Saturday, October 15, 2011

Dennis Ritchie dies

Last week Steve Jobs died, and consumers and world leaders stopped to pay tribute.

This week Dennis Ritchie died … and many outside the world of computing will go “who?”.

He was a computer scientist, who not only created the C programming language, but also helped to create the UNIX operating system in the 60s and 70s.

If like me you have ever done programming, you've no doubt done it in C – it's a hugely popular language, and incredibly powerful and flexible one. It's spawned and influenced many of our current languages like C++, C#, Perl and Java. If you've programmed in C, then you've owned C The Programming Language by Kernighan and Ritchie.

The same can be said for the impact of UNIX, itself written in C.

The technologies have made pretty much every type of device and gadget you can imagine today possible, it's used to program mobile phones to XBoxes. You cannot imagine the world of software today without them.

Quite rightly it's been said that the world of computing has lost a titan.

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