C, please die, and take Go with you - Re: Fwd: is there any word processing software for the pdp11?

Eric Smith spacewar at gmail.com
Thu Dec 4 17:37:25 CST 2014

On Thu, Dec 4, 2014 at 10:52 AM, Fred Cisin <cisin at xenosoft.com> wrote:
> Yes, chainsaws are dangerous.  So are motorcycles.
> Some people ride motorcycles inappropriately, and indeed, some shouldn't
> even consider one.  Some ride motorcycles for the wrong reasons, such as
> inability to afford a car.

I agree with that, and I also believe that adults should be free to
make the decision for themselves. However, in the vast majority of
cases, if people ride a motorcycle and screw up (or someone else
screws up), they are the one that is injured, and relatively little
harm happens to anyone else.

In the case of writing buggy C code, which is nearly the only kind, a
programmer is potentially causing harm to a lot more people,
especially in the future as the IoT takes off.  I'm NOT arguing that
the government or even a standards body or NGO should ban C.  What I'm
arguing is that we should develop a culture of using more appropriate

> Is C more dangerous than Assembly?

In technical terms,no. In practice as actually applied, maybe, since
many programmers mistakenly believe that C is a high-level language
and assume that they don't need to know or understand what's really
going on. That might work in a bondage-and-discipline language, but in
C it's disastrous. There are numerous existence proofs that C is
dangerous even when used by experts, so anyone using C without fully
understanding it is in for a world of hurt for themself as well as
their victims.

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