(Via 5by5 Illustrated.)
I don’t think C gets enough credit. Sure, C doesn’t love you. C isn’t about love–C is about thrills. C hangs around in the bad part of town. C knows all the gang signs. C has a motorcycle, and wears the leathers everywhere, and never wears a helmet, because that would mess up C’s punked-out hair. C likes to give cops the finger and grin and speed away. Mention that you’d like something, and C will pretend to ignore you; the next day, C will bring you one, no questions asked, and toss it to you with a you-know-you-want-me smirk that makes your heart race. Where did C get it? “It fell off a truck,” C says, putting away the boltcutters. You start to feel like C doesn’t know the meaning of “private” or “protected”: what C wants, C takes. This excites you. C knows how to get you anything but safety. C will give you anything but commitment
In the end, you’ll leave C, not because you want something better, but because you can’t handle the intensity. C says “I’m gonna live fast, die young, and leave a good-looking corpse,” but you know that C can never die, not so long as C is still the fastest thing on the road.
An anonymous reader writes “The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has published the new specifications for the C programming language. The standard is known unofficially as C1X and was published officially as ISO/IEC 9899:2011. It provides greater compatibility with the C++ language and adds new features to C (as indicated in the draft).”
Computer scientist Dennis Ritchie is reported to have died at his home this past weekend, after a long battle against an unspecified illness. No further details are available at the time of this blog post.
He was the co-inventor of the C programming language, and a central figure in the development of Unix. He spent much of his career at Bell Labs. He was awarded the Turing Award in 1983, and the National Medal of Technology in 1999.
“Ritchie’s influence rivals Jobs’s; it’s just less visible,” James Grimmelman observed on Twitter. “His pointer has been cast to void *; his process has terminated with exit code 0.”
(Via Boing Boing.)
Master Foo once said to a visiting programmer: “There is more Unix-nature in one line of shell script than there is in ten thousand lines of C”.
The programmer, who was very proud of his mastery of C, said: “How can this be? C is the language in which the very kernel of Unix is implemented!”
Master Foo replied: “That is so. Nevertheless, there is more Unix-nature in one line of shell script than there is in ten thousand lines of C”.
The programmer grew distressed. “But through the C language we experience the enlightenment of the Patriarch Ritchie! We become as one with the operating system and the machine, reaping matchless performance!”
Master Foo replied: “All that you say is true. But there is still more Unix-nature in one line of shell script than there is in ten thousand lines of C”.
The programmer scoffed at Master Foo and rose to depart. But Master Foo nodded to his student Nubi, who wrote a line of shell script on a nearby whiteboard, and said: “Master programmer, consider this pipeline. Implemented in pure C, would it not span ten thousand lines?”
The programmer muttered through his beard, contemplating what Nubi had written. Finally he agreed that it was so.
“And how many hours would you require to implement and debug that C program?” asked Nubi.
“Many”, admitted the visiting programmer. “But only a fool would spend the time to do that when so many more worthy tasks await him”.
“And who better understands the Unix-nature?” Master Foo asked. “Is it he who writes the ten thousand lines, or he who, perceiving the emptiness of the task, gains merit by not coding?”
Upon hearing this, the programmer was enlightened.
(Via Simple Software.)