To quote Jan Eggum: “Kor e alle heltane” (where are all our heroes, for you non-norwegians). Dennis Ritchie passed away today. That is Richie as in &R in K&R C, or The Book. Without Dennis, I’d probably not known my good friend Dag-Erling. I’d probably be writing Pascal. I’d probably given up on computing after having led the DemOS project in assembler and Pascal. Dag-Erling would not have been a FreeBSD committer. I would not have written my thesis about the FreeBSD project. There would be no Mac OS X, or iPhone. At least not the way we know it. There would be no /dev.
It was a sad moment when Steve died, and although Dennis was allowed to live many more years, it is too soon to see another giant in our industry go away. I am deeply thankful for what he has given our community, and for what he has given me, and most of the people I know in our industry.
There have been many obituaries, but the one I liked the best is written by Poul-Henning Kamp at Version2 (in Danish).