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Old 17th October 2011, 15:42   #31
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Default Re: So Long Dennis Ritchie, will C you when we get there

In his own words...

Dennis Ritchie Bio

Dennis Ritchie Home Page
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Old 17th October 2011, 17:49   #32
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Default Re: So Long Dennis Ritchie, will C you when we get there

<wipes a tear from eye>

I just read The Evolution of the Unix Time-sharing System

The clarity and simplicity with which he writes is great, but what is astonishing is references to things that they wrote in a few days or fixed in a few hours. Clearly this was geniuses at work, although it is comforting to know that even geniuses could be, at least at first, baffled by the fact that the change-directory command no longer "worked" after implementing the basis of Unix's multi-tasking model.
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Old 18th October 2011, 11:54   #33
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Default Re: So Long Dennis Ritchie, will C you when we get there

RIP Sir.
I remember practicing linked list and pointers in mid 90s. What simplicity, what genius!
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Old 18th October 2011, 12:24   #34
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Default Re: So Long Dennis Ritchie, will C you when we get there

Those of the us who have coded in assembly langauge or op-code, know their immense power and yet totally non-scalable nature.

But Dennis Ritchie's creation kept the power, while making it lot more scalable. However, the most importance nature of C didn't come to my notice until 2004 when I started hiring C/C++ programmers for my newly founded company.

I was reading up on hiring techniques from all over the place. My previous hiring experience from TCS/HP was of no use since the criteria was very different.

It was then I came across interview guidelines from Joel Spolsky, who later went on to co-found Stackoverflow.com and Trello.com websites.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joel on Software
Do they use pointer arithmetic? This is a good sign. Many "C programmers" just don't know how to make pointer arithmetic work. Now, ordinarily, I wouldn't reject a candidate just because he lacked a particular skill. However, I've discovered that understanding pointers in C is not a skill, it's an aptitude. In Freshman year CompSci, there are always about 200 kids at the beginning of the semester, all of whom wrote complex adventure games in BASIC for their Atari 800s when they were 4 years old. They are having a good ol'; time learning Pascal in college, until one day their professor introduces pointers, and suddenly, they don't get it. They just don't understand anything any more. 90% of the class goes off and becomes PoliSci majors, then they tell their friends that there weren't enough good looking members of the appropriate sex in their CompSci classes, that's why they switched. For some reason most people seem to be born without the part of the brain that understands pointers. This is an aptitude thing, not a skill thing it requires a complex form of doubly-indirected thinking that some people just can't do.
Source: The Guerrilla Guide to Interviewing - Joel on Software

The most important aspect of C is how it separates these two categories of programmers.
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Old 18th October 2011, 14:46   #35
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Default Re: So Long Dennis Ritchie, will C you when we get there

As a guy who never got further than saying "hello world" in C, I probably shouldn't be telling others, but hey, I was a manager. I've been putting together a couple of old PCs for students. These people want Visual-Studio and stuff (which I don't have to give anyway). Both machines are dual boot, WinXP/Ubuntu. The advice I am giving with the machines is that, sure, of course Linux comes with a C compiler and ...if they can get to grips with working with a user interface that looks like this:
Quote:
$
Then that is the best possible thing for their careers.

Last edited by Thad E Ginathom : 18th October 2011 at 14:49.
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Old 18th October 2011, 18:31   #36
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Default Re: So Long Dennis Ritchie, will C you when we get there

One more link about Ritchie: Dennis Ritchie, Unix, and clarity - All this

Don't miss comment no.4 at the bottom.
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Old 18th October 2011, 20:11   #37
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Default Re: So Long Dennis Ritchie, will C you when we get there

Could not agree more about the writing. Even yesterday, as I read the Unix history paper, it struck me how he was explaining concepts in a way that was easy for anyone to understand.

The quality and readability of the Unix man pages (as I mentioned) played a big part in my career. It wasn't until years later that I heard that they took the manuals, and checked the documented behaviour with the programs themselves: if they found inconsistency, they decided which was the best, and changed one or the other.

They are technical instructions, not marketing material. Imagine if they had had to precede every command with "Bell Labs Unix blah blah". When I read them, I did not know what was to come!

They are written, if not with humour, then at least with humanity
Quote:
A word of warning about matrices—each column must have the same number of elements in it. The world will end if you get this wrong.
Somewhere else it says, If you do this, horrible things will happen.

Perhaps Kerningham, again, rather than Ritchie. It makes me think he must have been the one that wrote "variables come into existence in AWK just by mentioning them". Still, same team... same nature.
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Old 14th October 2016, 00:52   #38
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Default Re: So Long Dennis Ritchie, will C you when we get there

Tech luminaries laud Dennis Ritchie ... 5 years after death.

https://www.cnet.com/news/tech-lumin...eath-syndrome/
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