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3.6: The Program Creation/Development Cycle

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  • To create a C program:

    1. Do the requisite mental work. This is the most important part.
    2. Create the C source code. This can be done using a text editor, but is normally done within the IDE (Integrated Development Environment). C source files are plain text and saved with a “.c” extension.
    3. Compile the source code. This creates an assembly output file. Normally, compiling automatically fires up the assembler, which turns the assembly file into a machine language output file.
    4. Link the output file with any required libraries using the linker. This creates an executable file. For desktop development, this is ready to test.
    5. For embedded development, download the resulting executable to the target hardware (in our case, the Arduino development board). For the Arduino, steps 3, 4, and 5 can be combined by selecting “Build” from the IDE menu.
    6. Test the executable. If it doesn’t behave properly, go back to step one.
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