[TUHS] v7 K&R C

Clem Cole clemc at ccc.com
Mon May 18 23:10:33 AEST 2020

On Mon, May 18, 2020 at 8:05 AM Tony Finch <dot at dotat.at> wrote:

> BCPL and B were also word-based languages.

Yes, that was the style of the systems language.  IIRC PL/360 worked the
same way too.

> The PDP-7 was a word-addressed machine.


> If I understand the history correctly, the move to NB then C was
> partly to make better use of the byte-addressed PDP11.
I never used NB, so you'll have to ask someone like Ken or Doug, as to when
the language became 'different enough' that Dennis felt it was time to
rename it.  From conversations years ago with dmr, I was under the
impression the original additions were considered 'syntactic sugar ' at
first -- hints to help him generate better code for the PDP-11 (like
'register').     I think Steve was at Waterloo and still using B and when
he returned to MH, C had appeared, but he might be able to shed some light
on the transition.

Clearly the byte address behavior of the 11 had a heavy influence in C.
 As I said in my earlier email, I've some times wonder what would have
happened to the language if the data units had been:  byte, word, ptr only
[or if DEC marketing had not screwed up with how BLISS was released -
another story for COFF I suspect].

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