What is a bare bones programming language?

Bare bones programming language is a low-level programming language that gives a detailed stepwise description of a program. It has a tight program design and in-depth understanding of the toolchain. It is based on the target environment and is used for safe coding practices. C programming language is a type of bare bones programming language.

Types of programming languages

Computers are given a set of instructions to perform a task in a language that the computer understands. It does not understand or comprehend human languages. Consequently, a programming language is a solution to convey all the instructions between the user and the computer. By using computer programming languages, the programmer can create programs that can give the required result.

Types of programming languages such as CSS, JS, HTML, JAVA, Python, C++, C#, XML that are used for designing computer software.

The form of these programming languages can be either imperative or declarative. Imperative languages are written as a sequence operation that the computer performs in a particular order. On the other hand, declarative languages specify the logical description of the process to achieve the desired result.

A programming language consists of two components. The syntax specifies the rules that the programmers have to follow when writing a program, and semantics is the meaning of the code.


The structure of the program must obey the syntax of the programming language used. The syntax rules are given by the Context-Free Grammar and Backus Naur Form (BCNF) is used to represent the syntax of a programming language. Whenever a rule is broken, the compiler shows a syntax error to the programmer.

Bare bones programming language

The word bare bones represents the simplicity of the language. It is a basic and low-level programming language. The language summary has various rules related to the syntax and the user.

The number of lines of code in the program determines the size of a program. In bare bones programming, the syntax rules state that while declaring a header file, the user has to use the #symbol. A header file is the name of the library file that contains the definition of functions that the program uses.

Bare bones programming language is case-sensitive. It indicates two identifiers with the same set of characters but the different case is considered differently. The words that have special meaning within the program are known as reserved words.

Identifiers refer to the name of variables, functions, arrays, unions, and structures. Identifiers have rules associated with their declaration. Reserved words in bare bones programming language are listed below.

  • copy
  • clear
  • while
  • do
  • end
  • decr
  • incr
  • init
  • not
  • to
  • while

The identifiers in bare bones programming are case-insensitive. If the characters are the same, then irrespective of the case, declared names are considered the same. Variable declaration and initialization are done using variable names. The value that can be stored inside the variable is limited.

Important output functions are not provided in the bare bones programming language. This can be done by using either the initialization section or the command inline arguments. The standard output is the value of these declared variables, which appears at the end of a program.

Bare bones programming language is Turing complete. Its data manipulation rules can be used to simulate any Turing machine. Alan Turing introduced this concept of Turing, which was named after him. The program files are stored in a bare repository.

Issues in using bare bones programming language

Bare bones programming language has several standard libraries that can be used in coding. However, while developing some systems, programmers will require the operating system to supply header files. In this case, coding with bare bones programming language becomes an issue, since the programmers will have to code their own libraries.

C programming language

C language is a machine-independent language. It has a small library of subroutines, and it is used to write lower-level code.

It is a procedural computer programming language and has a static type of system. It can be efficiently used for all types of problem-solving applications. Dennis Ritchie and his team developed this language in 1972. During the 1980s, it was one of the most widely used languages and was standardized by ANSI (American National Standard Institute).

By using the C programming language, the programs can be made from one or more than one procedure. These procedures are also known as subroutines or functions. C programming language is an imperative type of language, where the compiler follows the order of instruction in the way they are entered by the programmer. Low-level access is used for the memory and minimal run time, which is achieved by this language. It can be optionally used for problem-solving purposes.

The syntax of a C programming language is a set of rules that defines the structure of a C program. The statement terminator used in the C programming language is a semicolon. The user can write comments in the program by using the // (slash) symbol. Seasoned programmers tend to use idioms to find shortcuts that enable in after and shorter codes. These comments can get ignored while processing the program. Identifiers in C programming are case-sensitive. This language is widely used for many applications including data computation and basic applications. The programs are saved to the source file of the system.

Like bare bones programming, C programming also contains reserved words and keywords. The header file in C programming is written at the beginning of the code and they are preceded by the ‘#’ symbol along with the keyword “include”. For example, to use the standard output function “printf()”, the header file “stdio.h” should be included in the program.

Bare bones interpreter

Bare bones programming language uses the bare bones interpreter. An Interpreter translates high-level language code into machine-readable code and executes them line by line.


The bare bones editor is used on the Mac platform. It is used for editing text, mark-ups, and codes. It provides an interface that helps to remove coding errors. It can be used with different languages such as manipulating UNIX commands, Interpreting PERL codes, and so forth.

Context and Applications

Having a fundamental and clear view of programming languages is a key part of software and application development. Every problem-solving application involves the use of these languages. This theory can be used by computer science graduates and software developers.

  • Masters in computer science
  • Bachelor of computer science

Practice Problems

Q1. Which of the following is not a reserved word in bare bones programming?

  1.  Copy
  2.  Clear
  3.  Say
  4.  End

Answer: Option c

Explanation: Say is not a reserved word.

Q2. Manipulation of UNIX command line is done using-

  1.  BBEdit
  2.  Perl
  3.  Pseudocode
  4.  Vole

Answer: Option a

Explanation: BBEdit can manipulate UNIX commands.

Q3. When was the C programming language developed?

  1.  1970
  2.  1971
  3.  1980
  4.  1972

Answer: Option d

Explanation: C programming language was developed in 1972.

Q4. By what bare bones programming language be exemplified?

  1.  Java
  2.  Python
  3.  C programming
  4.  CSS

Answer: Option c

Explanation: C programming is a type of bare bones programming.

Q5. What does the meaning of the code in a program known as?

  1.  Syntax
  2.  Semantics
  3.  Turing
  4.  Repository

Answer: Option b

Explanation: Semantics is the meaning of the code.

Common Mistakes

Programmers usually make mistakes while finding a solution to a problem. Lack of a program plan can result in unwanted solutions, cause a problem while running the compiler, and hinder the view of the result. Similarly, an error in the syntax of bare bones programming may cause the program to fail.

  • C programming
  • Programming language
  • Errors in programs
  • Types of compilers
  • UNIX
  • PERL language
  • README files
  • kernel

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