C standard - levels?

Henry Spencer henry at utzoo.UUCP
Sat Dec 29 09:01:40 AEST 1984

> Has the standard committee considered making a multi-level standard,
> like COBOL?

The committee discussed this very early, and rejected it.  As Bill Plauger
pointed out, the existence of roughly a dozen optional modules in COBOL
means that there are about 4096 different "standard" COBOLs.  This seems a
poor example to emulate.  Even Fortran (77) is only two languages.  I'm not
sure whether they rejected multiple versions completely, or decided to try
for a single version and add a "subset" version if it was really necessary.
In any event, they obviously didn't see any sufficiently-dire need.

Personally, I agree with them.  The farthest one should go is to admit a
lesser version which is officially stigmatized by declaring it to be a
"subset" version.  And I don't see any major need for this in C.
				Henry Spencer @ U of Toronto Zoology

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