|pointer elimination in C email@example.com (Karen Miller) (1993-10-05)|
|Re: pointer elimination in C firstname.lastname@example.org (Robin Popplestone) (1993-10-22)|
|Re: C ++ and -- email@example.com (1993-10-22)|
|From:||firstname.lastname@example.org (Richard A Hammond)|
|Keywords:||C, history, design|
|Date:||Fri, 22 Oct 1993 20:51:48 GMT|
In an article in comp.compilers Robin Popplestone <email@example.com> writes:
>C was, as they would say in Congress, -very unique- in providing pointer
>arithmetic. This simply reflected the fact that good compilers had to be
>shoehorned into a tiny computer, the DEC-11, and there was a simple
>one-to-one mapping between something like *x++ and one machine
Not exactly, to quote from Dennis Ritchie in the 2nd History of Programming
languages Conference, ACM SIGPLAN Notices, Vol 28, No. 3, March 1993, pg 203
Thompson went a step further by inventing the ++ and -- operators, ...
People often guess that they were created to use the auto-increment and
auto-decrement address modes provided by the DEC PDP-11 on which C and Unix
first became popular. This is historically impossible, since there was no
PDP-11 when B was developed. ... a stronger motivation for the innovation
was probably his observation that the translation of ++x was smaller than
that for x = x + 1.
So it was shoehorning into a small computer, the PDP-7. It wasn't for
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