Onward! 2017
Sun 22 - Fri 27 October 2017 Vancouver, Canada
co-located with SPLASH 2017
Wed 25 Oct 2017 15:30 - 16:15 at Regency B - Essays Chair(s): Robert Biddle

The C language leads a double life: as an application programming language of yesteryear, per- petuated by circumstance, and as a systems programming language which remains a weapon of choice decades after its creation. This essay is a C programmer’s reaction to the call to abandon ship. It questions several properties commonly held to de ne the experience of using C; these include unsafety, unde ned behaviour, and the motivation of performance. It argues all these are in fact inessential; rather, it traces C’s ultimate strength to a communicative design which does not t easily within the usual conception of “a programming language”, but can be seen as a counterpoint to so-called “man- aged languages”. This communicativity is what facilitates the essential aspect of system-building: creating parts which interact with other, remote parts—being “alongside” not “within”.

Wed 25 Oct
Times are displayed in time zone: (GMT-07:00) Tijuana, Baja California change

15:30 - 17:00: Onward! Essays - Essays at Regency B
Chair(s): Robert BiddleCarleton University
onward-2017-essays-201715:30 - 16:15
Stephen KellUniversity of Cambridge
onward-2017-essays-201716:15 - 17:00
Antti-Juhani KaijanahoUniversity of Jyväskylä
DOI Pre-print