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

Clem Cole clemc at ccc.com
Thu Jun 28 00:33:52 AEST 2018

I guess my take on it is mixed.   I see some of his points but over all I
disagree with most of them.  I firmly believe if you look at anything long
enough you will find flaws.  There is no perfect.   I think Fortran, C,
even Algol are credits for more what people were able to think about at the
time and how well they lasted.   As I have said in other places, Fortran is
not going away. Clem Cole's answer is the Future of Fortran Programming Dead
applies to C.   It's just not broken and he's wrong.   Go, Rust *et al* is
not going to magically overtake C, just as Fortran as not been displaced in
my lifetime (BTW, I >>like<< both Go and Rust and think they are
interesting new languages).   He thinks C is not long a low level language
because when Ken abstracted the PDP-7 into B and then Dennis abstracted the
PDP-11 into C, the systems were simple.  The HW designers are in a giant
fake out at this point, so things that used to work like 'register' no
longer make sense.  Now its the compiler that binds to the primitives
available to the functions under the covers and there is more to use than
the PDP-11 and PDP-7 offered.    But wait, that is not always true.   So I
think he's wrong.   I think you leave the language alone and if the HW
moves on great.   But if we have a simple system like you have on the Amtel
chips that most Arduino's and lots of other embedded C programs use, C is
very low level and most his arguments go away.

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