UNIX is basically a simple operating system, but you have to be a genius to understand the simplicity.

— Dennis Ritchie

The most fascinating Dennis Ritchie quotes that are proven to give you inner joy

The only way to learn a new programming language is by writing programs in it.

103

Unix has retarded OS research by 10 years and linux has retarded it by 20.

50

C is quirky, flawed, and an enormous success.

44

C++ and Java, say, are presumably growing faster than plain C, but I bet C will still be around.

42

For infrastructure technology, C will be hard to displace.

41

A language that doesn't have everything is actually easier to program in than some that do

39

... with proper design, the features come cheaply. This approach is arduous, but continues to succeed.

37

I'm not a person who particularly had heros when growing up.

33

Pretty much everything on the web uses those two things: C and UNIX.

31

I'm just an observer of Java, and where Microsoft wants to go with C# is too early to tell.

25

The number of UNIX installations has grown to 10, with more expected.

23

I'm still uncertain about the language declaration syntax.

22

About Dennis Ritchie

Quotes 46 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Scientist
Birthday September 9, 1941

A program designed for inputs from people is usually stressed beyond breaking point by computer-generated inputs.

20

UNIX is simple and coherent, but it takes a genius (or at any rate, a programmer) to understand and appreciate its simplicity.

17

The kind of programming that C provides will probably remain similar absolutely or slowly decline in usage, but relatively, JavaScript or its variants, or XML, will continue to become more central.

15

From an operating system research point of view, Unix is if not dead certainly old stuff, and it's clear that people should be looking beyond it.

11

Some consider UNIX to be the second most important invention to come out of AT&T Bell Labs after the transistor.

11

When I read commentary about suggestions for where C should go, I often think back and give thanks that it wasn't developed under the advice of a worldwide crowd.

8

C is peculiar in a lot of ways, but it, like many other successful things, has a certain unity of approach that stems from development in a small group.

8

I fix things now and then, more often tweak HTML and make scripts to do things.

5

One of the obvious things that went wrong with Multics as a commercial success was just that it was sort of over-engineered in a sense. There was just too much in it.

3

It seems certain that much of the success of Unix follows from the readability, modifiability, and portability of its software.

3

Oh, I've seen copies [of Linux Journal] around the terminal room at The Labs.

3

Twenty percent of all input forms filled out by people contain bad data.

3

A new release of Plan 9 happened in June, and at about the same time a new release of the Inferno system, which began here, was announced by Vita Nuova.

3

My work was fairly theoretical. It was in recursive function theory. And in particular, hierarchies of functions in terms of computational complexity. I got involved in real computers and programming mainly by being - well, I was interested even as I came to graduate school.

1

For books, I don't read much fiction, but like travel essays and good pop-science.

0

I listen to mostly-classical music, but mostly by radio - I'm not an audiophile.

0

At the same time, much of it seems to have to do with recreating things we or others had already done; it seems rather derivative intellectually; is there a dearth of really new ideas?

0

I've done a reasonable amount of travelling, which I enjoyed, but not for too long at a time.

0

At least for the people who send me mail about a new language that they're designing, the general advice is: do it to learn about how to write a compiler.

0

Obviously, the person who had most influence on my career was Ken Thompson.

0

Steve Jobs has said that Xwindows is brain-damamged and will disappear in two years. He got it half-right.

0

I've done a reasonable amount of travelling, which I enjoyed, but not for too long at a time. I'm a home-body and get fatigued by it fairly soon, but enjoy thinking back on experiences when I've returned and then often wish I'd arranged a longer stay in the somewhat exotic place.

0

C was already implemented on several quite different machines and OSs, Unix was already being distributed on the PDP-11, but the portability of the whole system was new.

0

The True-GNU philosophy is more extreme than I care for, but it certainly laid a foundation for the current scene, as well as providing real software.

0

Sometimes when you fill a vacuum, it still sucks.

0

Any editing, software work, and mail is done in this exported Plan 9.

0

It's true that compared with the scene when Unix started, today the ecological niches are fairly full, and fresh new OS ideas are harder to come by, or at least to propagate.

0

The visible things that have come from the group have been the Plan 9 system and Inferno, but I hasten to say that the ideas and the work have come from colleagues.

0

C is declining somewhat in usage compared to C++, and maybe Java, but perhaps even more compared to higher-level scripting languages. It's still fairly strong for the basic system-type things.

0

Obviously, the person who had most influence on my career was Ken Thompson.

Unix was basically his, likewise C's predecessor, likewise much of the basis of Plan 9 (though Rob Pike was the real force in getting it together). And in the meantime Ken created the first computer chess master and pretty much rewrote the book on chess endgames. He is quite a phenomenon.

0

I can't recall any difficulty in making the C language definition completely open - any discussion on the matter tended to mention languages whose inventors tried to keep tight control, and consequent ill fate.

0

Over the past several years, I've been more in a managerial role.

0

The notion of a record is an obsolete remnant of the days of the 80-column card.

0
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