Supersedes to remove a part regarding pointees not being
wrapped in a struct or an array.
Patricia Shanahan <email@example.com> writes:
Here's a question for people holding that view: Why should the
particular, and arguably peculiar, cluster of features that C
associated with pointers be the ultimate definition of
These people might say ?Because C was there first?, or
C (A, B, BCPL) people (Dennis Ritchie) /coined/ it:
?This was Dennis's contribution, and he in fact coined the
term "pointer" as an innocuous sounding name for a truly
However, since this source is filed under ?humor?, I'm not
sure, whether this part is true. At least one can confirm
?Finally, the B and BCPL model implied overhead in dealing
with pointers: the language rules, by defining a pointer
as an index in an array of words, forced pointers to be
represented as word indices. Each pointer reference
generated a run-time scale conversion from the pointer to
the byte address expected by the hardware.?
?B and BCPL had notions of pointers, which were names of
storage cells, but on a byte oriented machine in
particular and also one in which the -- had 16-bit words
and -- I don't think it did originally, but they were
clearly intending to have 32-bit and 64-bit floating point
numbers. So that there all these different sizes of
objects, and B and BCPL were really only oriented toward a
single size of object. From a linguistic point of view
that was the biggest limitation of B; not only the fact
that all objects were the same size but also that just the
whole notion of pointer to object didn't fit well with?
To show that they /coined/ it, still would need to show that
no one else already used it for this purpose in those days.