[TUHS] PDP-11 legacy, C, and modern architectures

Nelson H. F. Beebe beebe at math.utah.edu
Wed Jun 27 03:54:24 AEST 2018

There is a provocative article published today in the lastest issue of
Communications of the ACM:

	David Chisnall
	C is not a low-level language
	Comm ACM 61(7) 44--48 July 2018

Because C is the implementation language of choice for a substantial
part of the UNIX world, it seems useful to announce the new article to
TUHS list members.

David Chisnall discusses the PDP-11 legacy, the design of C, and the
massive parallelism available in modern processors that is not so easy
to exploit in C, particularly, portable C.  He also observes:

>> ...
>> A processor designed purely for speed, not for a compromise between
>> speed and C support, would likely support large numbers of threads,
>> have wide vector units, and have a much simpler memory model. Running
>> C code on such a system would be problematic, so, given the large
>> amount of legacy C code in the world, it would not likely be a
>> commercial success.
>> ...

- Nelson H. F. Beebe                    Tel: +1 801 581 5254                  -
- University of Utah                    FAX: +1 801 581 4148                  -
- Department of Mathematics, 110 LCB    Internet e-mail: beebe at math.utah.edu  -
- 155 S 1400 E RM 233                       beebe at acm.org  beebe at computer.org -
- Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0090, USA    URL: http://www.math.utah.edu/~beebe/ -

More information about the TUHS mailing list