Boost logo

Boost :

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superceded by other languages it inspired for the same niche and others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).

Topher Cooper

* 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.

Boost list run by bdawes at, gregod at, cpdaniel at, john at