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Dennis MacAlistair Ritchie (September 9, 1941 – October 8, 2011)

And if you don’t know who he is, your opinions on computers don’t matter.


  1. Sam Duncan says:

    I don’t think it would be besmirching Steve Jobs’s memory to say that Dennis Ritchie was vastly more influential. In fact, I don’t think Jobs would have disagreed.

    Ritchie might have.

  2. CountingCats says:

    Two different types of influence.

  3. Kevin B says:

    I shall dig out my dusty old copy of K&R and read a chapter or two.

  4. Andrew Duffin says:

    What Kevin B said.

    We are not worthy, etc etc.


  5. Chuckles says:

    Sam D,

    It’s the difference between the Engineering and Marketing departments perhaps?

  6. NickM says:


    printf (“Goodbye World!\n”);

  7. NickM says:

    Sorry Dennis – didn’t format right in WP but then C was always a bit loose on formatting – I liked that! Other people’s C code can resemble the Dead Sea Scrolls.

  8. CountingCats says:

    #include stdio.h

    printf (”Goodbye World!\n”);

    Readability comes before accuracy.

    If it doesn’t work and you can’t read it you won’t get it to work. If it doesn’t work and you can read it, you can get it to work. C is a write only language only if the writer is a dickhead.

    Update: Shit, Nick is right. WP reformatted it.

  9. X says:

    @Sam: well, without C the original Mac OS could not have been written.

  10. David Gillies says:

    Nah, original MacOS was assembler and Pascal. Current MacOS is Objective C, which I really like.

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