From VMS to UNIX

Alan Lehotsky alan at apollo.UUCP
Wed Oct 26 04:23:53 AEST 1983

I've decided to step into the BLISS vs. C battle -
as an (obviously) unbiased participant.  To pour
some volatile liquid on this fire, I make the following

    I. BLISS is a better systems-programming language
        than C.  The built-in features of the language
        for dealing with

            o bit-fields
            o specific registers
            o user-defined linkage conventions
            o user-written accessing algorithms
              (the STRUCTURE declaration)
            o character sequence manipulation
            o VOLATILE memory

        are far superior to what C provides.  Further,
        the BLISS compile-time and macro-preprocessor
        facilities are orders of magnitude more powerful
        than what C gives you!  

          In BLISS, you can write an interrupt handler without
        invoking ANY runtime support - the compiler emits the REI,
        RTI, RTT or whatever and knows where the PC and PSL or PSW
        are on the stack, etc...

   II. The implementations of BLISS for the VAX, PDP11 and
        PDP-10 are FAR superior to any C compiler which I
        am aware of (for the same hardware).  On the average,
        I would estimate that BLISS produces code which is
        about 75% the size of code produced by the VAX/VMS
        C compiler - without the BLISS programmer attempting
        extensive optimization by doing any register declarations
        or special linkages!

  III.  With regard to the statement

>        There is nothing in the C language that
>        *prevents* me from writing a compiler as good as the VAX/VMS Bliss
>        compiler.
>        -- 
>        	Tom Teixeira,  Massachusetts Computer Corporation.  Littleton MA

        This is probably almost true.  But, it turns out that if you consider the
        effort required, you will discover that it is easier to do a BLISS
        compiler than the correspondingly high quality C compiler.

   IV.  C does have a few minor advantages:

            o Weak typing is convenient sometimes.
            o A lot of programmers know C, very few programmers know

Now to really make your blood boil.....

    C would be the TECO of programming languages, if TECO wasn't
    already the TECO of programming languages.

    BLISS is a language designed for optimizing compilers, while C is
    a language designed for optimizing programmers.

Blissfully yours,
Alan Lehotsky (formerly BLISS Project Leader @DEC 1977-1983)

The following limerick may amuse you all...

    A languages wizard named Al,
    Found BLISS working at DIGIT-al.
    Though he coded and taught,
     and defends the damned dot;
    At Apollo, he's using PASCAL.

More information about the Comp.lang.c mailing list