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Re: Programming Languages, "to C or not to C, that is the Q."

On Sun, Jan 23, 2005 at 11:46:46PM -0500, J.F.Gratton wrote:
> Correct me if I'm wrong, but weren't there a few (well ok, at least one)
> OS written in SmallTalk ? I seem to remember that from my computer
> science courses. I could be something planted in my memory by some evil
> alien that wanted to promote wide-spread use of SmallTalk, tho :)

IMHO, the real test of a HLL for use on big, serious projects is
whether or not the compiler for the language is written in the
language itself. Of course the first compiler for a new language must
be written in some other language (assembler code is a language).

C was, I believe, the first language for which self compiling was an
explicit goal. It succeeded in reaching that goal and ever after has
held a special place in programming languages. This is not to say that
it is the best language for any particular project. But if some part
of a project turns out to be hard to implement in the language that
was originally chosen for the project, C will probably be used write
those parts, or to write a better compiler for the original language.

Paul E Condon           

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