Linked by Eugenia Loli on Thu 13th Oct 2011 00:28 UTC
General Unix Twitter is currently buzzing about the death of Dennis Ritchie, the visionary creator of UNIX and C, among other things. We hope it's just a false rumor. Story developing, we will be updating. Update: Unfortunately, it seems to be confirmed. Rob Pike, co-creator of the Plan 9 and Inferno OSes, who has worked with Ritchie in the past, and he's currently working for Google's GO language, posted this.
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RE[6]: horrible to hear
by steve_s on Thu 13th Oct 2011 11:30 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: horrible to hear"
steve_s
Member since:
2006-01-16

Only time will tell how history judges these two men, and personally I find it difficult to judge the comparative contributions of the two.

My feeling is that you are undervaluing the contributions that Jobs made. Whilst they began in the 70s and 80s, they continued through right up until he died. The value of bringing easy to use, high technology, mass-market products like the Apple ][, Mac, iPod, iPhone, and iPad to the market should not be underestimated. In virtually every one of those product examples the prevailing wisdom was that it couldn't be done.

In contrast Ritchie's contributions of C and UNIX were done before Steve Jobs' career began. Their value is not to be underestimated, since they serve as valuable foundations for much of what has followed.

Whilst you say that there were others waiting to step up and take the place of Jobs at his rise, the same can also be said of Ritchie. Sure, the industry was younger with less people involved so fewer could have taken his place, but there were other languages besides C, and Ritchie was one member of a team that produced Unix.

Let's face it - neither man is really well known outside of geeky circles. There are plenty of people, even those that own iPhones, that didn't know who Steve Jobs was. Far fewer people have heard of Dennis Ritchie - it is only geeks that have heard of him, and most only know him because his name is on the cover of the C book.

The fact is that both men have their place. They will both be missed. This is not a competition.

Reply Parent Score: 9