Dennis Ritchie Dies

October 13, 2011 by staff 

Dennis Ritchie DiesDennis Ritchie Dies, Dennis Ritchie, creator of the programming language C and co-creator of the Unix operating system, has died aged 70.
Although the introduction of Intel’s 4004 microprocessor in 1971 is widely regarded as a turning point in modern computing, the birth of contemporary programming language C is less known. However, the creation of C has as
much right, if not more, to be the seminal moment of true IT as we know it, but is in the heart of the programming – and in the hearts of programmers – as the expression coding excellence to the elegance, simplicity and portability.

Its inventor, Dennis Ritchie, whose death after a long illness on Wednesday and confirmed Thursday by the Bell Laboratories, likewise embodies a unique approach but admirable for the design of systems: a man with a lifelong approach to the manufacture of software that satisfies the intellect, while the release of developers to build their dreams.

In a statement, Jeong Kim, president of Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs, said: “Dennis was very loved by his colleagues at Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs, and was largely lost a true inspiration to us all, not only. Of his many achievements, but because he was like a friend, an inventor and a humble and friendly. We would like to express our deepest condolences to the family Ritchie, and all who have been affected in some way by Dennis. ”

Dennis Ritchie MacAlister was born in Bronxville, New York on September 9, 1941, and raised in New Jersey, where his father, Alistair Ritchie, worked as a systems engineer for Bell Laboratories switch. Ritchie went to Harvard University and received his BS in Physics in 1963.

It was at Harvard University Ritchie first encountered a computer, attend a conference on the Univac 1, which captured his imagination. He moved to Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where the first moves from the mainframe to smaller, cheaper computers were being investigated earnestly, and from there in 1967 at Bell Laboratories – birthplace of the transistor and, Just then, one of the most important digital innovation centers in the world.

Multics for Unix
Bell Labs was the home of the Multics project. Multics was an operating system that replaces the idea of ??batch processing (where programs are executed one at a time from a stack of cards by an operator) with interactivity (where the programmer or user had complete control over writing or using software). The laboratory was also the home of Kenneth Thompson, who quickly became one of the main contributors to Ritchie.

When he left Bell Labs to work on Multics, Thompson and Ritchie were reluctant to abandon the ideas of interaction and collaboration that had been instrumental in its design. Thompson began work on a successor, called Unix, and soon joined in Ritchie

Having persuaded Bell Labs to buy one of the most advanced small computers of the time, a Digital Equipment Corporation PDP-11 in the back of a promise to write a word processing system for the patent department, the couple instead of creating the modern operating system prompt. Unix spread within Bell Labs and announced to the world in 1973.

C Programming Language
In the mid-70′s were a period of great experimentation and variation in hardware design, which made life difficult for software developers who had to limit both their programs running on a device or spend a great amount of time and energy recreating their work for each new platform.

In response to this problem, Ritchie designed the C programming language, which could be quickly and easily between different computers. The programs were written in C, if you followed the rules, then run with little or no modification on any computer that could run itself C.

Thompson and Ritchie rewrote UNIX in C, the operating system the same ease of portability. Developers can learn an operating system, a set of tools and language, and find those skills almost universally applicable. Similarly, once a hardware manufacturer C had put on his new design, the machine could use a vast array of existing software and talent. A side effect of this is that Unix has become the natural home for experimentation, and then practice the networking between the different systems.

This created all the key aspects of the environment in which computing has become the economic and cultural force that later remodeled – and continues to reshape – the world.

This revolution has been greatly improved thanks to the collaboration with Brian Kernighan Ritchie C programming language Also known as K & R, this slim book, published in 1978, acted as a concise definition of C and unparalleled introduction to the style and techniques of programming in that language. It remains a source of inspiration and practical help developers today.

Spiritual descendants
And spiritual descendants Unix and C can not be counted, but include Linux, Android, Mac OS, IOS, JavaScript, C + +, the genius of the Internet and a world full of developers. Similarly, legal restrictions on how Bell Labs and its parent, AT & T, may commercially exploit the software – a standard license prevents antitrust decision – meant that the ideas and, often, the underlying code of Unix and C became de facto an open system.

Ritchie had the lifestyle and habits to match its position as an IT guru principles. Long hair and beard, and the most famous owl joke, began work at noon on the industry standard chaotic office, coming late at night to go home and continue working until dawn at the end of a leased line equipment connected to the Bell Laboratories.

In his later life, having become a director, sometimes you could see in their natural habitat before lunch, if so required meetings. His life and work are completely intertwined, a man known for his gentle wit and gentle ways, none of it could be considered separately from his lifelong fascination with computers.

That eventually became director of Lucent Technology systems software research, and retired in 2007. By then, he and Thompson had received many industry awards, including the ACM Turing Award in 1983 and 1998 U.S. National Medal of Technology.

His ideas live, in the rudest of health, in the heart of modern operating system, new programming languages, and each electron and the bit of open systems.

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