Programming language failings [was Re: strangest systems I've sent email from]

Eric Smith spacewar at
Sat Apr 30 12:53:40 CDT 2016

On Sat, Apr 30, 2016 at 7:39 AM, Diane Bruce <db at> wrote:
> Now on that we furiously agree. One problem has been getting that through
> to people who insist that C is still a high level assembler and has
> not changed from the time when it was a hand crafted recursive descent
> LR to the modern compiler with all the lovely optimisations we can do.

Sure, the compilers are way better than they were back then. That
doesn't make the language itself any higher level. The semantic level
of the language and the level of abstraction it provides have barely
changed, so the language itself is still a mostly portable substitute
for assembly language. As Chuck points out, it isn't a good substitute
for any particular CISC assembly language, but then those aren't
portable at all.

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