About programing, a general question

Parshwa Murdia b330bkn at gmail.com
Wed Dec 22 20:30:18 UTC 2010

On Thu, Dec 23, 2010 at 1:49 AM, Rick Stevens <ricks at nerd.com> wrote:

I was on the ANSI C committee for a brief time when C was being spec'd
> out back in the late '70s and early '80s.  Our company was an early
> adopter of Whitesmiths' C on Vaxen and PDP-11s.  PJ Plaugher of
> Whitesmiths was the first secretary of the committee.
> <rumination style="big_grin">
> PJ had an interesting take on things.  I remember that Whitesmiths
> version of the now-standard "atexit()" function was called "onexit()".
> When reading the man page, the prototypes for the arguments were really
> mucked up.  In the "Bugs" section of the manpage, he said, "...the type
> definitions defy description and are still wrong."  Also, forgetting
> the terminating null in the source string used with their "cpystr()"
> (now "strcpy()") function was deemed "mildly perilous."
> </rumination>
> Technically C++ grew out of AT&T Bell Labs' Cfront, which was an OOP
> pre-processor for C. The combination of C and Cfront was often referred
> to as "C with classes".
> When C++ was first being codified formally it was called "Incremental
> C".  Since "++" is the C increment operator, the name sort of fell out
> serendipitously.  First it was cute, then the lightbulb went on with
> "Hey, that's a GREAT name for it!"  I remember discussions as to whether
> a follow-on language would be called "D" or "P" (since the roots of C
> are based on the old BCPL language).
> C# is Microsoft's implementation of C++ with some extensions (mostly the
> ".NET" crud).  It is more-or-less compatible to ANSI C++, but not
> completely.  Microsoft seems to have a horrible aversion to using
> industry standards (ADS is a subset of LDAP, for example, but they'll
> never say so).
> Q: How many Microsoft engineers does it take to change a lightbulb?
> A: None.  They redefine darkness as the standard.
> Now, looking at things such as Java...does anyone else remember a rather
> noble but failed experiment called "UCSD P-System Pascal", championed by
> Nicklaus Wirth in the '80s?  Same idea, compile to some bizarre, byte-
> code version of the source and have a target-specific interpreter to
> act as a virtual machine to execute the byte-code.  So Java certainly
> isn't revolutionary, or even a very new idea.
> Perhaps P-Systems' failure was due to not having gobs of memory or fast
> processors to implement the virtual machine at that time and that Sun
> Microsystems wasn't behind it as they were with Java.
> Anyway, that's my contribution to the discussion.
> (donning my flak jacket and flame-retardant suit for the inevitable
> missiles that will be hurled in my direction)
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> - Rick Stevens

Nice, you also seem to have nice experience.


Parshwa Murdia
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