I’m not trying to curse myself or anything, but this thought occurred to me today. I think that C will outlive all of us, and definitely outlive me. This came to me as I was watching Iron Man 2. In it, Howard Stark left Tony a legacy encoded in the structure of his creations, which Tony was able to decode. Now, I thought what language would be useful in encoding stuff that we leave behind – and I thought C.
You see, while there have been many computer languages invented over the years, the ubiquitousness of C has sort of ensured that it survived every other language. Many others have come and gone while C has remained. If we were to leave Java software behind, who knows if future computers and people would be able to decipher it or even run it. But I do think that future computers and people will still be able to read and decipher C for a long time to come.
That is not to say that the C today will be exactly the same as the C tomorrow. Just like natural languages, C will evolve with time.