oe Mayo wrote:
Customer: Look jacob, you wrote the stuff in C!
me: Yes why?
Customer: No structure, no classes, no nothing. Besides we do
not have anybody that knows C here!
At the same time, as more and more people decide that C is hopeless,
the C++ people advance, making progress in all directions.
I still believe that a simple non object oriented language like C
has a place in software development where it offers speed and
Central to this situation is the standards committee, that for the time
being has decided to do... well nothing until 2019 or later. Small steps
are done, they declared "gets" deprecated, and there are some very
interesting TR in the pipeline but nothing is definitely adopted
into the standard. C 2009 is dead as it seems.
And this group, with the core "regulars" is an example of people
living in the past, without even noticing or acknowledging that
data processing is evolving, that all languages must adapt or disappear.
Both GNU and Microsoft agree: C is dead. Gcc still hasn't gotten to
accept the C99 standard fully, and Microsoft ignores it. At least
Microsoft tries to participate in the standards committee, they proposed
their "safer C" extensions to the library, what is a major advance.
The GNU people do not discuss C anymore, and their compiler is a C++
compiler, where all development is done.
There are no technical reasons for this situation. It could be possible
to clean and expand the standard library, one of the most glaring
deficiencies of the language. Designed in the 70s, it hasn't changed
since then, and it shows!
No abstraction, low level, dangerous procedures like strncpy, gets,
asctime, and MANY others. It knows nothing about containers, hash
tables, stacks, linked lists. The zero terminated strings are the only
string type supported.
Making a better string library, allowing for operator overloading for
containers and new numeric types, improving the language to adapt it
to the new hardware environment available is frowned upon, "that
wouldn't be C", as if C would disappear if we put strncpy and gets
in the trash can.
I have invested the last 12 years of my life working to improve the
situation. The lcc-win32 implementation of C99 is one of the most
successful around, and in August we passed the *half million*
The interest for C is still big, but this has been an effort
of a few people, that have invested an enormous amount of work
into that implementation.
Will it be possible to turn this tide around?
Can a simple language like C exist?
Yes, of course. It needs a rewrite of the standard library, and
some syntactic sugar to accommodate containers, lists, stacks, and other
data structures into a standard library that could be much simpler
to use than the STL, but much more efficient and adapted to
smaller memory footprints.
This could be done with the extensions I have proposed here (and
in comp.std.c). They can be reviewed here:
jacob at jacob point remcomp point fr