[TUHS] Why Pascal is Not My Favorite Programming Language - Unearthed!

Bakul Shah bakul at bitblocks.com
Fri Sep 1 11:22:41 AEST 2017


> On Aug 31, 2017, at 2:46 PM, Larry McVoy <lm at mcvoy.com> wrote:
> 
> On Thu, Aug 31, 2017 at 04:37:17PM -0400, William Cheswick wrote:
>> I look to the likes of go and rust to get us back on track.  C is a pretty good assembly language.
> 
> So what chaps my grumpy old hide is why the heck do a whole new language
> when you have one that is pretty good?  Suppose we took C and added a
> dialect via options:
> 
> 	--no-ptrs	// use arrays and indices, you get bounds checking
> 	--strings	// system managed memory for strings, like tcl
> 	--perlisms	// if (buf =~ /re/) and unless (it_worked())

Such a language would stop being C.

In Go you can use slices instead of arrays (but slices are only one dimensional).
Ptrs are relatively safe as memory is garbage collected so e.g. a function can
return &local_variable. No perlism.

Go provides other features which are quite useful: concurrency, channels,
interfaces, packages.

People who like C tend to like Go. But Go is not low-level enough. No one
is writing a kernel in it! Or doing bare metal programming. AFAIK.

> etc.  Why create an entirely new language, new syntax, new linkage, etc,
> instead of fixing C's shortcomings?

C has too many problems. If you try fixing them, none of the "dusty decks"
would run on such a compiler + the new language would be severely
hampered in its evolution due to its C legacy.

Algol family, class based, prototype based, functional, array, logic,
visual, ... programming language are just what we have tried so far. 
I don't think we are anywhere near the end of programming language
evolution.




More information about the TUHS mailing list