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C is best

 
 
santosh
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      04-29-2008
Ricky wrote:

> On Apr 29, 11:15*am, Richard Heathfield <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>> Ricky said:
>>
>> <snip>
>>
>> > If C is best because hackers (expert programmers) use it, then I
>> > would like to stress on - Why do hackers use it .

>>
>> It's obvious - they use it because it's the best.
>>
>> --
>> Richard Heathfield <http://www.cpax.org.uk>
>> Email: -http://www. +rjh@
>> Google users: <http://www.cpax.org.uk/prg/writings/googly.php>
>> "Usenet is a strange place" - dmr 29 July 1999

>
> best in what terms, you could have added many things like: expressive,
> fast, good low level interface, etc etc. It depends on what you are
> trying to do.


In a recent interview Brian Kernighan (a close colleague of Dennis
Ritchie and a co-author with him for K&R) was asked about his
explanation for why C became as widely used as it did. He mentioned one
reason, in his opinion, was because C "hit a sweet spot" between very
low-level languages like assembler and Forth and more high-level
languages like LISP, Java etc.

This meant that with proper care it was possible to go as close to the
machine as any compiled language could, but with a little effort and
infrastructure, one could also write programs with fairly high
abstraction and platform independence. This allowed it to be used for a
relatively larger range of programs than other alternative languages in
those days. Assembler was very efficient but was getting difficult to
program and maintain large code bases with, and moreover had absolutely
no portability. BCPL and B suffered from being only thin layers over
assembler. COBOL and LISP were too high-level to consider writing
system code with, while FORTRAN (at that time) lacked many things like
pointers, separate compilation etc.

The success of C could probably be explained as an outcome of a flexible
yet portable language being developed at a time when a need for such a
language was acutely felt. The IBM PC advent also undoubtedly helped
C's reach and presence.

A web search for "Brian Kernighan interview" might get you the actual
interview.

 
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santosh
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      04-29-2008
pereges wrote:

> I found C's syntax is simpler than java and c++. I don't know which
> one is the most powerful language [ ... ]


All three are Turing complete and hence, from a theoretical perspective,
capable of the same range of computation. Practically speaking they
each serve different niches and each is going to be around for at least
a decade more.

 
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Richard Tobin
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      04-29-2008
In article <fv7keq$i9n$(E-Mail Removed)>,
santosh <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>> I found C's syntax is simpler than java and c++. I don't know which
>> one is the most powerful language [ ... ]


>All three are Turing complete and hence, from a theoretical perspective,
>capable of the same range of computation.


That's true for one particular restricted meaning of "powerful", but
it is frequently used less formally. In the less formal sense, C++ is
clearly more powerful since it's a superset[*] of C, and I think most
people would also consider Java to be. But powerfulness is not
everything!
[*] Yes, I know.

-- Richard
--
:wq
 
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William Hughes
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      04-30-2008
On Apr 29, 2:34 pm, Richard Heathfield <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> Ricky said:
>
> > On Apr 29, 11:15 am, Richard Heathfield <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> >> Ricky said:

>
> >> <snip>

>
> >> > If C is best because hackers (expert programmers) use it, then I would
> >> > like to stress on - Why do hackers use it .

>
> >> It's obvious - they use it because it's the best.

>
> > best in what terms,

>
> In whatever terms your original reply intended.
>
> > you could have added many things like: expressive,
> > fast, good low level interface, etc etc. It depends on what you are
> > trying to do.

>
> Yes. What I was trying to do was give the subject all the gravity and
> profundity of thought that it deserved, and I think I succeeded admirably.



I don't. I think you used far too much gravity and profundity of
thought.

-William Hughes
 
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Eligiusz Narutowicz
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      04-30-2008
William Hughes <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:

> On Apr 29, 2:34 pm, Richard Heathfield <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>> Ricky said:
>>
>> > On Apr 29, 11:15 am, Richard Heathfield <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>> >> Ricky said:

>>
>> >> <snip>

>>
>> >> > If C is best because hackers (expert programmers) use it, then I would
>> >> > like to stress on - Why do hackers use it .

>>
>> >> It's obvious - they use it because it's the best.

>>
>> > best in what terms,

>>
>> In whatever terms your original reply intended.
>>
>> > you could have added many things like: expressive,
>> > fast, good low level interface, etc etc. It depends on what you are
>> > trying to do.

>>
>> Yes. What I was trying to do was give the subject all the gravity and
>> profundity of thought that it deserved, and I think I succeeded admirably.

>
>
> I don't. I think you used far too much gravity and profundity of
> thought.
>
> -William Hughes


In addition, hackers are almost never the best programmers. Usually they
are the worst programmers. Hacking and programming are not synonymous.
 
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santosh
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      04-30-2008
Eligiusz Narutowicz wrote:

<snip>

> In addition, hackers are almost never the best programmers.


Where is your data for this assertion, or is it just your opinion?

> Usually they are the worst programmers.


And what makes you conclude this? Seems to me to be just FUD.

> Hacking and programming are not synonymous.


If only we had as clear a definition for hacking as we have for
programming. There is no broadly accepted definition of the word
hacker.

 
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Eligiusz Narutowicz
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      05-01-2008
santosh <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:

> Eligiusz Narutowicz wrote:
>
> <snip>
>
>> In addition, hackers are almost never the best programmers.

>
> Where is your data for this assertion, or is it just your opinion?
>


Years of working as a C programmer to be honest. Most hackers are just
that - hackers.

>> Usually they are the worst programmers.

>
> And what makes you conclude this? Seems to me to be just FUD.


There is a reason poor programmers and designers are called "hackers".

>
>> Hacking and programming are not synonymous.

>
> If only we had as clear a definition for hacking as we have for
> programming. There is no broadly accepted definition of the word
> hacker.


Yes there is.

When you work in an industry anyone referred to as a "hacker" is
generally to be avoided much as we can when possible.
 
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Keith Thompson
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      05-01-2008
Eligiusz Narutowicz<(E-Mail Removed)> writes:
> santosh <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:

[...]
>>
>> There is no broadly accepted definition of the word hacker.

>
> Yes there is.


You are mistaken.

--
Keith Thompson (The_Other_Keith) <(E-Mail Removed)>
Nokia
"We must do something. This is something. Therefore, we must do this."
-- Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn, "Yes Minister"
 
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s0suk3@gmail.com
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      05-01-2008
On May 1, 11:04 am, Eligiusz Narutowicz<(E-Mail Removed)>
wrote:
> santosh <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:
> > Eligiusz Narutowicz wrote:

>
> > <snip>

>
> >> In addition, hackers are almost never the best programmers.

>
> > Where is your data for this assertion, or is it just your opinion?

>
> Years of working as a C programmer to be honest. Most hackers are just
> that - hackers.
>
> >> Usually they are the worst programmers.

>
> > And what makes you conclude this? Seems to me to be just FUD.

>
> There is a reason poor programmers and designers are called "hackers".
>
>
>
> >> Hacking and programming are not synonymous.

>
> > If only we had as clear a definition for hacking as we have for
> > programming. There is no broadly accepted definition of the word
> > hacker.

>
> Yes there is.
>
> When you work in an industry anyone referred to as a "hacker" is
> generally to be avoided much as we can when possible.


You, as an long-time programmer (as you claim to be), are probably
thinking about the sense of the word "hack" that is used when
something in an application is done in a tricky, quick, inconvenient
and/or unstructured way. Thus, you'd be saying that a "hacker" is
someone that does that continuously. But that's not the only meaning
of the word "hack", as everyone has already pointed out, so you can't
say that that's the only thing (or merely one of the things) that
characterizes a hacker.


> Years of working as a C programmer to be honest. Most hackers are just
> that - hackers.


You could also say things like "a programmer is only a programmer," or
"a hero is just a hero," or even "God is only God." But what's your
point?
 
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