Turbo C

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Turbo C is an integrated development environment from Borland for the C programming language .

The beginnings

After Borland had great success with Turbo Pascal and the language developed into the quasi-standard for PC application programming, the company brought out three further development systems that followed the concept of Turbo Pascal: Turbo Basic , Turbo Prolog and 1987 Turbo C.

View of Turbo C 2.01 from 1989

Turbo C had the same properties as Turbo Pascal: an integrated development environment ( IDE ), a fast compiler , a good editor and all at a low price. However, Turbo C was not as successful as its Pascal sister product. On the one hand, C was not a school language like Pascal, but rather the language for professional programming and system development. For these tasks, the language is used from time immemorial, in which even the operating system was written, in the case of DOS , Windows and Linux so C . Therefore, on the one hand, Turbo C entered a field already well occupied with development tools among professionals (Microsoft C, Lattice C , Watcom C, etc.), on the other hand, Turbo C was not so interesting for the amateurs and beginners in terms of orientation . The fact that Turbo C conquered its community anyway was mainly due to the speed of the compiled code, the fact that extensive projects could already be implemented with it in 1987, and the very low price compared to the competing compilers.


Despite the comparatively lower sales, Borland continues to maintain its line of compilers for C ++ and C to this day. Versions:

  • 1987: Turbo C 1.0
  • 1987: Turbo C 1.1
  • 1988: Turbo C 1.5
  • 1989: Turbo C 2.0 (now with integrated debugger; also for the Atari ST )
  • 1990: Turbo C ++ 1.0
  • 1991: Turbo C ++ 1.01
  • 1991: Turbo C ++ 2.0
  • 1992: Turbo C ++ 3.0

From the beginning, the product (as it was later with Pascal) was split into two lines, one for beginners and one for professionals. Initially they were called "Turbo" and "Turbo Professional", later just "Turbo" and "Borland". They developed C ++ until 1996 in these two lines up to the version Turbo C ++ 3.0 and Borland C ++ 5.0. As with Turbo Pascal, there is also a Turbo C ++ for Windows that reaches version 4.5.

Turbo C for the Atari ST was only available in versions 1.0, 1.1 and 2.0. The program was no longer maintained by Borland, but the source texts were sold and the product was further developed under the name PureC for some time.

From 1996 the Delphi principle is also adapted in the C ++ tool. The Delphi based on C ++ is called C ++ Builder .

Web links


  • Grand Prix. Turbo C - even faster? c't 8/87 p. 46ff., Heise Verlag