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I was warmly surprised to see how many people responded to my Google+ post about Dennis Ritchie's untimely passing. His influence on the technical community was vast, and it's gratifying to see it recognized. When Steve Jobs died there was a wide lament - and well-deserved it was - but it's worth noting that the resurgence of Apple depended a great deal on Dennis's work with C and Unix.

The C programming language is quite old now, but still active and still very much in use. The Unix and Linux (and Mac OS X and I think even Windows) kernels are all C programs. The web browsers and major web servers are all in C or C++, and almost all of the rest of the Internet ecosystem is in C or a C-derived language (C++, Java), or a language whose implementation is in C or a C-derived language (Python, Ruby, etc.). C is also a common implementation language for network firmware. And on and on.

And that's just C.

Dennis was also half of the team that created Unix (the other half being Ken Thompson), which in some form or other (I include Linux) runs all the machines at Google's data centers and probably at most other server farms. Most web servers run above Unix kernels; most non-Microsoft web browsers run above Unix kernels in some form, even in many phones.

And speaking of phones, the software that runs the phone network is largely written in C.

But wait, there's more.

In the late 1970s, Dennis joined with Steve Johnson to port Unix to the Interdata. From this remove it's hard to see how radical the idea of a portable operating system was; back then OSes were mostly written in assembly language and were tightly coupled, both technically and by marketing, to specific computer brands. Unix, in the unusual (although not unique) position of being written in a "high-level language", could be made to run on a machine other than the PDP-11. Dennis and Steve seized the opportunity, and by the early 1980s, Unix had been ported by the not-yet-so-called open source community to essentially every mini-computer out there. That meant that if I wrote my program in C, it could run on almost every mini-computer out there. All of a sudden, the coupling between hardware and operating system was broken. Unix was the great equalizer, the driving force of the Nerd Spring that liberated programming from the grip of hardware manufacturers.

The hardware didn't matter any more, since it all ran Unix. And since it didn't matter, hardware fought with other hardware for dominance; the software was a given. Windows obviously played a role in the rise of the x86, but the Unix folks just capitalized on that. Cheap hardware meant cheap Unix installations; we all won. All that network development that started in the mid-80s happened on Unix, because that was the environment where the stuff that really mattered was done. If Unix hadn't been ported to the Interdata, the Internet, if it even existed, would be a very different place today.

I read in an obituary of Steve Jobs that Tim Berners-Lee did the first WWW development on a NeXT box, created by Jobs's company at the time. Well, you know what operating system ran on NeXTs, and what language.

Even in his modest way, I believe Dennis was very proud of his legacy. And rightfully so: few achieve a fraction as much.

So long, Dennis, and thanks for all the magic.
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161 comments
 
Indeed. Steve Jobs and Apple accomplished a lot, but they stood on the shoulders of other who came before them- and dmr was one of those. I still have my worn copy of K&R on my desk right now, and lots of fond memories of hacking around with UNIX.
 
Dennis didn't change the world, he created a new one.
 
thank you for a brilliant reminder that Dennis Ritchie is one of the giants who offered his shoulders to stand on.
 
I think a fitting tribute to dmr would be this lovely poem (from memory) by Augustus de Morgan that he and Kernighan quoted.

Great fleas have little fleas
Upon their backs to bite 'em
And little fleas have lesser fleas
And so ad infinitum

And the great fleas themselves in turn
Have greater fleas to go on
While these again have greater still
And greater still and so on

---

If the world owes Jobs
No doubt a great flea
It goes without saying
That Jobs owed Ritchie

&
--
 
if TIOBE Index is to be believed, C and (direct and indirect) derivatives popularity goes way up to 75%. tell me about an accomplishment
 
It makes me upset a bit, how most people will use their laptops, phones, sky+ boxes, dab radios, and not even pay any attention to the history. I asked my old man if he'd heard Dennis Ritchie had died, and he said 'I dont even know who he is!'. Fair enough, but I followed it up with some history, and he just wasn't interested. I even pulled out my K&R and made him look him up on wikipedia. He did, and was interested, but most people wont care. That bothers me.
 
What a nice tribute. Reading it reminds me of how much influence Dennis has on almost everything I do.

I'm not sure which aspect of his legacy is more important, the artifacts he produced or the example they set.
 
Almost everything in tech today has depended on UNIX and C programming language to power our programs, OS's, Servers, Systems, and that all has affected our lives, much more so than Steve Jobs had.
 
Thanks, +Rob Pike, for the post. I was trying to explain this to my students, but you've put here the important facts.
 
Excellent tribute. Thank you for sharing this. 
 
It wouldn't be much of a stretch to say that he invented software.
 
Your post had a profound impact on many of us yesterday. I've been re-sharing with many friends and almost everyone acknowledged that our entire careers (and lives) took a very rewarding and specific path - Thanks to Unix, Dennis, Ken and Team.

Personally, after being threatened with a Windows 3.1 desktop at AT&T, I found a 3B2 and a Unix SysV manual in a storeroom. I lived with them for many months, learning almost entirely from the Man pages, until the arrival of Tech books on the subject.

Within a few years, I was working at Sun Micro as a Lab Manager and had become used to approaching work and technology with a Big Smile as I was Amazed almost every day with new findings.

Sorry for rambling, but I owe Dennis so much. The Elegance of Unix helped shape my career and my life.

So long to Dennis and my best to you Rob.
 
Great Post. I learned VMS before I used Unix, and for a while there believed Ken Olsen, who had some great quotes, including:

It is our belief, however, that serious professional users will run out of things they can do with UNIX. They’ll want a real system and will end up doing VMS when they get to be serious about programming.

I loved learning programming on my VT100, and operating the VAX-11/750 in the computer room at school, but eventually it was SUN and Intergraph workstations, and AT&T UNIX System V, and VMS was part of my past, while I am still in a Unix terminal window occasionally, and appreciate that Unix is at the core of my Mac.

Thanks for the memories.
 
Nicely written, +Rob Pike... but in a very real sense, Dennis is here, everywhere, through his far-reaching influences... and will continue to be (perhaps increasingly anonymously over time, but that isn't what matters). The real lesson: he probably didn't plan, anticipate, or necessarily intend this kind of effect. We've all got our spot, our nugget of genius, our opportunity to do something (maybe more anonymously). The lesson - be your best self, whatever that is - it's worth it; it matters.
 
There's very little chance that Dennis will be forgotten within the technical community. Outside our community, very few people realize how indebted they are to Dennis' ideas, brilliance and accomplishments. Inside this community, however, we (especially the older ones of us) are well aware that we stand firmly on his shoulders. The bulk of my career has been spent reaping from what Dennis (and all you other Bell Labs guys) sowed. Simple "thanks" are hardly sufficient, but they'll do, as a start.
 
IMO, as much as an inventor/innovator, DMR was a communicator in the Jobs mould. He co-wrote K&R, and has a foreword in the Lions book. I miss him, and I've never met him.

http://cm.bell-labs.com/who/dmr/crypt.html sticks in the mind.

Any DMR war stories you have to share might have an especially appreciative audience right now. Did you ever discuss the Robert E Morris worm with him (especially since DMR was friends with Robert H Morris)? What did he thing of the original FreeBSD or first web browser?
 
Ritchie and Jobs both strove for beauty in their creations. The same cannot be said of MS.
 
My first program language study in college.Thank you Dennis Ritchie's!
 
That was beautiful Rob. Thanks for putting into words what so many of us have been stammering trying to explain to the unclued.
 
Amen. Thank you Rob. Not to put Steve Jobs down, but Dennis Ritchie did far more for the betterment of all of us. Danke. RIP Dennis.
 
Thanks Rob Pike, for making these posts which give people a chance to express their admiration and gratitude for Dennis Ritchie. And thanks for The Unix Programming Environment. It and the K&R C book share a quality of writing that made computing a lot more accessible when I was a shiftless liberal arts major. You guys really rocked the world with those works.
 
Thanks Rob. We are all going to miss Dennis.
Can Wu
 
Dennis and his work, live with us forever.
 
Never met Dennis Richie but he has been someone I've looked up to since I first geeked out on computers, and the whole history of C and unix is part of what mesmerized me deeper into the world of computers and the art of programming. I was respectful of Steve Jobs passing, but this made me sad.
 
People like to compare. Kinda expected, we all try to measure our achievements all the time (geos aside, whatever). But taking the time to compare apples and oranges (my utmost apologies to Dennis relatives and admirers), seems like losing time. Lets keep going forward, improving on all that those guys that come before us (Dennis and Steve included) provided us as shoulders. Think about what you can do to your race, not about what, bla.
 
Im taking the passing of Dennis Ritchie far harder than I should. I've never met the man, don't know his personality, dont know his work beyond C and unix. But for some reason I feel a very profound sense of loss.

I work in unix every day and write programs in C, and thus owe a great debt (my entire livelihood) in part to dmr. More than this, I write code (c/c++/obj-c) in my spare time for enjoyment.

I normally dislike outpourings of grief to a person which isn't personally known to the griever, but for this one, I kind of get it.

Thank you for all you've done Doctor Ritchie.
 
+Rob Pike you too are on the luminaries list, thank you for all your contributions! UTF-8 is so natural IMHO, I enjoy your programming books and now playing a little with Go.
 
Our world is definitely a touch darker without the flame that was Dennis Ritchie. But, oh, imagine how much darker it would be if he had never lived at all. dmr gave us all so very much, and it's amazing (and a little bit sad) how billions of people have benefited from his contributions, while the majority of the world's population don't even know his name.

R.I.P. Mr. Ritchie... And know that your name will be remembered by those of us who care about such things, and held in the same regard as names like Turing, Church, Von Neumman, Simon, Dijkstra, McCarthy, and the other greats - living and dead - of the computing world. Indeed, many will revere you as much as Edison, Einstein, Tesla, etc., and for good reason.

We should all aspire to achieve even 1% of the greatness that Dennis Ritchie achieved. And even if we fail, simply to have striven for such a goal will leave us (and the world) better than when we began.
 
Not to forget that learning C/Unix gave jobs to lot of people around the world and thus rising their living standards. Thank you Dennis Ritchie.
Han He
 
Dennis Ritchie is a great man. Thanks a lot for C/Unix.
 
You shouldn't be surprised Rob. People recognized where value lies. I think the core of the gift was a sense of 'appropriate minimalism' -not a bikeshed of options, but a simple expressive syntax (in the language) and a self-consistency (in the libraries) and just enough power to bootstrap all the rest.

I thought your posting about the jerq also went to another side, that of the 'scientist-coordinator' because its the "don't give up: there is something interesting here" message which we all need from time to time.
 
Quite true. These sentiments have been running through my head all day.
 
Rob, thank you for sharing this brief history about Dennis Richie's work. One thing I cannot help but notice since Steve Jobs passed is that while the public and media seem to have very little interest in or knowledge of the history of computers, they seem to be more than willing to make outstanding false claims about who invented and/or influenced what. I think that now that computers have been accepted as an integral part of our culture, their history should be included as part of the standard curriculum so that the real innovators can be recognized for their significant contributions.

In an industry there tech giants throw gadgets at the wall to see which ones stick for a year or two, Richie helped to create an operating system and philosophy that lives on 40+ years after its inception, arguably longer than the industry as we know it has existed. I use those tools every single day. I do everything but web browsing on the command line. My ~/bin has grown exponentially since reading The Unix Programming Environment. It's a remarkable OS. Thank you dmr.
 
A very modest man who influenced all of us in the way we look at and do programming . RIP Dennis Ritchie !
 
C was an amazing accomplishment. Think of how many languages even resemble the syntax. It was truly a work of art. 
 
omg, I am so sad...I cannot believe that he has gone,...my deepest condolences.
 
Good bye! Dennies! Thank you for everything...
 
+Kieran Barry I'm glad you mentioned that piece! (uncle) Dennis told me this story one summer years ago. He suggested that I check the HTML source of that page for a hint on how they ended up cracking the code.
 
"The C Programming Language" was not only a description of a beautiful, masterfully designed language, it was an amazing feat of writing many of us have held-up internally as the example to aspire to in technical writing. Clear, lucid, succinct. I would love to have taken a class he taught.
 
Though I'm just a lame newbie living on the farest peripheral of the vast programming world, ever since I've encountered this K&R C textbook 20 years+ back it still warms my tiny bookshelf while all the copies of printed books have gone, replaced with e-books.
Something simply stays and never fades away. Wish the last breath he took was peaceful.
 
The sadest code ever written:


#include <stdio.h>
main()
{
printf("Goodbye World\n");
}
RIP dmr, you will truly be missed
 
Thank you Rob Pike for sharing this, and the news of his passing. We are indebted to the man in so many ways. His footprint on this world is immense, to all who knew him well - you should find some comfort in this fact. I hope to honor his legacy in some way - certainly he will live on in the collective efforts of all who admired his life's work. To DMR, may he rest in peace.
 
and databases as well...
ingres, postgres, informix, oracle (sybase and mysql as well ?) are written in C..
together with everything else that Rob mentioned, that just about covers
everything upon which, the web experience many depends and rely on ..

without c/unix, generations of students/programmers would not have had
a chance to read the Lions Commentary, and would not be inspired to
write them right ..

c and unix is also a philosophy of writing programs, as taught by K+R,
and "The Unix Programming Environment" ...

from the references of these 2 books, we started reading up on
"Elements of Programming Style", "Programming Pearls", "Software
Tools", "Mythical Man Months", "AWK" , "Programming on Purpose",
"Practice of Programming", "Dragon Book" etc ...

each was a huge pleasure to read -- the writing clear and concise,
and we learned immensely from them ...

as many had said, we owe a huge debt of gratitude to DMR (and his peers),
for giving us c/unix, and showing that it is both fun and rewarding to
endeavor to write good code...

Thank You, Rest In Peace.. DMR.. may we meet again ...
 
Excatly what I was thinking. Without Dennis, Steve wouldn't have been Steve Jobs.
 
All is done; Good post describing the big Dennis contribution to the Computer Science
 
Wired also linked the post, I think this helped to spread the post! I arrived to you through wired! ;-) Thanks for the great infos!
 
My coworkers and I observed that our jobs likely wouldn't exist in this day and age if not for Dennis's hard work. There probably would be smaller communities of programmers and you certainly wouldn't have the wide array of programming languages we do today or the stack of libraries which each one builds on.
 
The kernel I am using is written in C . The Desktop Environment i am using is written in C . The browser I am using is written in C++. My router's firmware is written in C . The games I am playing are written in C/C++ .

Thanks !
R.I.P.
 
I found a picture of Dennis Ritchie at G+. We're not Apple, we're not a company, we're just users. I didn't do this for Jobs, but I thought that Ritchie deserves it more: www.proggen.org
(proggen is a slang for programming in german and proggen.org is a german website with c and c++ tutorials)
Hope he likes it if he sees it.
 
You shouldn't be surprised about the responses. Dennis Ritchie touched the lives of many people who didn't know him, mine included, thanks to, amongst other things, the sheer elegance of his work. The reference manual in K & R is a thing of great beauty. I learned programming from Dijkstra and Wirth. Fair play to Dijkstra, who was a brilliant man, but today, when I compare the Pascal User Manual and Report, which, as a young man, I thought was completely rigorous, with Dennis Ritchie's C reference manual, I can see the immense superiority of Dennis Ritchie's work. I didn't know Dennis, but I mourn his passing. As you say, the world has lost a truly great mind.
 
Rob, you say "Thank you" to Dennis. And I say "Thank you" for this brilliant post to you.
 
I'm a bit of a fool in that I only write in managed languages, C# mostly but I have written a few VERY basic C++ programs and I am aware of how important C was and is. I do wish to learn it one day but sadly I just don't have the time (I learn slowly) and at work we don't use it for a variety of reasons. I do feel like I am missing out, but pointers, a lack of objects and manual memory assignment would probably break my feeble, spoiled brain anyway.

Steve Jobs was a clever fellow, but he is nothing compared to Ritchie. Rest in piece good sir, I am sad the world has lost a true genius.
 
C :- first language I studied...I meant first computer language :)
Thanks dmr
 
It’s sad to see everyone wining about Jobs’ death, even those we condemned his ways.
With Dennis we lost a real pioneer, an a good hearted one.
 
For twenty odd years now every working day (and most leisure days too) has been spent creating things with the tools that these geniuses of Bell Labs got SO right.
Why all of them aren't celebrated and worshiped as the real creators of the modern world is still a mystery to me.
All of us, truly, are standing on the shoulders of giants.
 
In the crypt of St. Pauls Cathedral in London lies the tomb of Christopher Wren, on which is inscribed the epitaph: "LECTOR SI MONUMENTUM REQUIRIS CIRCUMSPICE" (If you seek his monument, look around you).

The same can be said for Dennis Ritchie today: his legacy surrounds us. Today is our weekly hackers lunch in Oxford & we will be raising a glass to his memory.
 
I never knew.
But now I do.
And I will remember...
 
Hi Rob, Thanks so much for bringing this out. Mr. Dennis M. Ritchie was extremely dear to us all who grew up doing C in high school. He meant a lot to the UNIX community and essentially without his early work alongside Ken Thompson, it'd be hard to imagine how UNIX, C and myriad other languages derived from C would have shaped the world. You'll be missed dmr. Respect.
 
If it weren't for dmr, I might still be writing in PL/1. Dennis made programming fun.

As amazing as his technical contributions are, he was a warm, gentle, approachable man. He touched many of us personally as well as professionally.
 
Unlike Jobs or Gates, his motivation wasn't GREED. He was truly a greater man.
 
Dennis Ritchie continues to both enable and inspire us. Less than very few people will enjoy that privilege. RIP.
 
he is pretty much the father of modern computing, i donno why that title is not conferred on him.
 
Wow. Sad news indeed. If it wasn't for this man a lot of us probably wouldn't have careers. Fondly remembering my first, and forever favorite assignment as a summer intern at my current employer almost 18 years ago: translating a water analysis data collector from Pascal to C. Rest in peace, Mr. Ritchie. And - THANK YOU.
 
One of the greatest stalwarts in the computing history. May your soul rest in peace Sir Dennis Ritchie.
 
I owe Bell Labs, and many of those who participated there, for creating wonderful and fun things for me to work on my entire professional life... from about 1980 onwards. I've been lucky to have known some Bell Labs folks and count a few as friends. Thanks to dmr of course, but also to all the others that participated in building something new and exciting! One last thought is that the greatest people are sometimes the quietest.
 
So many languages existed before C. But you cannot think of hardware independence without C even now. Amazing! I vow to read C again thoroughly...
 
My first computing book was "The C programming language". Maybe Pixar has not got a rainbow for Dennis, but we've lost a wonderful mind. Everything is C these days in computing world...
 
Rob thanks for educating and informing us about the legacy of Dennis Ritchie.
 
Only just heard of Dennis' passing. Very sad to hear it. I spend my life working on Unix systems (Linux, *BSD and OS/X). How different would life be without them. Thanks to Dennis, Kernighan, you and all those who contributed to Unix, C and the systems I take for granted every day.
 
Amazing accomplishments. It is sad that I have never heard of him before he died.
 
Rob-- I was an undergrad in the late 80's/early 90's walking around campus with both "The C Programming Language" and "The Unix Programming Environment" in my backpack. Dennis, Ken, you, and others were all heroes of mine. I'm sad to hear of Dennis Ritchie's passing, but am glad that I could learn of it, and a little more about him, from you. Thanks for posting this and I'm sorry for your loss.
M Sjauw
 
Thanks for this post. Just wanted to show my regards to a great man.
A last farewell.
 
Dennis was the unsung hero. the general world will never realize how much his work influenced the them. RIP Dennis Ritchie
 
I started my professional life with an AT&T 3B20S and a flock of 3B2s (from the /300 to the /1000-80), all running SVR3. I remember marveling at the give-and-take of Usenet's comp.sources.unix offerings, and tried to 'give back' by porting packages to the 3B2 family. I just had to flip through my tatttered, dogeared copy of K&R and a few 3B20/3B2 manuals (DOUBLE PANIC: trap recursion!) yesterday...thanks, Dennis.

Oh, and I second Kieran's suggestion of a CLOSE look at http://cm.bell-labs.com/who/dmr/crypt.html ...
 
Thanks for summing up what I couldn't say.
 
In my country, the media announced Jobs' death as early as possible. Unfortunately nothing about mr Dennis Ritchie. Also, the internet is a little bit "empty" regarding information about him.
As you worked more closely with him, did you ever thinked writing an essay (maybe a book) about him? Something more deep than the fact he invented UNIX and C, like what other interests he had, how did he mentored, what other achievements he had, what he would wanted to achieve and he didn't, how he seen the (technical)world ...?
Maybe for you many things might be obvious, but if they aren't written anywhere, dmr will be almost completely forgotten in tens of years, and that will be a big loss...

I will end this post by writing:
Rest In Peace, Dennis Ritchie!
 
A fine post that puts in words what I thought but couldn't really express.
As a previous poster said; it's seldom I feel a sense of loss for a person I did not personally know, but this time I do.
As many others, I owe my livelihood in no small part to dmr, and its his (and his colleagues') work that keeps me sane in today's computing industry which otherwise mostly seems to be missing the point.
Thanks Dennis for your tremendous contributions, and thanks Rob for great posts (well, thanks to Rob for tremendous contributions as well, but that's another topic:)
 
Thanks for the post. That's a giant indeed. It hard to think of things related to software that he would not have influenced.
 
I guess it is impossible to know the total impact that Dennis Ritchie & Ken Thompson have had on the world. But, when you look around at all the things that invention of C & UNIX have influenced the impact is truly staggering. If you live in modern society you cannot go for more than a few seconds without interacting with their brilliance, life would truly be different without their creativity. I have often wondered, if people responsible for such amazing feats of creativity have a sense of the future impact of their efforts. Or are they just building another tool to make their work easier.

In either case the world is a better place because of the work they did.
Thank you Dennis Ritchie!
 
I remember sitting in my parents' house with my copy of K&R and a yellow highlighter, puzzling over some pages because I needed to find out why something wasn't working. It is hard for me to understand that Dennis Ritchie is no longer alive. I think I have conflated him with what he and his colleagues created. The creations still endure, so it seems to me that Dennis Ritchie should still be alive as well. It seems like there is a big hole in the world now.
 
I used to work for DEC. I did all of my work on Unix running on the Alpha systems. That was THE best job I ever had. I still remember the day when Dennis stopped in at our office just to say Hi. What a great guy.
Tommy S
 
Both were great humans and great minds that created far more than just the technology that is associated with them.
 
This is a great tribute to a man of immense achievement. I'm very sorry to hear of Dennis Ritchie's passing.
 
Thank you Dennis for everything.
 
Nicely written. If we distill it to a few short points, in order (and Dr Ritchie had a hand in each of them)
- UNIX
- C
- Unix in C
- Porting of UNIX to a different System

Voila! A H/W independent Platform. This progression IMO is what turned the field. UNIX (with C) may not be flawless or perfect, but suddenly, it was an ecosystem, and that spurred innovation and openness like never before.
 
Steve Jobs genius was being able to take things like BSD, the Xerox PARC GUI, the Dick Tracy wrist radio phone idea, and do a mashup which could be used by the average person. And don't forget the people who developed ARPAnet, to some extent Al Gore gets some credit for having the vision to use political cred to get funding going.

A lot of credit is due to people no one under 60 is likely to have ever met or studied, perhaps as footnotes to some web pages somewhere.
 
It is literally impossible to overstate the impact the man had on the field of computer science. Literally all of the "systems" field is based on his and Thompson's invention of Unix.
 
a tear shed out of eye, to realize what it means to really relate to someone
 
Dennis Ritchie put the ==> C <== in "Kernighan & Ritchie" ;-)
 
If not for Ritchie and Thompson, the communication technology would not have been where it is today. Internet and its variations owe their advancements primarily due to Unix and C. Unix was way ahead of its time and was born in a company (AT&T) that could care less for out of box thinking and was content to live off copper wire revenues. Immeasurable good and positive transformations in the society have come about, due to these individuals, yet beyond the previous generation of Unix geeks no one knows who these people are! Thank you Ritchie for everything that you have given us!
 
Creating C and unix is like inventing the transistor, it's so basic to computing even today, and it's testament to Dennis Ritchie's genius that C is still widely used today. I remember Paul Graham's essay about good design (http://www.paulgraham.com/design.html), comparing a 1973 porsche vs 1973 cadillac. C is definitely right up there with languages that have timeless design.
 
-
#include <stdio.h>

int main()
{
printf("goodbye, dad\n");
return 0;
}
 
One of the greatest... will always be remembered.
 
+Rob Pike, I just wanted to thank you for posting your reminiscences and thoughts about this; you've been gently eloquent, and I just wanted to say that I very much appreciated that.
 
Yes, without Dennis's achievement, we couldn't have come this far today. I think many like me had read his book to learn C. He's like mentor to everyone. Thanks Dennis for bringing C and Unix and everything to us.
 
Met him once at a birthday party some many years ago (some we both knew I am guessing) cool guy had some great early days stories of computes ..
 
While Ritchie may not be getting the same press coverage as Steve Jobs, his obit has been in the top 10 most emailed list on the NY Times most of the day - a sign that many care and acknowledge his seminal and long lasting accomplishments.
 
dmr RIP ... thank you for the digital world you created.
 
*dmr, up there with Jobs, 'C' what he made, 'Unix' what he drove, inspired a generation and generations to come, now touching every aspect of life, has sown the seeds of the Intellectual Revolution! dmr R.I.P.
 
If my memory is correct, didn't MS-DOS 2.0 steal a bunch of UNIX concepts, like directories, pipes, etc.
 
Dennis passed away but he is always with us, each time we write our code and test it in an operating system

Thank you, Dennis !
 
Sometimes I wonder whether the book wasn't an even greater accomplishment than the language or the operating system. At the time personal computing exploded, millions of programmers learned their craft from "The C Programming Language". Is there a serious programmer on the planet that doesn't have that book on his shelf? You have to wonder whether we would recognize a world that developed without that book.

But he was a very humble man. A few years ago, on a lark, I sent him a birthday email. I was stunned to get a very nice reply back in a few hours. Here is a man that changed the world, and yet would take the time to thank a total stranger.

A just God will grant a man rewards commensurate with his contributions. I'm sure dmr's rewards will be great. Thank you, Dennis, for all you gave us.
 
I was gonna write something to honour dmr, but I guess others have done far more effectively than I'd ever can and think it's time we also honour the true legends who still live among us - and certainly hope will continue to do so for a lot longer! Mr. Pike, you're a legend, too. We now use a web where almost all modern websites and templates are encoded in UTF-8. If it wasn't for you, we'd still be struggling with text in notepads and forums. And my Windows and Android devices support my mother tongue because of what you've done. Thanks.
 
No dancing macfanbuys?, oh!, I see: real people, those you don't see on CNN.
 
Yesterday, I went leaf-peeping with my lady friend and the Hartman couple out in Western Jersey. We had stopped at the Scenic Overlook near the Delaware Watergap. That was where I first learned of Dennis' passing from Bob Hartman. (Bob had an office next to Dennis and they inevitably spent some time together.) When I arrived home, remembering the outpouring on Facebook at Steve Jobs' passing, I looked for some comment on the surprising, to me, loss of Dennis. Seeing nothing, I popped over here to plus, but noticed nothing. I posted my comment "First Jobs, now Ritchie. We are participating in the closing of a fabulous slice of history, to which, as I have often remarked before, I was delighted to be immersed in." (dangling participle!) The Riddler saw this and steered me to Pike's piece. Thanks, Guy, and thank you Rob for proving me wrong! My younger cousin, Steve Freedman, came back at me with: "It's true. A few years ago, Jim Gray, the database architect, was lost at sea while sailing up the coast. Besides being brilliant, he was a wonderful person -- and often extended himself to younger people with relevant interest, like myself, with his time and experience. I also worked, as undergraduate for Cyrus Levinthal who pioneered computer visualization of biological systems. His lab at Columbia ran the first distribution of UNIX outside of Bell Labs.
I think of both of these guys often -- and how interesting and lucky I was to be involved in this stuff at the (relative) beginning."
 
The below post was locked for comments now, so I just wanted to post here and pay my respect to a truly great pioneer. I hope people less informed about whom he was and what amazing things he helped create gets out. RIP. /respect
 
"The number of UNIX installations has grown to 10, with more expected."
(The UNIX Programmer's Manual, 2nd Edition, June, 1972.)

the world 's leader on network hardware market CISCO run a UNIx system in background!


no one can ignore the impact of master Ritchie in his life if he could make a "hello world" even in python!

I discovered the world thanks to computer software specially BLENDER coded in C and then followed the all-powerful BSD-System-V when I was in cisco academy

I have long fled the C but now I know it's the way , the language and style (with python is even more fun)

personally as African I have never touched a mac (I only saw on youtube in opencourses and tv!) so steve jobs until his death has not affected my life dramatically!

I wonder if we even know when Derons Richard Stallman will go to the Most High!

Also thanks for the book: The UNIX ProgrammingEnvironment '

If you have other references of this age and quality whisked away to me...

cheers!
 
The macabre joke is that the great musicians don't die, they just decompose...

Ritchie didn't die, he's just decompiling.
 
Other people have pretty much summed up what I would say about Dennis and this post, so I will just say: May his code live forever.
Deddy s
 
nice share. Two of their(with KT) works have been the foundation and greatly influenced modern computing. So can we say they are the ancestors of modern computing as Adam and Eva for human being. thx dmr
 
indeed. none of this would have happened without C and/or Unix. Dennis Ritchie's work will be always remembered, I'm pretty sure.
 
RIP Dennis M Ritchie, I started programming ‘C’ in 1996 , there were lot of programming books on C ,but one book that thought me how to write effective programming in ‘C’ is Dennis book , unlike other C programming books which I get ride off , I never felt like removing it from my book shelf , There is something in this book though I don’t program in C nowadays but still I refer Dennis book.
though i don't program in 'C' these days for living , but I'm very much in debt to Dennis for his creation.
 
I would like to share a reply of my letter from respected Dennis. Here you can also see your name while he is referring some good books. Original mail can be forwarded if you want.
---------------------

Dennis Ritchie dmr@bell-labs.com to me
show details 7/25/06
Thanks for your generally kind letter.
About one specific matter you mention:
EOF is discussed on one early page (16) and
though it appears in a program first, it is discussed
later that same page.

About books, the other works of Kernighan (with Pike
and also with Plauger) are well-thought of. They are
nearby, more distant, the various books of Richard Stevens
(more on networking and Unix) are excellent.

For C related stuff, you could check out accu.org for some
reviews of books and try to find those that look interesting
and accessible to you.

Best regards and good luck,
Dennis Ritchie
-----------------------------------
 
C is the basic of all programming languages, i know. Dennis lives as long as they live and even after .
 
Dennis was a true Genius... Without him computers would have not been exciting ..
 
I wonder if Brian Kernighan awks for Dennis's passing. Let's not forget Ken Thompson and Brian Kernighan, the other two.
Le py
 
printf("感谢伟人!")
 
#include <stdio.h>

int main()
{
printf("Thank you, Dennis.\n");
return 0;
}
 
Dennis Ritchie was a god. The C Programming Language is my all time favourite programming language. And UNIX, well don't get me started. I cannot imagine a world without DMR's influence.
 
RIP Ritchie.. Thank You for such a wonderful information..
 
This motivate me to restart what I left, in past(and i will), Thanks.
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