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View Full Version : Dennis Ritchie Dies at 70


OTMPut
10-13-2011, 11:35 PM
I learnt UNIX/C from his books nearly 20 years ago.
He will live on in every piece of code in some form.

R.I.P.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/14/technology/dennis-ritchie-programming-trailblazer-dies-at-70.html

Sentinel
10-15-2011, 04:26 AM
This was really sad. First SJ and now Dennis. I too started out with his book, still have it.

I did not know anyone here would care, great to see this. I think cucio would also know of Ritchie.

Polaris
10-15-2011, 05:55 AM
:(

K&R is still awesome after all these years.

cucio
10-15-2011, 06:20 AM
I did not know anyone here would care, great to see this. I think cucio would also know of Ritchie.

Well, funny that you mention it, Dennis and I used to hang out together at the Usenet, back in the 1200 bps modems days, and discuss everything about null pointers. Ah, those remote shell sessions where we were all truly equals, no matter our local typing speed ;-)

sureshs
10-15-2011, 08:48 AM
:(

K&R is still awesome after all these years.

Still have that book.

ollinger
10-15-2011, 08:58 AM
Neighbor of one of my brothers in Berkely Heights, NJ, nice guy, lived a stone's throw from Bell Labs where he worked many years ago and where my brother now works as EE/computer scientist (the building is now Alcatel/Lucent). He and Jobs both went relatively young from cancers, hope it's not indicative (lots of PCBs and other toxins used to manufacture computers, sure hope they don't give off vapors from the heat of operation).

sureshs
10-15-2011, 09:03 AM
Neighbor of one of my brothers in Berkely Heights, NJ, nice guy, lived a stone's throw from Bell Labs where he worked many years ago and where my brother now works as EE/computer scientist (the building is now Alcatel/Lucent). He and Jobs both went relatively young from cancers, hope it's not indicative (lots of PCBs and other toxins used to manufacture computers, sure hope they don't give off vapors from the heat of operation).

Ritchie actually programmed for many years. Jobs wasn't a hands-on guy for a long time. So, you may be right, but Jobs is not the data point you should be looking at. Jobs was an executive, Ritchie was a worker.

Forehand Avenger
10-15-2011, 10:32 AM
This was really sad. First SJ and now Dennis. I too started out with his book, still have it.

I did not know anyone here would care, great to see this. I think cucio would also know of Ritchie.
I have a like new copy of the hardcover U.S. version of the K&R book that I bought back in 1997. I think it's worth about $300 now but I won't sell it.

Dennis Ritchie RIP.

Forehand Avenger
10-15-2011, 10:36 AM
Ritchie actually programmed for many years. Jobs wasn't a hands-on guy for a long time. So, you may be right, but Jobs is not the data point you should be looking at. Jobs was an executive, Ritchie was a worker.
Jobs was a visionary enterpreneur. Ritchie was a revolutionary engineer. C and Unix are incredibly important and are still used everywhere (including Mac OSX.)

I think it's somewhat unfair that Ritchie doesn't get as much recognition as SJ does. I think Steve Jobs deserves the recognition he gets, but I think Ritchie deserves much more. I suppose he is still justly recognized by people who are in the business. He is just not the populist figure that Steve Jobs was.

sureshs
10-15-2011, 10:40 AM
Rob Pike, whose name is mentioned along with K and R, works at Google now.

sureshs
10-15-2011, 10:41 AM
Jobs was a visionary enterpreneur. Ritchie was a revolutionary engineer. C and Unix are incredibly important and are still used everywhere (including Mac OSX.)

I think it's somewhat unfair that Ritchie doesn't get as much recognition as SJ does. I think Steve Jobs deserves the recognition he gets, but I think Ritchie deserves much more. I suppose he is still justly recognized by people who are in the business. He is just not the populist figure that Steve Jobs was.

Android and iOS are basically Unix

Sentinel
10-16-2011, 10:26 PM
Well, funny that you mention it, Dennis and I used to hang out together at the Usenet, back in the 1200 bps modems days, and discuss everything about null pointers. Ah, those remote shell sessions where we were all truly equals, no matter our local typing speed ;-)

Are null pointers something women have ? As opposed to dangling pointers ?

btw, An awesome dude just ported PoP to Commodore 64/128 !

Sentinel
10-17-2011, 12:07 PM
His home page
http://cm.bell-labs.com/who/dmr/

an interesting article about him;
http://www.leancrew.com/all-this/2011/10/dennis-ritchie-unix-and-clarity/

sureshs
10-18-2011, 07:17 AM
These people were pioneers. They worked at a time when computer programming was new and exciting and had not become a commodity yet. They combined a researcher's originality with an engineer's passion for detail, a rare combination. They never ran away from any problem. They were deeply honest people who stood by their work. When I see how many flakes are doing programming these days, with the only motive being to escape into management and lord it over others, I can appreciate these people.

The other aspect to the lives of people like K, R, Thompson, Pike, and Stroustrup is that they worked in computer science in the US. But the users of their work are now mostly abroad. It is safe to say that the vast economic transformation in countries like India which started with outsourcing of software would not have been possible without these people. Their work provided livelihood for anyone willing to work hard who did not have access to the sophisticated instrumentation required in other fields, which is closely guarded by affluent nations. Women who were denied work in the "hard" industries and others who were marginalized in traditional industries learned C and Unix and entered the workplace.

But now it seems such innovative and sincere people are hard to find in the US.