Dennis Ritchie, one of the creators of the C programming language and one of the original Unix developers, has passed away. The debt I feel I personally owe to DMR and the other old school computer scientists who created the networked computing environment that forms the basis of my work and most of my entertainment cannot be overstated.
Rob Pike announced Ritchie’s death on Google Plus.
Tim Bray whipped up a quick post on a few of Dennis Ritchie’s contributions to the field — things we take for granted today but didn’t exist before Ritchie and his colleagues invented them.
Update: This post from Herb Sutter is awesome:
So this young upstart whippersnapper comes along and decides to try to specify a language that will let people write programs that are: (a) high-level, with structures and functions; (b) portable to just about any kind of hardware; and (c) efficient on that hardware so that they’re competitive with handcrafted nonportable custom assembler code on that hardware. A high-level, portable, efficient systems programming language.
How silly. Everyone knew it couldn’t be done.
Update: Andrew Leonard’s obituary.