Me quedo con Dennis Ritchie

Denis_RitchiePara comenzar me gustaría decir que no me congratula en absoluto andar anunciando la muerte de gente, pero en esta ocasión tengo un problema moral. No me parecía justo haber comentado la muerte de Steve Jobs y no mencionar la reciente desaparición de Dennis Ritchie. He de decir que este señor sí ha sido uno de los grandes de la informática.

Nos dejó el 9 de octubre de 2011 a los 70 años. Mediáticamente hablando ha pasado sin pena ni gloria, por eso no nos hemos enterado. No se ha comentado en medios por una sencilla razón: la mayoría de sus aportaciones no han llegado al pueblo directamente, así que no es noticia.

Pero para eso estamos los demás, los que sí sabemos quién fue y en qué contribuyó a la humanidad. Dennis Ritchie diseñó, junto a Brian Kernighan, el lenguaje de programación C. Lo hizo con 30 años, en 1971 (yo aún no había nacido y este señor ya había hecho historia). El lenguaje de programación C se caracteriza por su sencillez, un juego de instrucciones muy básico y enriquecido con muchas librerías. Es un lenguaje elegante, potente, simple y portable. Te deja hacer de todo, justo los que nos gusta a los programadores. Pero esto no es un artículo de programación, es de recuerdo a una persona.

Sus aportaciones no quedan ahí, también diseño el sistema operativo MULTICS, muy avanzado para su época y participó en el desarrollo del sistema operativo UNIX, tan ampliamente difundido en la actualidad. Pregunta para los maqueros: ¿pensáis que la X de UNIX tiene algo que ver con la X del MacOSX? ¿Y la X de Linux?

goodbye_dadResumiendo, las aportaciones de este gran hombre, y más en concreto su lenguaje C, son la base de programación de muchos de los sistemas operativos que os encontraréis en el mercado. La base de funcionamiento de dispositivos, gadgets, supercomputadoras, juegos, consolas, centralitas electrónicas, navegadores, automóviles, enrutadores, satélites, etc.

Con esta muerte nos deja un tipo grande, un gran científico. Si tuviera que elegir con quién tomar café una tarde de domingo, sin duda prefiero a Richie que a Jobs. Con el primero tengo cosas en común, del segundo no me fío, igual salgo de ahí con un iPhone, un iPad y me saca algo de dinero para alguna otra iDea.

No menosprecio a ninguno, ambos fueron grandes a su manera, pero si he de elegir, me quedo con Dennis Ritchie.

Aquí tenéis algo sobre él:

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