Subject: Re: [boost] [git] Mercurial?
From: Topher Cooper (topher_at_[hidden])
Date: 2012-03-20 22:09:02
On 3/20/2012 9:31 PM, David Bergman wrote:
> This sounds like a "Turing Completeness" argument held by a Pascal programmer when hearing about that "cool" language called C a few decades ago.
> Ask people who have extensively used both, and they will tell you. C is better. Period.
Apples and oranges -- Pascal was invented solely to teach good
programming practices, C was invented solely as a somewhat higher level
language than assembly for doing systems programming. Both were
advocated for use well beyond their original intent -- and used
successfully. The Turing Completeness argument was an answer to C
fanatics who claimed that Pascal was a "toy language" that was incapable
of doing things that could be done in C. There were many of us who used
both extensively who felt that both had their place. C was better for
writing compact efficient programs (though no one doubted that the other
contender for a high level systems programming language, BLISS produced
much higher performance than any existing C compiler*), while it was
easier to write clear, maintainable programs in Pascal.
Ultimately C survived largely because of UNIX, while Pascal was
superceded by other languages it inspired for the same niche and others
(such as ... C).
* I have to admit to some bias on that issue, since I was one of
compiler writers for BLISS at DEC, and had been a sometime student of
Bill Wulf at CMU before that. However, the level of optization produced
by the BLISS compilers (after the original BLISS-10) is pretty
indisputable. No credit to me -- we just extended the use of the
optimization algorithms developed by Wulf and the grad students he was
thesis advisor to, and used them in ports to other hardware.
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