Feature: Soapbox Musings

A Look Back at C Programming and Dennis Ritchie

Author: Jefferey Rigler
Published: October 14, 2011 at 2:53 pm

Dennis Ritchie passed away October 8th, 2011. Thinking of grade school and doing some C programming. I didn't realize the importance of Dennis Ritchie's work. I was just thinking don't forget the parenthesis, or zeros. Return 0, and that amazing feeling of success when the code is programmed correctly and it works.

But with Dennis Ritchie's passing, it gives me pause to think how his programming which he stated "C is quirky, flawed, and an enormous success" benefitted computer users everywhere. It was a stable program for other programmers to use and build upon.

This "quirky and flawed" program is the basis for operating systems today. I know I'm enjoying my iOS 5 right now because of Ritchie's work. His contributions created new industries. Both Steve Jobs and Bill Gates benefitted from his contribution of C programming and the development of UNIX. In the past, stating that you had any skill in C programming would open the door to many entry level jobs. Unfortunately, I was never that good at it. (I'm trying to wrap my head around HTML5 now.)

I don't use C programming today but it is an integral part of my life. It's an invention that lies just under the surface or skin rather of apps, OS's, and influences other developers as well. This invention is not like a light bulb or tangible, it was a new language. Ritchie created a language unique, useful, and much like our own with exceptions and abbreviations. We lost a "Founding Father" of modern day computing and his legacy lives on.


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Article Author: Jefferey Rigler

Jefferey Rigler manages Rigler Digital and is trying to save the world one digital project at a time.. Rigler Digital is reponsible for web development: registering domain names, and web hosting. The Rigler Digital Blog gives insight to digital artists and tech fans. …

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