(Posted to comp.arch, by Dennis Ritchie, on Nov. 14, 1990.)

I read,

Looks like folks are now beginning to credit the development of UNIX to Kernighan and Ritchie, but I thought the principal investigators were *Thompson* and Ritchie. Did something change?
The differences between Kernighan Ritchie Thompson are real but very subtle. We all look alike (middle aged with scruffy graying beards). Note these distinctions:

-- Kernighan is slimmest, Ritchie middlest, Thompson heaviest in body build

-- Ritchie got contacts a couple of years ago and so is the only current non-glasses wearer

-- Thompson wouldn't touch netnews with a pole, Kernighan secretly gets misc.invest and misc.taxes mailed to him, Ritchie reads it more than is good for him and occasionally contributes

-- Ritchie is the only one who has met five people who have appeared on David Letterman (Penn, Teller, Rob Pike, Mayor Koch, and the guy who raised the biggest hog in Ohio)

-- Kernighan has written ten times as much readable prose as has Ritchie, Ritchie ten times as much as Thompson. It's tempting to say that the reverse proportions hold for code, but in fact Kernighan and Ritchie are more nearly tied and Thompson wipes us both out.

-- Dennis

Hacker's Wisdom / Three Wise Men
Last modified: Tue Oct 22 23:51:58 2002