On 2020-05-21 11:27 AM, Tyler Adams wrote:
Does anybody have any good resources on the history of
the popularity of
C? I'm looking for data to resolve a claim that C is so prolific and
influential because it's so easy to write a C compiler.
Based on recollections of C from mid-1980s until today, this claim
doesn't make sense for several reasons. Sorry, this is all anecdata or
recollection, not cited data:
- inexpensive compiler availability was not very good until ~1990 or
later, but C had been taking off like wildfire for 10 years before that
- developing good compilers is certainly not "easy" - and there were a
lot of mediocre vendor compilers despite (duplicated) investment
- by the time gcc was mature (by some definition, but probably before
1990) - something that happened largely as a reaction to the vendor
compiler situation - it was a large and complicated codebase even by
standards of the time
- hobby/novelty/small/educational compilers are a relatively new thing
and arrived long after the C adoption curve was complete. The earliest
well known example I can think of is lcc (1994) but most are much newer.
...and probably quite a few other points.