It seems like the news lately is turning more into obituaries rather than exciting stuff. However, what we are about to write here is a huge thank you note to a man whose legacy and contributions to the computer world far surpass that of many others in this last century. Dennis Ritchie was by far one of the most influential people in the world of computing and technology as we know it today. Many of you are probably thinking “who is this guy?” If you are, then let me tell you that this man is responsible for two of the major advancements in computing: C language, and co-inventor of Unix.
The man may have not been as flashy as Steve Jobs, who recently passed away as well, but his memory and legacy will always be embedded in our minds and in everything we use. Just so that you have an idea on how big this man’s creation is, C is used as the core of virtually every programming language out there (C++, java, VB, PHP, etc.). So, theoretically speaking every piece of software has some C in it, one way or another. Moreover, his contributions also gave birth to what we know today as open source, so in essence, if Linus Torvalds is Linux’s father, then Dennis Ritchie is its God. Many other blogs described him as a giant, but in this writer’s opinion he was a titan, and more precisely Atlas, as he carried the computer world in his shoulders.
So, here is to a man whose genius knew no boundaries and who, most importantly, did what he did out of the pure joy of discovering something new that could benefit humanity as a whole, and not for monetary gain. Thank you for everything, Dennis. You will be sorely missed.
Dennis MacAlistair Ritchie (1941-2011) – Rest in peace
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