Linked by MOS6510 on Thu 10th Jan 2013 23:25 UTC
General Development "For years I've tried my damnedest to get away from C. Too simple, too many details to manage, too old and crufty, too low level. I've had intense and torrid love affairs with Java, C++, and Erlang. I've built things I'm proud of with all of them, and yet each has broken my heart. They've made promises they couldn't keep, created cultures that focus on the wrong things, and made devastating tradeoffs that eventually make you suffer painfully. And I keep crawling back to C."
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"Then why did they not use Algol 60 or PL/I, which were the system programming languages of the time?

As for PL/I - it was first published in 1964 when the predecessors of C were already fairly underway in their own life, and it was a proprietary product of IBM (whereas C was designed at Bell Labs). Your romantic view of the wide availability of quality computer languages in the 60s is totally missing the reality of development back then.

Interestingly enough, Multics, whose developers included Ritchie and Thompson, was written in PL/1 and used one of the first non-IBM compilers for the language. PL/1 was by all accounts a product of 'design by committee' and compilers for it which supported the entire language were difficult to implement and required high end computers at the time.

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