Re: Forward into the past! (Dick Dunn)
Sun, 5 Jan 1992 20:01:49 GMT

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Newsgroups: comp.compilers
From: (Dick Dunn)
Keywords: storage, design
Organization: eklektix - Boulder, Colorado
References: 91-12-075 92-01-004
Date: Sun, 5 Jan 1992 20:01:49 GMT (Dale R. Worley) writes about dynamic arrays:

>It's hard to resist noting that this feature was in Algol 60. That it
>has taken C and Fortran 30 years to adopt it says something about the
>computer community.

Yes, I think what it says is that not every language designer sees a need
for every feature. Dynamic arrays certainly weren't left out of C because
the language designers were unaware of the concept. The most likely reason
is that they added more cost (complexity or execution time) than they were

The uses of languages change over time. So do hardware costs and relative
efficiency concerns. An idea which wasn't useful enough to justify itself
twenty years ago might be justifiable today.

I doubt we're likely to see any clamor for C to acquire Algol 60 features
like call-by-name or the "for" statement in its full generality.
Dick Dunn -or- raven!rcd Boulder, Colorado

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