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Verity Stob's Edsger Dijkstra tribute

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Letters Re: Edsger Dijkstra: RIP

Jim Tarvin writes a very kind letter, observing:

You are obviously a man who would rather sleep with 10,000 anarchists than one monopoly capitalist.

That all depends on personal hygiene, Jim. But 10,000 anarchists at once?

He makes a point that EWDs Algol work gave us far more than a language:-

Without Edsger, the most advanced computer on the planet would be an HP RPN calculator.

He should be remembered for many things but ne thing often missed is that Edsger developed the stack model of computation which he employed in his version of Algol 60 (which Tony Hoare declared an improvement over all its successors).

Out of his Algol 60 compiler came the Burroughs B5500/6500/7700 series of computers.

But most significantly the techniques of recursion, reentrant programming, interrupt handling, multiprogramming, multiprocessing and a host of others all rely on Edsger's stack model.

Jim Tarvid

Darius Thabit has another blindingly-obvious as soon as it's pointed out kind of observation:-

You couldn't ask for a better name for a software engineer than one with the loop index variables "ijk" in sequence :)

Thanks Darius.

And finally Ms. Verity Stob has written two poems to mark his passing. Here they are:-

So,
farewell then
Edsger Dijkstra,
famous proponent of
structured programming.

'Goto considered harmful'
that was your
catchphrase.

Keith's Mum says
Niklaus Wirth coined
it.

But Wirth's
catchphrase is
'If you call me by name it is "Virt". If you call me by value, it is
"Worth".'
which
isn't
as
snappy.



When Dijkstra his subject debated
It wasn't just GOTO he hated.
FOR, IF...THEN and WHILE
Could not raise a smile,
And TRY/CATCH he thought overrated.


E J Stobstra (0x27)

Thank you Verity. You can read more of Ms.Stob's verse here at Dr Dobbs Journal

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