[TUHS] History of popularity of C

arnold at skeeve.com arnold at skeeve.com
Fri May 22 03:35:50 AEST 2020

> Toby Thain <toby at telegraphics.com.au> wrote:
> >
> > - inexpensive compiler availability was not very good until ~1990 or
> > later, but C had been taking off like wildfire for 10 years before that

PCC contributed to this. Everybody and their brother was porting Unix
to their fancy new CPU architecture / hardware. All you had to do was
bootstrap a cross-compiler version of PCC on a PDP-11 (or more likely
Vax), then get Unix to boot and Voila.

(I remember reading a paper about how Motorola did just that for
the MC 680x0 family.)

C and Unix were established in Academia and Industry well before 1990.

> I get the impression that an important part of its popularity was how C
> (and C++) became the language of choice on the PC, and displaced Pascal in
> the process.

C++ became the language of choice on the PC when MSFT started pushing
its compiler and Visual Studio IDE.

At least, this is my two cents.


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