Oral History of Bjarne Stroustrup

The Computer History Museum has named Bjarne Stroustrup, the creator of C++, a 2015 Computer History Museum Fellow. The Museum just published an oral history of Bjarne Stroustrup as well.

Stroustrup: What is that string manipulation pattern matching language from the sixties?

McJones: SNOBOL?

Stroustrup: SNOBOL. That’s right. I remember finding SNOBOL really interesting and useful. What I’ll
call a formative experience was realizing that I had written an ALGOL program in SNOBOL and that it
was a really stupid program. It was complicated. It was difficult to get to run. It ran slowly and it was not
how any sane SNOBOL programmer would write it. So I had to go back and learn the idioms. You can’t
just take a language and start writing in it as if it was your previous language, which is what we essentially
all do at first. Then we realize that we’re doing it again and correct. That I actually learned, I think, in the
first half year of programming.


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