Am 14.03.2014 18:38, schrieb Walter Bright:
On 3/14/2014 10:24 AM, Paulo Pinto wrote:
Sadly the world at large ignored what was happening at ETHZ during the
mid 90's
and decided to invest in optimizing C compilers instead.

The shift away from Pascal/Modula2 happened earlier than that. The
beginning of the end of Pascal was in 1987 - when Zortech C++ was released.

Why do I say that?

Far and away, the most popular platform for programmers was the PC.
Before ZTC++, C++ was unusable on the PC. ZTC++ caught the OOP wave
right on the upside, and it was a huge hit on the PC. It was successful
enough that Microsoft decided they needed to do a C++ too, as well as
causing Borland to turn away from Borland Pascal towards C++.

(One of the big problems with the Pascal family of languages is the code
was not portable between platforms, or even between vendors. There was
no large library of 32 bit code one could port to the PC. There was with
C. C and C++ could compile and run on 16 bit PCs and 32 bit workstations.)

By the time Modula2 came around, the battle was already lost for the
Pascal family of languages.

So really, you can arguably assign significant blame on yours truly for
the failure of Modula2. (At a software trade show in 89 or 90 or so, one
of the compiler devs for Stepstone M2 ruefully told me that he'd "backed
the wrong horse".)

So why did I do a C/C++ compiler initially rather than Pascal/M2? Simple
- I'd used Pascal in the late 70's, and hated it. I just couldn't get
anything done in Pascal, it had too many frustrating restrictions, as
well as simply looking ugly on a page. C and me was love at first sight.

Thanks for the historical info. I love this type of stories.

My main problems with C are the safety defaults, implicit conversions and lack of proper modules.

Actually as I mentioned a few times here, I do like C++ and I always stand on the C++ side during the usual C vs C++ wars.

It still has those pesky C safety defaults, but offers safe alternatives, namespaces and OO/generic programming.

However I do recognise that with the recent trends of (finally) having people using static analysers on their code, C can be made a bit safer,
even almost Pascal like.


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