Talk on what a systems programming language needs to replace C

Walter Bright newshound2 at
Sat Sep 7 21:19:51 UTC 2019

On 9/5/2019 2:29 PM, H. S. Teoh wrote:
> Yep.  Especially when there's a deadline and the customer is being
> unreasonable, and your job is on the line, then anything goes.
> Unreadable hacks using C macros?  Sure, if it gets the job done before
> you're fired.  Operator overload abuse? Sure, if it gets the job done
> before you're fired.  Inscrutable pointer casting hacks?  Oh yes, if it
> gets the product shipped by the deadline.  Making things easier for the
> poor sod who'll be maintaining your code a decade later?  That's not
> even a consideration when the deadline is looming, the customer is
> demanding, and the project manager is angry.
> Some things should not be allowed by the language, or at least should be
> harder to do compared to the "right" way. The incentives need to be
> right. Free-for-all usually means lowest common denominator, and believe
> me, when it comes to average code quality in your typical "enterprise"
> code, that denominator is low indeed.

I have a slight disagreement with this. Too often the mess is created by 
programmers who sincerely believe they *are* doing the right thing. They're 
proud of it. Being able to recognize this unfortunately only comes via a lot of 

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