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Thank You, Dennis Ritchie

Posted in UNIX at 4:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Dennis remembered

Dennis MacAlistair Ritchie (username: dmr, September 8, 1941 — October 8/9, 2011) was an American computer scientist notable for developing C and for having influence on other programming languages, as well as operating systems such as Multics and Unix. He received the Turing Award in 1983 and the National Medal of Technology 1998 on April 21, 1999. Ritchie was the head of Lucent Technologies System Software Research Department when he retired in 2007. [Read on]

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  1. Agent_Smith said,

    October 13, 2011 at 9:10 am


    That’s a gentleman who will be missed. I’ve tried to learn C ansi, but it was so unreadable I quit. I believe C++ is better. I wonder if folks will light virtual candles for him, in their tablets, mourning for his departure…

    NotZed Reply:

    Weird, my experience was the opposite, and to this day i refuse to even learn c++.

    And it seems strange to consider c++ easier given it is a super-set – so it has all the unreadability of c, with added extra unreadability and a lot more cruft besides.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    My experience too was the opposite. I started with GOTO+scripts when I was 13, imperative when I was 15 and didn’t study OOP till I was 19 because practising OOP without imperative is nearly impossible. Functions/methods are inherently imperative within themselves. It’s information flow that becomes higher level.

    Agent_Smith Reply:

    Odd as it may seem, I’ve learned Assembly easily. And I find Assembly better to read than ansi C. And I am starting to learn Python, which I hope is more or less like Pascal (my all time favorite)

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I loved Pascal too. :-)

  2. NotZed said,

    October 13, 2011 at 4:16 pm


    Wow. Now here’s someone who’s work did change the course of history and affected many many lives. And it came about from quietly solving his own problems and sharing them with the society around him that made it possible. And his legacy will continue to enrich our lives for many years to come.

    Unlike that other recently dead, he didn’t just bully others to make consumer grade junk destined for land-fill out of the cheapest commodity components, to sell it at a premium solely to make skads of money for himself. That bloke’s legacy will just be landfill.

    Without C, there could have been no unix, amigaos, macos, microsoft windows, most of the software any of those systems run … Nor perl, C++, Java, and other derivatives. Not to mention actually inventing unix and portable operating systems in the first place.

    No Linux, nor GNU.

    I wont shed a tear over the natural conclusion to his life, but I will raise a glass of beer to what he has given us.

  3. Michael said,

    October 13, 2011 at 6:10 pm


    Excellent you mention him and his influence was good.

    Seriously, if only you had been as respectful of other “greats” who have recently passed you would be heading toward tremendous improvement. Maybe you realized your mistakes in terms of Jobs and are demonstrating it here. Whatever the reason, excellent to see you make a reasonable post.

    NotZed: shame on you for trying to turn this topic into a flame war. Have some respect.

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