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OT: Why is C so popular?

The recent COBOL discussion has gotten me to thinking. Some languages
seem to be very popular in some situations. C is easily the dominant
language for most things Linux. So therein lies the question. Why,
exactly, is C so popular? Especially in comparison to C++. I can't think
of a single reason to use C instead of C++ for most of the coding that I
would do. I generally only write user applications. I don't get anywhere
near the kernel which is where I'd imagine most of the reason for using
C comes in. Yet I see people writing 'modern' GUI applications and using
C when I would think C++ would be a much better choice. Is there
something that I'm missing? Something that C actually does better than
C++ in regards to higher-level functions?

(Note that I tend to gravitate towards higher level languages by nature.
I use Perl religiously, and I love Java. If not for some of the speed
limitations and, more importantly, the fact that it's non-free, I would
say that Java is the perfect language. Hmm... is that gasoline I smell?

Alex Malinovich
Support Free Software, delete your Windows partition TODAY!
Encrypted mail preferred. You can get my public key from any of the
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