Dennis Ritchie Death

October 15, 2011 by staff 

Dennis RitchieDennis Ritchie, In the last two weeks, we lost two people who had a huge influence on our industry. It is undeniable that Steve Jobs has brought innovation and iconic products as the world had ever seen, and a cult following to consumers and end-users so mythologized. People like him will probably never return.

I too, like many in this industry, despite my differences documented with man and his company, my respect, and acknowledged its influence.

However, the “magic” that Apple and Steve Jobs – as well as many other companies created almost everything we know and write in modern computing, as it exists today to Dennis Ritchie, who died this week the age of 70 years.

The younger generation who reads this column is probably scratching his head. Who was Dennis Ritchie?

Dennis Ritchie was a child prodigy Silicon Valley billionaire meticulous puzzled the public presentations only standing room in minimalist black mock neck with new products and wild brilliant rhetoric directed against its competitors.

No, Dennis Ritchie was a scientist with a beard, somewhat disheveled team wearing sweaters and had a messy office.

Unlike Jobs, who was a college dropout, he was a doctor, a graduate of Harvard University with a degree in Applied Mathematics and Physics.

And instead of Silicon Valley bright, worked at AT & T Bell Laboratories in New Jersey.

Yes, Jersey. As in “What exit”.

Steve Jobs has been often compared to Thomas Edison for the rarity of his personality and inventive nature.

I have my problems with the comparison that we are actually giving work the technical merit of being a real and someone who invented something.

It is important to realize that even if the man was brilliant in its way, Steve Jobs was not a technician.

In fact, had a strong sense of style industrial design, understanding what customers wanted, and was a teacher and merchant seller. All this makes it an industry giant. But the inventor? No.

Dennis M. Ritchie, on the contrary, invented and co-invented two key software technologies that make up DNA effectively use each software product that directly or indirectly, even in the modern age.

Sounds like a wild claim, but it’s really true.

First, let’s start with the programming language C.

Powered by Ritchie between 1969 and 1973, C is considered the first modern programming language and portable. In the 40 years since its introduction, has been ported to virtually every system architecture and operating system that exists.

Because it is an imperative, compiled language, procedural programming, which allows variable lexical scope and repetition, which allows low-level access to memory and complex functions for handling I / S and the chain , the language has become very versatile, and Brian Kernighan and allowed to refine the language and publish it as “ANSI C” programming.

In 1978, Kernighan and Ritchie published the book “The C programming language.” Considered by many simply as “K & R” is considered a masterpiece of computer science and a reference to explain fundamental concepts of modern programming, and is still used as text in teaching programming to students in computing curricula even today.

C as a programming language is still widely used today, and since then has become a series of sister languages.

The most popular C + + (pronounced “C plus plus”) which was presented by Bjarne Stroustrup in 1985 and added support for object-oriented programming and classes used in a variety of operating systems, including all major derivatives UNIX, including Linux and Mac, and the main programming language has been used to develop software for Microsoft Windows, at least 20 years.

Objective-C, created by Brad Cox and Todd love in the 1980s at a company called Smalltalk Stepstone added messaging capabilities of the language.

It was considered largely a derivative of C dark until popularized in the NeXTStep operating systems and OpenStep late 1980 and early 1990 in the NeXT computer systems of Steve Jobs, the company he formed after he was overthrown by Apple’s board in 1985.

What happened “next”, of course, is the computation of the story. NeXT was purchased by Apple in 1996 and Jobs returned to become CEO in 1997.

In 2001, Apple released Mac OS X, which makes extensive use of Objective-C and object-oriented technologies introduced in NeXTStep / OpenStep.

While C + + is used heavily on the Mac, Objective-C is used to program the native object-oriented “Cocoa” API in Xcode IDE, which is essential for the recognition of gestures and animation features in IOS that powers the iPhone and the iPad.

Objective-C also provides frameworks for Foundation kit and kit applications that are essential for building native OS X applications and IOS.

Microsoft has its own derivative of C in C # (pronounced “C Sharp”) introduced in 2001 and serves as the basis for programming in the frame. NET.

C # is also the basis for programming applications in the new Metro runtime Windows (WinRT) for the next Windows 8 and Windows Phone 7.x It is also used on Linux and other Unix-like programming environment Mono, which is a portable version of the structure. NET.

But the influence does not end in C language derived from C. Java, a programming language important business (and has been transformed into Dalvik, which is used as the primary development environment Android) is mainly based on the syntax of C.

Other languages ??like Ruby, Perl and PHP which form the basis for dynamic and modern Web, use all the syntax introduced in C, created by Dennis Ritchie.

Therefore, one could say that without the work of Dennis Ritchie would not have modern software … at all.

It could just end this article with the development of Ritchie C means to modern computing and its impact around the world. But in reality only half of the description of a working life of this man.

Ritchie is also the co-creator of the UNIX operating system. That, of course, after being a prototype assembly language, was completely re-written in early 1970 in C.

Since the implementation of the first “Unics” begins on a DEC PDP-11 in 1969, has become like many other operating systems running on a variety of system architectures.

The name of an equipment supplier, and each of them has ever had an implementation of UNIX. Even Microsoft, which once owned a product called XENIX and you sold it to SCO.

You want to click and zoom the image so you can get a better understanding of this “family”.

There are essentially three main branches.

One branch is the “System V” UNIXes primarily known today as IBM AIX, Solaris, Oracle, SCO UnixWare and Hewlett-Packard HP-UX. All these are considered “Big Iron” operating systems that drive transactional business-critical applications and databases in the world’s largest companies, the Fortune 1000.

Without the UNIX System V, the Fortune 1000 will probably not be done almost nothing. Business is essentially paralyzed.

Can only represent 10 to 20 percent of the population of the computer to any particular company, but it is a very important part of 20 percent.

The second branch, the BSD (Berkeley Systems Distribution) include FreeBSD / NetBSD which form the basis for both Mac OS X and iOS that powers the iPhone. It is also used to feed much of the critical infrastructure that actually runs the Internet.

The third branch of UNIX is not even a branch at all – GNU / Linux. The Linux kernel (developed by Linus Torvalds) in combination with the GNU userland, programs, tools and utilities provides a complete re-implementation of a “UNIX” or “compatible with UNIX” operating system from scratch.

Linux, of course, has become the most damaging of all UNIX operating systems. It is the very small scale, embedded microcontrollers to smart phones, tablets and desktop and even the most powerful supercomputers.

One Linux supercomputer, IBM Watson, even beat Ken Jennings on Jeopardy! while the world watched in amazement.

However, it is important to recognize that Linux and GNU does not contain any UNIX code at all -. “Gnu’s Not Unix”, hence the recurring phrase Free Software

However, by design, GNU / Linux behaves like UNIX, and one could say that without UNIX developed by Ritchie and Brian Kernighan colleagues, Ken Thompson, Douglas Mcllroy Joe Ossanna at Bell Labs in the first place, never have been a move to Linux or open source software.

Or the Free Software Foundation and Richard Stallman to be happy, Steve Jobs, is gone, for that matter.

But enough of religion and ideology. We owe much to Dennis Ritchie, more than you can possibly ever imagine. Without their contribution, it is likely that none of us would be the use of today’s personal computers, advanced software applications or even a modern Internet.

Android smartphones No, no luxury DVRs and transmission devices, not Macs and iPads to Steve Jobs and Apple to make surprisingly large.

No “Applications for that.”

Dennis Ritchie, thank you – to give all of technology to be technicians we are today.

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