strangest systems I've sent email from

Noel Chiappa jnc at
Fri Apr 29 12:19:34 CDT 2016

    > From: Diane Bruce

    > PL/M wasn't bad either.

I forgot about PL/M...

    > Telephone companies preferred deterministic behaviour from their code
    > and operating systems.

Not just telco's. Many (most?) people doing stand-alone applications want
this, or something close to it.

    > There are many warts in C I would remove if I had the power to. ;)

Eh, don't we all.

My favourite peeve: in cloning BCPL, they left out 'valof/resultis'. That
made certain kinds of macros really, really ugly...

    > C is a high level PDP-11 assembler to this day. (auto increment and
    > decrement)

This myth persists, but it's wrong. B (the typeless predecessor to C) on the
PDP-7 had them, before the PDP-11 existed, as DMR attests:

  People often guess that they were created to use the auto-increment and
  auto-decrement address modes provided by the DEC PDP-11 on which C and Unix
  first became popular. This is historically impossible, since there was no
  PDP-11 when B was developed. 

The document that's excerted from:

might be of interest here, since it contains a section ("Whence Success?")
containing his take on why C was a success (e.g. "it evidently satisfied a
need for a system implementation language efficient enough to displace
assembly language, yet sufficiently abstract and fluent to describe
algorithms and interactions in a wide variety of environments").


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