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Computer Science - Brian Kernighan on successful language design

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Brian Kernighan

Brian Wilson Kernighan is a Canadian computer scientist who worked at Bell Labs alongside Unix creators Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie and contributed to the development of Unix. He is also coauthor of the AWK and AMPL programming languages. The K of K&R C and the K in AWK both stand for Kernighan. Since 2000 Brian Kernighan has been a Professor at the Computer Science Department of Princeton University, where he is also the Undergraduate Department Representative.
Kernighan's name became widely known through co-authorship of the first book on the C programming language with Dennis Ritchie. Kernighan affirmed that he had no part in the design of the C language. He authored many Unix programs, including ditroff, and cron for Version 7 Unix.


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What Programming is Never About (Informal Lecture)

-Live at every Sunday at 5PM EDT.

Related links:

* Portfolio:
* Handmade Hero, by Casey Muratori: I thank him for expressing support for this book and talk.
* by Sean Barrett: He inspires me and I thank him for his input on the book.
* Data-Oriented Design in C++, by Mike Acton:
* Jai, an upcoming programming language, by Jonathan Blow:

* To learn how I got a co-op, check out the Pathways program: or for a one-off internship with no long-term commitment, check out:
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VCF East 2019 -- Brian Kernighan interviews Ken Thompson

In the 1960s-1970s, Ken Thompson co-invented the UNIX operating system along with Dennis Ritchie at Bell Labs. He also worked on the language B, the operating system Plan 9, and the language Go. He and Ritchie won the Turing Award. He now works at Google. He’ll be interviewed Brian Kernighan of “K&R” fame.

This talk took place May 4, 2019. Videography courtesy of @thegurumeditation (Facebook), @thegurumeditate (Twitter)
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Unix Pipeline (Brian Kernighan) - Computerphile

Just what is a pipeline in the computer science sense? We asked Computer Science guru Professor Brian Kernighan

Why Asimov's Laws of Robotics Don't Work:
Brian Kerninghan on Bell Labs:
Don Knuth on Email:
Computer That Changed Everything:




This video was filmed and edited by Sean Riley.

Computer Science at the University of Nottingham:

Computerphile is a sister project to Brady Haran's Numberphile. More at
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C Programming - Real Time K&R Exercise 1-9

From start to finish, real time Problem Solving, Debugging, and implementing a Solution to classic exercises in the famous text The C Programming Language by Brian W. Kernighan and Dennis M Ritchie.

Full source created is available on my GitHub:


Linkedin:

Using: Code::Blocks
Music:



C Programming - Real Time K&R Exercise 1-12

From start to finish, real time Problem Solving, Debugging, and implementing a Solution to
classic exercises in the famous text The C Programming Language by Brian W. Kernighan and Dennis M Ritchie.

Full source created is available on my GitHub:


Using: Code::Blocks IDE

UNIX Special: Profs Kernighan & Brailsford - Computerphile

BWK, Professor Brian Kernighan visited Nottingham, so Professor Brailsford couldn't resist an 'on-camera' chat about Unix, Bell Labs and other aspects of Brian's glittering career.

Brian Kerninghan on Bell Labs:
C Programming Language: Brian Kernighan:
The Great 202 Jailbreak:
Computer That Changed Everything:

More from BWK on other computer languages at:

Thanks to Richard Minkley for holding our 3rd camera, and Dr Steve 'Heartbleed' Bagley for helping out with the microphones!




This video was filmed and edited by Sean Riley.

Computer Science at the University of Nottingham:

Computerphile is a sister project to Brady Haran's Numberphile. More at

Brian Kernighan Q&A - Computerphile

Hear Brian Kernighan on how he got into programming, the successors of C and the biggest challenges...

Watch Part 2 before it's live!:




This video was filmed and edited by Sean Riley.

Computer Science at the University of Nottingham:

Computerphile is a sister project to Brady Haran's Numberphile. More at

C Programming - Real Time K&R Exercise 1-10

From start to finish, real time Problem Solving, Debugging, and implementing a Solution to
classic exercises in the famous text The C Programming Language by Brian W. Kernighan and Dennis M Ritchie.

Full source created is available on my GitHub:


Linkedin:

Using: Code::Blocks

Unix50 - Unix Today and Tomorrow: The Languages

Brian Kernighan discussed the little languages of Unix and how it works well with other programming languages while Bjarne Stroustrup focused on the journey from C to C++ and its value. Tom Van Cutsem, Lieven Trappeniers and Lode Hoste of Nokia Bell Labs discussed new computational tools being created using Augmented/Artificial intelligence and machine learning that are transforming software development.

We commemorated Unix’s anniversary with the Unix50 event, a two-day celebration that reflected on Unix’s past and explored the future of computing. Speakers and panelists included many of the original team that built Unix and designed the C programming language, as well as luminaries in the fields of computing and robotics. The event also featured a gallery of Unix artifacts, a coding challenge that required students to program robots to navigate the industrial spaces of the future, and numerous other activities drawing on Unix’s rich and colorful history at Bell Labs.

Learn more:
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Brian Kernighan opens the Coding World Championships 2014

Code an AI for a race car, become World Champion. Sign up now

#Gamelab2018 - Jon Blow's Design decisions on creating Jai a new language for game programmers

Jonathan Blow (born 1971) is an American video game designer and programmer, who is best known as the creator of the independent video games Braid (2008) and The Witness (2016), both of which were released to critical acclaim.

In September 2014, Blow began work on a new programming language called JAI based on ideas he had previously expressed about video game development. It is aimed at low-friction and fluid development, whilst directly supporting data-oriented design for high performance. The language is currently active, but is a work-in-progress, as no JAI compiler has been publicly released yet. A small demo of the language was shown at Reboot Development 2017. Blow also uses Twitch to regularly stream demonstrations of new language features as well as improvements to the game engine that will be bundled with the language.

Brian Kernighan Q&A 2/3 - Computerphile

Watch Part 3:




This video was filmed and edited by Sean Riley.

Computer Science at the University of Nottingham:

Computerphile is a sister project to Brady Haran's Numberphile. More at

Brian Kernighan, 'K' of 'K&R': Goals of AWK and AMPL programming languages



'Princeton Startup TV' - interviews with the stars of startup and computer science world.

The full episode of 'Princeton Startup TV' with Brian Kernighan:

Brian Kernighan! The computer scientist who doesn't need any introduction: co-author of the programming classic - 'The C Programming Language' (with Dennis Ritchie), coauthor of AWK and AMPL programming languages, Professor of Computer Science at Princeton, author of many Unix programs including ditroff, cron for Unix 7, early contributor to Unix alongside its creators Ken Thomson and Dennis Ritchie, the person who coined the term Unix which stands for Uniplexed Information and Computing Service, co-author of well-known heuristics for graph partitioning and TSP, author of 9 books: Software Tools (with PJ Plauger), Software Tools in Pascal (with PJ Plauger), The C Programming Language ('K&R') (with Dennis M. Ritchie), The Elements of Programming Style (with PJ Plauger), The Unix Programming Environment (with Rob Pike), The AWK Programming Language (with Al Aho and Peter J. Weinberger), The Practice of Programming (with Rob Pike), AMPL: A Modeling Language for Mathematical Programming, 2nd Ed. (with Robert Fourer and David Gay), and the most recent 'D is for Digital: What a well-informed person should know about computers and communications'.

Other shows, podcasts and talks for entrepreneurs I would recommend: Foundation with Kevin Rose, 'ThisWeekIn Startups' with Jason Calacanis, Mixergy with Andrew Warner, Pandodaily Fireside Chats with Sarah Lacy, TechCrunch TV Founder Stories with Chris Dixon, Stanford Entrepreneurship Corner, The Random Show with Tim Ferriss and Kevin Rose, All Things D conference (Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, Larry Ellison, Larry Page, Sergey Brin), LeWeb Paris & London, TechCrunch Disrupt New York and San Francisco, Y Combinator Startup School, TED talks, talks at Google, UCBerkeley Haas, A Total Disruption, SXSW Interactive, Robert Scoble.

Brian Kernighan Keynote Speech Vintage Computer Festival East 10.0

For the 10th edition of the Vintage Computer Festival East, Dr. Brian Kernighan was the keynote speaker. Dr. Kernighan is probably best know as the co author of the C and AWK programming languages.
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Language Design with Brian Kernighan Holiday Repeat

Visit our website


Originally published January 6, 2016
“The best computer science is the kind where the theory is inspired by some practical problem, you develop a better theoretical understanding of what you want to do, and that feeds back into better practice.”
Brian Kernighan is a professor of computer science at Princeton University and the author of several books, including The Go Programming Language and The C Programming Language, a book more commonly referred to as K&R. Professor Kernighan also worked at Bell Labs alongside Unix creators Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie and contributed to the development of Unix.
Questions

What are the timeless characteristics that define a successful programming language?
How did people categorize languages 50 years ago?
What would people have been posting on Hacker News in 1965?
Why is Java so popular, and why do you think it’s strongly hyped?
Computers have become more powerful over time – how has this affected language design?
What are your thoughts on JavaScript?
What did you learn while writing a book about Go?
What did you learn about programming and life from working with Dennis Ritchie?

Links

How to succeed in language design without really trying
JavaScript: The Definitive Guide
JavaScript: The Good Parts
The Go Programming Language
Plan 9
The C Programming Language (K&R)
Brian’s professor page

Code Books (Prof Brian Kernighan) - Computerphile

Brian Kernighan, the man who wrote the definitive book on C programming brings us up to date on his work over the last couple of years.

Sun Server:
Onion Routing:




This video was filmed and edited by Sean Riley.

Computer Science at the University of Nottingham:

Computerphile is a sister project to Brady Haran's Numberphile. More at

Language Design with Brian Kernighan Holiday Repeat

Visit our website


Originally published January 6, 2016
“The best computer science is the kind where the theory is inspired by some practical problem, you develop a better theoretical understanding of what you want to do, and that feeds back into better practice.”
Brian Kernighan is a professor of computer science at Princeton University and the author of several books, including The Go Programming Language and The C Programming Language, a book more commonly referred to as K&R. Professor Kernighan also worked at Bell Labs alongside Unix creators Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie and contributed to the development of Unix.
Questions

What are the timeless characteristics that define a successful programming language?
How did people categorize languages 50 years ago?
What would people have been posting on Hacker News in 1965?
Why is Java so popular, and why do you think it’s strongly hyped?
Computers have become more powerful over time – how has this affected language design?
What are your thoughts on JavaScript?
What did you learn while writing a book about Go?
What did you learn about programming and life from working with Dennis Ritchie?

Links

How to succeed in language design without really trying
JavaScript: The Definitive Guide
JavaScript: The Good Parts
The Go Programming Language
Plan 9
The C Programming Language (K&R)
Brian’s professor page

Language Design with Brian Kernighan

Listen to the full episode here:


“The best computer science is the kind where the theory is inspired by some practical problem, you develop a better theoretical understanding of what you want to do, and that feeds back into better practice.”
Brian Kernighan is a professor of computer science at Princeton University and the author of several books, including “The Go Programming Language” and “The C Programming Language”, a book more commonly referred to as K&R. Professor Kernighan also worked at Bell Labs alongside Unix creators Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie and contributed to the development of Unix.
Questions

What are the timeless characteristics that define a successful programming language?
How did people categorize languages 50 years ago?
What would people have been posting on Hacker News in 1965?
Why is Java so popular, and why do you think it’s strongly hyped?
Computers have become more powerful over time – how has this affected language design?
What are your thoughts on JavaScript?
What did you learn while writing a book about Go?
What did you learn about programming and life from working with Dennis Ritchie?

Links

How to succeed in language design without really trying
JavaScript: The Definitive Guide
JavaScript: The Good Parts
The Go Programming Language
Plan 9
The C Programming Language (K&R)
Brian’s professor page

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Computer Science - Brian Kernighan on successful language design

Professor Brian Kernighan presents on 'How to succeed in language design without really trying.' Brian Kernighan is Professor of Computer Science at Princeton University and Honorary Professor in the School of Computer Science at The University of Nottingham.

View the presentation slides here:


For more videos featuring Brian visit:


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