From: "Tom Del Rosso"
References: <firstname.lastname@example.org> <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: Which basic compiler to buy?
X-Newsreader: Microsoft Outlook Express 6.00.2600.0000
NNTP-Posting-Date: Wed, 18 Dec 2002 16:58:42 GMT
Organization: AT&T Worldnet
Date: Wed, 18 Dec 2002 16:58:42 GMT
"Steve Andrew" wrote in
> Check http://cm.bell-labs.com/cm/cs/who/dmr/chist.html
> for a history of the development of the language. It has very little
> with the instruction set of the DEC PDP-11, having most of it's basic
> from ALGOL and BCPL.
That article says the PDP-11 wasn't around yet, but C was patterned
after machine languages in general, so my point seems valid. He does
say, "...we regretted losing the advantages of writing programs in a
language above the level of assembler, such as ease of writing and
clarity of understanding." He obviously has his own opinion of what,
specifically, are the advantages of assembly, but since everyone else
thinks assembly is better for its flexibility and that its weakness is
the power of individual operators, they should not have limited C to the
definitions of operators as they existed in assembly at that time.
> The only micro-processor I can recall that had anything that could
> be called a string compare function was the Z80.
I was refering to the 8086's Scan-String, Store-String, Load-String.
The string type seems to have been on the minds of computer scientists
in the 70s, and BASIC was created around the time of C and it had a
> In any case, writing a string compare function in either C or
assembler is a
> pretty trivial task. Unpick the code for a BASIC string compare
> you will almost certainly find that it compares strings in pretty much
> same manner as any other language and does not reply on hardware to do
Writing the function is easy enough, but I'm refering to the clarity of
syntax where the function is called. Clarity is what Ritchie claims
they wanted but he has an unusual conception of it. Using functions for
everything doesn't make it clear IMO. I'm not convinced that a powerful
syntax has to use punctuation marks where words should be.