.
- Top Level Statement: C#, unlike other C-based languages, has a top-level statement feature. This allows users to exclude classes, blocks, voids, etc., making shorter codes executable.
- C++ is known as an intermediate-level language that adds object-oriented features to its base C, whereas C# is a high-level language.
- C++ compiles programs to Machine Codes, and C# compiles programs to Common Language Runtime or CLR.
- C++ does not warn the users if there are any errors before compilation when the syntax is followed. C# warns users about the compiler errors, making the work less tedious.
- In C++, programmers can use pointers anywhere at any point in time. In C#, programmers can use pointers only in unsafe mode.
- Memory management in C++ is done manually by the programmer. C# runs on a virtual machine and thus, memory management happens automatically.
C# Vs C++: Full Comparison
|Language Type||C++ comprises both High-level language and Low-level language as it is built directly over C. It is an intermediate language||C# is a High-level programming language|
|Compilation Process||C++ compiles programs to machine code||C# compiles programs to Common Machine Runtime or CLR that is interpreted by Just In Time(JIT) in ASP.NET|
|Memory Management||Memory management is done manually||Memory management is done automatically|
|Difficulty||C++ includes complex features that are hard to understand||Hierarchy in C# is simple and is easy to understand|
|Platform||C++ is used in multiple platforms such as Linux, Windows, macOS, etc.||C# is rarely used outside Windows Operating System|
|Standalone Applications||C++ is capable of developing standalone applications or applications that run locally without requiring any other functions to be running||Development of standalone applications is not possible|
|Object-Oriented||C++ is not a completely object-oriented language.||C# is purely an object-oriented language|
|Bound Check||Does not allow a bound check of arrays||Supports bound check of arrays|
|Garbage Collection||Does not support cleaning of unreferenced parts of a program||Supports cleaning of unreferenced parts of a program|
|Pointers||Pointers can be used at any point in time||Pointers can be used only in unsafe mode|
|Binaries||The size of binaries in C++ is low and lightweight||The size of binaries is high as C# has a lot of overhead libraries|
|Switch Statement||In C++ the switch statement that is used to control the flow of a program cannot be a string||In C# the switch statement may or may not be a string|
|Project type||C++ is used for projects that focus on the access of the hardware and better performance||C# is used in modern application development|
This is the overview of the languages C++ and C#. Both the languages are helpful in their ways, and the programmers who wish to learn them need different skill sets. Users can pick the language they need based on the project requirements. The intermediate language C++ can be chosen to work in projects that exclusively need hardware for better performance. The C# is useful in building web-based and desktop applications. Overall, both languages are powerful in development and are preferred by most programmers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is C++ better than C#?
A: C++ is a relatively powerful language when speed is the key criteria of the project. For instance, a lot of video games developers use C++ for its fast nature. However, if efficient desktop and web apps are the goals, C# would be better for development. The betterness depends on the purpose of the project.
Q: Should I learn C, C++, or C#?
A: Although C++ and C# are better than C, C forms the basis of both the languages, and most of the popular operating systems like UNIX, Windows, etc are still written in C. Thus C should be learned before C++ and C#.
Q: Is C# written in C++?
A: The original compiler version of C# was written in C and C++. Later on, it was written completely in C#.
Q: What is C# used for?
A: C# is majorly used in the development of desktop applications, web applications, and web services. It can also be used to develop games.
Q: Is C# popular as C++?
A: Yes. C# is a popular language. It was developed by Microsoft as an alternative for already existing Java and it improved rapidly. At times, it is much better than Java and has a wide base of users.