C programming language creator Dennis Ritchie dies at age 70

By Matthew
Oct 13, 2011
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  1. Pioneering computer scientist Dennis Ritchie passed away yesterday at age 70 after battling a long running illness. Ritchie was better known as a co-creator of Unix, but he also invented…

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  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,285   +281

    Very sad. His "little white book" (The C Programming Language) was only 8x10 and ~300 pages, but was succinct and sufficient to learn a language that survived up to the advent of OOP - - but even then was a great competitor.

    btw: "C" was the third iteration (following A & B; although never distributed) of creating a language with data types.
  3. Nima304

    Nima304 TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 283   +29

    I didn't know that. Cool stuff. :)
  4. Dennis Ritchie contributed more to our electronic lives than Steve Jobs would’ve if he’d lived another 100 years. It’s a shame (and says a lot about how marketing hype is recognised over actual substance) that there hasn’t been the same tidal wave of online tributes.
  5. " Dennis Ritchie contributed more to our electronic lives than Steve Jobs would’ve if he’d lived another 100 years. It’s a shame (and says a lot about how marketing hype is recognised over actual substance) that there hasn’t been the same tidal wave of online tributes. "

    That's right. I completely agree. The C programming language is a pillar of computing.

    Thanks a lot to Dennis Ritchie !
  6. Yes, it's a shame Ritchie doesn't get the credit he's due. Now, I'll admit that despite being an IT guy I didn't know... well, anything about Ritchie, really. But given he's the father of both C as well as UNIX, I'd certainly rate his influence over that of Jobs's. Jobs merely was more... visible by comparison. I saw a quote from some expert or another saying Ritchie's achievements make him "comparable" to Jobs, which I'd say is still an understatement.
  7. doradhorror

    doradhorror Newcomer, in training Posts: 36

    "Your mother is so fat, the recursive function computing her mass causes a stack overflow."

    -Dennis Ritchie
  8. negroplasty

    negroplasty TechSpot Maniac Posts: 535   +12

    Unlike others who've recently passed, you sir, will be greatly missed. At least you've left us more than a couple overpriced shiny gadgets to be considered a legend - if only more thought that way.
  9. Stupido

    Stupido TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 57

    Thank you and RIP...

    People like Dennis Ritchie are the real technology heroes...
  10. Arris

    Arris TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 4,534   +92

  11. Code:
    #include <stdio.h>
    main( ) {
          printf("RIP Dennis Ritchie.");
     }
     
  12. @jobeard: That's not quite correct. C did indeed follow B, but that was just coincidental. There was no "A". B was the successor to BCPL. C was the success to B, and used the next letter in the name of their common ancestor.
  13. tehbanz

    tehbanz TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 183   +10

    celebrity deaths come in threes, who is next. . . Bill Gates?? Linus Torvalds? oh the humanity!

    also im pretty sure he's using windows in the picture above.
  14. isamuelson

    isamuelson Newcomer, in training Posts: 96

    I can see mine on my bookshelf at work, right next to the C++ Programming Language.

    /* Ritchie's final C program! */
    printf("Goodbye, world\n");
    printf("Hello, after-life!\n");

    And mine to him:

    printf("RIP\n");

  15. ravisunny2

    ravisunny2 TS Ambassador Posts: 2,057   +8

    I have mine on my bookshelf too.

    C was and is a great language.

    The extensions were created primarily to protect programmers from their own mistakes.

    Thanks Dennis, you were a great.
  16. Ritchie, Thompson and Kernighan(the least known of the three): none of today's so-called tech gurus come any close to what they've achieved for humanity! But alas, only a few million people on Earth can even 'read' a simple 'Hello World' written in C today?
  17. I'm another one who owes his livelihood to this visionary.

    I'll share a story I have about Dennis, although I never knew him personally. Years ago I worked in digital switching at the old AT&T - and I remember that Dennis Ritchie would show up from time to time in the Bell System Technical Journals, both as an author and as a topic. In one article he was pictured wearing a company ID - just like we were all required to wear at the time - except he had a picture of a gremlin on his instead of a photograph of himself. Anyway, some brash, high level manager decided to complain about Dennis' behavior in writing, and his complaint dutifully appeared in the following issue of the Journal. The Journal responded by saying that everybody knows who Dennis Ritchie is (implied: except perhaps you) and if you ever invent a C programming language or Unix operating system, you too can walk around with a gremlin on your ID in the halls of Bell Labs.

    ...or words to that effect.

    Jim Smith
  18. it is really sad.....RIP Dennis! -tilaprimera
     


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