"The C programming language has been around for a long time and is still used a lot nowadays. Its foundations are very solid, but other aspects are showing their age. C2 attempts to modernize these parts, while keeping the feel of C. It should be seen as an evolution of C."

Design goals

This philosophy leads to the following design goals:

  • Higher development speed
  • Same/better speed of execution
  • Better compilation times
  • Integrated build system
  • Stricter syntax (easier for tooling)
  • Great tooling (formatting tool, graphical refactoring tool)
  • Easy integration with C libraries
  • Should be easy to learn for C programmers
  • Should help to avoid common mistakes

As C2 is an evolution of C, it also has explicit non goals:

  • higher-level features (like object-orientation, garbage collection, etc.)
  • to be a completely new language


So why would you choose C2 over C?

  • Faster development.
  • Easy access to features like LTO (link-time optimization)
  • Better diagnostics (which, again, speeds up development)
  • Easier control over architecture with c2reto


New programming languages appear quite frequently nowadays. You may have heard of some of the more notable projects like D, Rust, Go and Swift. Each of these try to solve problems in a specific domain. For example, both D and Rust aim to be system-level programming languages that have higher level abstractions - superceding C++.

C2 aims to be the programming language of choice for situations where C would currently be used. Low-level programs like bootloaders, kernels, drivers and system-level tooling are what C2 was designed for. It aims to directly replace C - no more, no less.

Programming language evolution


In the recent history of programming language development, there has been a trend towards more high-level abstractions. Java and C# are a prime example of this - they sacrifice performance for abstraction. In the systems programming domain, newer languages like D, Rust and C++ all provide more abstractions in the hope of making systems programming more friendly. - However, abstractions tend to sacrifice simplicity for ease of use. They don't seem to fill the gap for low-level programs like operating systems. C is so common in this field because of its simplicity! C2 aims to be nicer than C, but still have it's core simplicity.