If C is so evil why is it so successful?

Brent Hilpert bhilpert at shaw.ca
Thu Apr 13 16:19:51 CDT 2017

On 2017-Apr-13, at 1:24 PM, Chuck Guzis via cctalk wrote:
> On 04/13/2017 12:30 PM, Rich Alderson via cctalk wrote:
>> From: allison Sent: Wednesday, April 12, 2017 3:18 PM
>>> BASIC, why is that the most universal language implemented on
>>> nearly every micro and many other systems.
>> Because it was the language offered on the GEIS timesharing system
>> when a private boys' school in Seattle decided to teach programming
>> in 1969?  And on the systems at HP where a young technician was
>> working in 1975?
> Not forgetting that writing a BASIC interpreter that resides in 4KB is a
> relatively simple task.
> There were other interpreted BASIC-like languages before that; e.g. IITRAN.

While one might argue the proliferation of BASIC on micros followed from BG/PA & SW/SJ, I'd say their implementations were following a trend rather than initiating it.
BASIC was gaining prominence prior to their implementations of it.
It was in all 3 of the pre-microproc personal computers: HP9830, Wang2200, IBM5100.
It was becoming popular and spreading in the small-business world through the Pick-based systems (albeit an extended version of the language).
It had gained awareness through the educational system and timesharing systems.
All prior to MS & Apple.

As bad as it was, it was present in the right place (small, easy to implement, interpretable &  easy to use) at the right time (the nascent small-system and personal computer era).

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