On Aug 31, 2017, at 10:49 AM, Doug McIlroy
If Unix was written in Pascal I would've
happily continued using Pascal!
Amusing in the context of Brian's piece, which essentially says if Unix
could have been written in Pascal, then Pascal wouldn't have been Pascal.
My point being that perhaps the success of Unix had more to do
with the success of C than anything else. And I believe Unix
success had more to with the set of s/w tools it came with
For most user programs either language would be been fine.
Given its evoltion C had the necessary features to implement
an OS kernel but I believe Pascal could've been easily (&
minimally) extended to something equivalent. Note that Per
Brinch Hansen & his students did write an OS (Solo) in
Also note that C itself went through a few iterations while
Pascal was basically the same language that prof. Wirth
defined until 1985.
 Solo was a university project + it lacked the greatest
strength of Unix (a set of s/w tools). So it stayed a uni
project. Concurrent Pascal was a significant extension over
sequential Pascal but PBH explained his rationale by way of
his excellent book on Operating System Design!