[TUHS] > I really

Larry McVoy lm at mcvoy.com
Mon Mar 27 12:47:17 AEST 2017


On Sun, Mar 26, 2017 at 09:44:53PM -0400, Doug McIlroy wrote:
> > like how blindingly obvious a lot of the original Unix code was
> > ...  sort of what you would imagine it to be before you saw it.
> 
> That's a facet of Thompson's genius--code so clean and right that,
> having seen it, one cannot imagine it otherwise. Odds are, though,
> that the same program from another hand would not have the same 
> aura of inevitability. As Erdos would say of a particularly elegant
> proof, "It comes from the Book," i.e. had divine inspiration.

So Doug,

It's one of the great joys of my life that I even get to have this
coversation with you.  I believe that my initial respect for you came from
reading release notes you had written, that may or may not be correct,
my memory is not what it once was.  I know that I ran into your work in
the mid 1980's when I was an undergrad just learning Unix.

You guys were the people I looked up to, wanted to emulate, if I had
been younger I would have fought my way into Bell Labs to be with you.
If I could, not at all clear that I was good enough.

I may not have been good enough to be with you guys, but I'm definitely
good enough to see that code, see how clean it is.  And in my career,
when I was in charge, I pushed for code equally as clear.

I'll not waste more of your time, just wanted to say how incredibly great
it is to be able to have this exchange of thoughts.

--lm


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