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Re: [XForms] Dennis Ritchie is dead

From: Jens Thoms Toerring
Subject: Re: [XForms] Dennis Ritchie is dead
Date: Fri, 14 Oct 2011 03:33:33 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.20 (2009-06-14)

Hi Marcus,

On Thu, Oct 13, 2011 at 08:23:33PM -0400, Marcus D. Leech wrote:
> Yes, if there ever was a giant upon whose shoulders we all stand,
> Dennis Ritchie was surely one of them.
> I haven't seen Dennis in over 20 years, but on the few occasions
> that I met him, and had a couple of beers with him,
>   he seemed like a genuinely-nice person, and the most unassuming
> "giant" one could ever possibly meet. The entire
>   IT/Software/Technology industry owes him a debt of gratitude so
> insanely large, and yet 99.9% don't even know who
>   he is.
> The news of his death has affected me personally today.  Not only
> because I've actually met the man, but because I learned
>   C and Unix "back in the beginning" (1979).  My life has been
> utterly shaped by having lucked into a job in 1979 where I got
>   to learn C from "The C Tutorial", and program on Unix systems.
> Goodnight, curly-braces man.  You'll be missed.

Thank you. I would very much have liked to meet him in person
as you did.

On a lighter note: one of the really funny things I stumbled
upon was an exchange (seems to have been in comp.std.c back
in 1998) with a reply by Dennis Ritchie:

| > You are right. It was nice back in the days when things like
| >
| > #if (sizeof(int) ==
| >
| > actually worked (on some compilers).
| Must have been before my time.
| Dennis

I guess there wasn't a lot further discussions after that;-)

And another gem I just found:

| From: Dennis Ritchie <address@hidden>
| Newsgroups: comp.std.c
| Subject: Re: Integer Sizes?
| Date: Thu, 02 Dec 1999 03:19:41 +0000
| Someone (well, OK, Nick) wrote:
| > ... No, that is not the issue.  You clearly have not thought of the
| > problem of handling external data formats, which was the rationale
| > for introducing the exact-width data types in the first place.
| >
| > A device driver or external file data object of 32 bits long will
| > contain those bits in a certain order.  There is no requirement for
| > that to be the same order that is used by C...
| >
| > The matter of byte ordering is too well-known to go into details;
| > it is common for the external value 1 when loaded as a uint32_t
| > to be 16777216.  I have used systems where both big-endian and
| > little-endian bit orders WITHIN A BYTE were possible....
| Maybe by the time of the C0X standard, things will be pinned
| down well enough that it will become possible actually to
| write a TCP/IP stack, or conceivably an entire operating
| system in C. One might even imagine that it runs on several
| different machine architectures.  A hope for the new milennium.
|       Dennis

While never having met him that makes it obvious to me that
he must have been a very unassuming person with an admirable
sense of humour.
                           Best regards, Jens
  \   Jens Thoms Toerring  ________      address@hidden
   \_______________________________      http://toerring.de

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