[TUHS] curmudgeon credit

Larry McVoy lm at bitmover.com
Mon Apr 29 02:28:44 AEST 2013

On Sun, Apr 28, 2013 at 08:34:53AM +0300, Aharon Robbins wrote:
> > What I'd like is a new 64 bit PDP-11.  That assembler was wonderful to
> > read and write, only a short distance from C.
> True.

> IF you are not writing the compiler or the low level OS routines, what
> freaking difference does it make?  

We build source management systems and we still drop into assembler for
some stuff.  For example, we want to give ourselves a stack traceback
when something dies.  Another example is inner loops that are performance
critical, we stare at the assembler.

I don't expect the world to suddenly sit up and decide that it is important
to do what I want and give me my 64 bit PDP-11, but if that happened I'd
cheer :)

I think part of it is a yearning for simpler times.  That architecture 
was just so pleasant, you could move quite easily from C to assembler
and back again.  If I had to teach CS these days I'd prefer that 
assembler (but actually using it would be a disservice to the kids,
you want them to know x86 or ARM at this point).
Larry McVoy                lm at bitmover.com           http://www.bitkeeper.com

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