Recommend IDE for coding in "C" -- some historical context

Hendrik Boom hendrik at
Thu Mar 21 16:41:16 EDT 2013

On Thu, Mar 21, 2013 at 02:56:04PM -0400, Buddha Buck wrote:
> On Thu, Mar 21, 2013 at 2:31 PM, Hendrik Boom <hendrik at>wrote:
> > On Wed, 20 Mar 2013 13:13:00 -0400, Buddha Buck wrote:
> >
> > > Paul,
> > >
> > >
> > > It should be noted that in Linux/Unix, all the development tools are
> > > command-line based, and so any IDE is going to call make, gcc, git, gdb,
> > > javac, etc behind the scenes anyway to do the actual work.
> >
> > And C was originally invented jointly with a command-line Unix system.
> > So using it this way fits with tradition.
> Yup.  Worse, from an editing/developing standpoint, the standard terminal
> was a teletype terminal, a combination printer and keyboard that usually
> printed at the rate of about 4 characters/second (45 Baud).

The slowest I ever encountreed in the 60's was 110 boud, about 10 
characters per second.  But for typing, the old KSR teletypes required 
so much force that it may well have taken superhuman finger strength to 
enter more than about 4 characters per second, whatever the baud rate.

> This virtually
> demanded a terse command line syntax and the bare minimum of excess output.

And it's why the common Unix commands are so cryptically short.

> >
> > What emacs accomplished in those early days was to be a UI for text
> > terminals.  You had multiple 'buffers', which could be put in differennt
> > places on the screen, or placed in the background to be recalled later.
> > Some buffers would contain files t edit, others aould act as command-
> > language terminals, and so forth.
> >
> It still does those things, which is still very, very useful.


> >
> X was started as a project in 1984 at MIT. Both Emacs (from MIT) and vi
> (from Berkeley) were first written in 1976 or so.  Both Emacs and vi came
> out of a desire to make line or tape oriented editors easier to use on the
> new-fangled CRT displays.  Emacs was originally a set of macros for the
> TECO (Tape Editor and COrrector) editor,

Yes..  But it's not the one we have now.  Richard Stallman had a 
copyright dispute with MIT, which resulted in MIT taking his emacs
proprietary.  He has an early free-software licence in the emacs manual, 
declaring emacs to be free, and MIT decided that it was work-for-hire 
and took it over.

THis was one of the events on the way to his GNU public license ans the 
dree software foundation.  As I understand it, one of the first pieces 
of GNU software was a new emacs, this time based on a Lisp dialect.  The 
result was the emacs we have today.

-- hendrik

More information about the gnucash-devel mailing list