Unix and C

Stewart C. Strait sstrait1 at san.rr.com
Fri May 3 22:42:47 PDT 2013

On Fri, May 03, 2013 at 08:22:59PM -0700, Andrew Lentvorski wrote:
> On 5/3/13 3:00 PM, Franklin Johnston wrote:
> > That is, has C proven to be the best language for systems-level
> > development, or is there anything else, such as one of the object-oriented
> > languages, that have shown any promise in this area? Or is it just the case
> > that C has been good enough, and there is no reason to consider
> > alternatives?
> Genera was done in Lisp
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genera_%28operating_system%29
> The original versions of Smalltalk probably qualify:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smalltalk
> I think VMS was done in Bliss:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BLISS
> I'm sure some folks did operating systems in Basic, Pascal, Fortan and
> Cobol given how popular they are.
> And who knows what languages IBM operating systems were done in ...

This is too old to count, but I was told that RT-11 (the family of
PDP-11/ LSI-11 operating systems before VMS) was written in
FORTRAN. To make this possible the FORTRAN function library for those
machines included pointer handling and accessing memory
directly. There were functions like the BASIC peek and poke (fetch and
store). Around 1981 I used RT-11SJ, the non-multitaking version (SJ
meant "single job"). It was rather old even then.

Stewart Strait

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