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* [TUHS] RIP Bud Lawson
@ 2019-06-12 15:31 Doug McIlroy
  0 siblings, 0 replies; 1+ messages in thread
From: Doug McIlroy @ 2019-06-12 15:31 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: tuhs

Bud Lawson, long an expat living in Sweden, died yesterday.  Not a
Unix person, he was, however, the originator of a characteristic Unix
programmer's idiom.

Using an idea adapted from Ken Knowlton, Bud invented the pointer-
chasing arrow operator that Dennis Ritchie adopted for C. I played
matchmaker. When Bud first proposed the "based storage" (pointer)
facility for PL/I, he used the well-established field(pointer)
notation. I introduced him to the pointer-chasing notation Knowlton
devised for L6. Knowlton, however, had no operator because he had only
single-letter identifiers. What we now write as a->b->c, Knowlton wrote
as abc. Appreciating the absence of parentheses, Bud came up with the
wonderfully intuitive pointer->field notation.

Doug

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2019-06-12 15:31 [TUHS] RIP Bud Lawson Doug McIlroy

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