Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Re: Bill Joy a credit-taker?

Author:Don Hopkins
Posted:8/28/1999; 4:03:40 AM
Topic:Today's scriptingNews Outline
Msg #:10174 (In response to 9693)
Prev/Next:10173 / 10175

I heard Bill Joy talk about his desire for a "provably safe" kernel development language he called "C+++=--" at a Sun Users Group, several years before Java (Oak) was implemented. "C Plus Plus Plus Equals Minus Minus" was a safe subset of a superset of C++. Or something like that. You could say that describes one aspect Java.

I don't remember Joy giving Gosling any credit for the idea at the time, but the general concept was probably floating around for a while before Gosling actually implemented it. He was kind of busy with NeWS at the time. It might have been the same SUG when they were showing early versions of NeWS, but I can't remember when it was for sure.

It's one thing to talk about an idea like that, but it's another thing to actually cut through the bullshit and act on it. And there sure was a lot of bullshit to cut.

So Bill Joy at least deserves some credit for talking about the name C+++=-- early on. But James Gosling deserves a lot more credit for writing real code instead of wasting his time just talking about doing it.

In my big book of karma, Bill Joy has a lot of penance to pay, to make up for the psychic and aesthetic discordances he inflicted on the world by writing VI and CSH. He can have all the credit for those he wants. I'm afraid that if Bill Joy wrote "C+++=--" himself, that expression would actually mean something in the language itself.

Sorry Charlie, Sunkist doesn't want programmers with good taste, Sunkist wants programmers that taste good.

Sun eats their own alive, but Gosling succeeded in spite of many cowards, who were much worse than Bill Joy.

I wonder if this scene ever happened: Scott McNealy struts down the hall toward Gosling's office, with an entourage of Fast Company and Wired Magazine writers in tow, hoping for them to hear pearls of object oriented wisdom rolling forth, but only to walk into the middle of yet another round in the eternal argument:

Emacs! VI! Emacs! VI! No, Emacs!!! No, VI!!!


"You can't prove anything about a program written in C or FORTRAN. It's really just Peek and Poke with some syntactic sugar." -Bill Joy

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