strangest systems I've sent email from

Paul Koning paulkoning at
Fri Apr 29 10:43:57 CDT 2016

> On Apr 29, 2016, at 9:09 AM, Noel Chiappa <jnc at> wrote:
> ...
>> From: Liam Proven
>> C is popular because C is popular.
> Yes, but that had to start somewhere.
> I think it _became_ popular for two reasons: i) it was 'the' language of
> Unix, and Unix was so much better than 99% of the alternatives _at the time_
> that it grew like crazy, and ii) C was a lot better than many of the
> alternatives _at the time it first appeared_ (for a number of reasons, which
> I won't expand on unless there is interest).

I think the answer is simpler: Unix was adopted by a number of academic groups because it was available on easy terms, and it was adopted by a very successful company (Sun).

If Burroughs had been successful, its Algol might well have won; it certainly is every bit as capable as C and far safer.  (For those who don't want safety, there's ESPOL.)


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