Filename extension: .h
Developed by: Autodesk
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The H filetype is synonymous with C and C++ programming languages, where it serves as a header file. These files traditionally contain definitions for functions and macros that are to be shared between several source (.c or .cpp) files. The origin of the H filetype can be traced back to the early days of the C programming language development in the 1970s at Bell Labs. The purpose of segregating code into header and source files was to promote code reusability and modular programming, principles that were gaining traction in software engineering at the time.

Functionality and Structure

H files play a crucial role in the compilation process. They provide declarations that enable the compiler to ensure that function calls and variable uses are consistent without requiring access to the full definitions. The use of '#include' directives in source files allows these declarations to be brought in, facilitating a separation that helps in managing large codebases efficiently.

Software Utilizing H Files

A vast array of integrated development environments (IDEs) and text editors support the creation and management of H files, including popular ones like Microsoft Visual Studio, Eclipse, and Xcode. The ubiquity of the C and C++ languages across various platforms ensures that the .h extension is widely recognized and utilized in the development of software ranging from operating systems to specialized embedded systems.

Alternatives to the H Filetype

While the H filetype is deeply ingrained in C-based language ecosystems, there are other programming paradigms that do not follow the header and source separation. For instance, languages like Python and Java use a different approach, with classes and modules being self-contained. In modern C++, 'modules' have been introduced as part of the C++20 standard, offering an alternative to traditional header files by aiming to provide a more efficient and safer mechanism for reusing code components.

Supported converters for H files

Sorry, there are currently no converters for this file format