Tuesday 25 October 2011

Dennis Ritchie (1941-2011)

I was saddened to hear of the death of Dennis Ritchie recently. As creator of the C programming language and co-creator of unix, there are elements of his work throughout my personal and professional life: Android and Apple iOS are based on linux (a flavour of unix), and many of my clients run unix or linux servers for SAS software. As a Computer Science student between 1980 and 1983, C and unix were my bread and butter.

As somebody who has struggled, not yet mastered, but at least come to terms with unix, I'm amused by a quote associated with Dennis:
UNIX is basically a simple operating system, but you have to be a genius to understand the simplicity
Dennis's name and work may not be as well recognised as others with greater marketing and self-promotion skills, but rest assured that the scope and influence of his work is far greater.

Dennis, we salute you. RIP.