Dennis Ritchie – A roundup of tributes to an unsung hero

Dennis Ritchie passed away over the weekend after battling an unspecified illness for a long time. He was 70. For those who knew him, or bothered to read about the history of modern technology, Dennis Ritchie, developer of the C programming language and one of the founding fathers of Unix was truly a remarkable man who deserves to be celebrated.

As part of showing our last and final respect to this incredibly humble man who contributed immensely to changing the world, we’ve combed the web for some of the best tributes to him and summed them up below. You can also grab a number of papers written by DMR from here.

DMR- standing. 1941-2011

The world of computing owes a great debt of gratitude to Dennis Ritchie, without whom there might have been no Unix as we know it today, and thus no Mac OS X or GNU/Linux. In fact the computing landscape might have been very different indeed, given that most of the world’s software is written in C. For any man to make such a contribution is a magnificent achievement, but Richie was also a kind and humble man, worthy of praise purely by virtue of his character. It’s difficult to imagine a man more radically different to Steve Jobs, for example, than Dennis Ritchie. Slated

Hope people will realize that without Dennis Ritchies work on Unix back in the 70′, there won’t be any iPhone today, nor iMac.

So this young upstart whippersnapper comes along and decides to try to specify a language that will let people write programs that are: (a) high-level, with structures and functions; (b) portable to just about any kind of hardware; and (c) efficient on that hardware so that they’re competitive with handcrafted nonportable custom assembler code on that hardware. A high-level, portable, efficient systems programming language.
Sutter’s Mill

I am very fond of the C programming language. Despite all its flaws, I love the simplicity of C, and the raw power it gives me. And his book “The C Programming Language” (co-authored with Brian Kernighan) truly set a standard for excellence.

Linus Torvalds once said, in reference to the development of Linux, that he “had hoisted [himself] up on the shoulders of giants.” Among those giants, Dennis Ritchie (aka dmr) was likely the tallest. Ritchie, the creator of the C programming language and co-developer of the Unix operating system passed away on October 8 at the age of 70, leaving a legacy that casts a very long shadow.
Ars Technica

There are several billion people using many billions of devices every day. From the code in your microwave to massive computing clusters, virtually all of our software can trace its ancestry back to this man’s intellectual output. I’m eternally grateful for his life and contributions to humanity.

We here at Ghabuntu would like to say a big thank you to Dennis Ritchie for his remarkable contribution to technology. RIP DMR, we will never C the like of you again. 

Tag cloud image courtesy Tagxedo

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