[TUHS] History of popularity of C

Paul Winalski paul.winalski at gmail.com
Fri May 22 05:06:08 AEST 2020

On 5/21/20, Thomas Paulsen <thomas.paulsen at firemail.de> wrote:
>>I suspect the real reason for C's sucess was the nature of the language.
> it has most of the elements of structured programming as known in the
> 70the/80ths, and - most important - it produces small and fast performing
> binaries like no other high level language.

Sorry, but I can't agree with that statement (like no other high-level
language).  C is a decent language for systems programming but so are
other languages such as BLISS.  C is a terrible language if you have
to throw arrays around (which is why Fortran still rules the roost in

C, Pascsal, and other modern Algol-ish languages have well-behaved
grammars and were designed to be easy to lex and parse.  Fortran and
COBOL were designed before Chomsky's work on formal grammars became
well known, and as a consequence are bears to parse.  Fortran has
context-sensitive lexical analysis, for example.  But nobody knew any
better back then.

-Paul W.

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