History of C (Re: Why do you use a devil as a mascot?)

Gary Kline kline at thought.org
Sun Nov 14 20:44:47 UTC 2010

On Sun, Nov 14, 2010 at 01:00:35AM -0800, perryh at pluto.rain.com wrote:
> Chad Perrin <perrin at apotheon.com> wrote:
> > On Sat, Nov 13, 2010 at 02:32:04PM -0600, Robert Bonomi wrote:
> > > should the one-leter name for 'c++' be 'd' or 'p'?
> > > (nobody could decide/agree, which *IS* why it is 'c++'
> > > to this day)
> >
> > ... D is already another programming language ...
> It wasn't back then :)
> > I don't know what this P has to do with it.
> You have revealed yourself as a newbie :)
> In the beginning there was CPL, the "Combined Programming Language."
> It was large enough to be infeasible to implement using then-current
> technologies, so the "Bootstrap Combined Programming Language" (BCPL)
> was invented, with the intent that the first CPL compiler would be
> written in BCPL.
> CPL never amounted to much -- I don't know whether it was ever
> implemented at all -- but BCPL developed a following.  Someone
> (at Bell Labs?) produced a derivative called B, from which a few
> researchers at Murray Hill derived C.  Thus the question:  should
> the next language in the series be named D (next alphabetically)
> or P (next letter of BCPL)?

	I'd vote for "E" since that might have more positive
	connotations that "D".  :-)  Skip "F" altogether.

	Just about the whole Murray Hill gang stopped by Cray 
	(in Chippewa Falls), late 80's, and I remember asking Dennis
	what the deal was with "C++"; I remember him dodging the
	thing.  Whoever-invented-C++ did a convoluted job, i s my
	opinion.  It might be nice to add classes to C, but that's
	about it.

	TWo questions: didn't IBM create CPL? And doesn't BCPL
	Stand for "British Computer Programming Language"?  (I did have
	both editions of the C book by Brian and DEnnis; then loaned the
	2nd edition and never got ti back.)  I think Dennis gives credit
	to BCPL Somewhere.  Pretty sure those guys are all retired to
	somewhere *warm and sunny* by now!


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 Gary Kline  kline at thought.org  http://www.thought.org  Public Service Unix
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