[TUHS] History of popularity of C

A. P. Garcia a.phillip.garcia at gmail.com
Fri May 22 04:58:01 AEST 2020

>From memory, there is a History of Programming Languages book from an ACM
conference that contains some papers that were presented there, along with
some notes from Q&A sessions that followed. I'm paraphrasing, but Dennis
Ritchie said something flattering about Pascal, that it was essentially the
same language as C. Given this, asked Niklaus Wirth, why do you suppose
that C is so much more popular than Pascal?  Ritchie answered, "I don't

My personal opinion is that Ken Thompson is not given enough credit for the
beauty and expressiveness of C, as much of this comes from its
predecessor,  B, which is essentially Thompson's "remix" of BCPL.

On Thu, May 21, 2020, 11:28 AM Tyler Adams <coppero1237 at gmail.com> 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.
> Tyler
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