Innovation, it is a big word and it describes whole range of things. I feel like where ever I look, it is either dying very early in the process or the people who innovates leaves us with big responsibilities. Lately I am very saddened by the way the business of technology works. Some big (X) company buys some other big (Y) company and in the process some potential of innovation may die with it.
People, who innovate on the other hand when they go away, they leave behind a tremendous amount of work and responsibility to us. We owe them and we owe them big. Dennis Ritchie, the creator of C Language with Ken Thompson, recently passed away and my initial reaction to the news was remembering all the things that he contributed to the Modern Technology today.
When I started studying Computer Science, programming with C was de facto standard in the schools, Such a compact and powerful language that could simply say from “Hello World!” to “Unix” was my entrance to the world I live in today. It is the aorta of the Operating System I love and I use today. When asked to Donald Knuth about what are the most elegant characteristics of a programming language and what it should be in the next 50 years, he said ” The concept of pointers in C is elegant”.
Dennis Ritchie gave us this concept almost 40 years ago. Considering that the language is still used today and one of the most powerful operating systems is written in it, I consider this innovative and modern in the history of Computing today. That’s why we owe him big and that’s why we have to keep going and innovate on things like C/C++ and Operating Systems. So thank you Dennis Ritchie for all the contributions and innovations you gave us for today’s technology.