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we unravel in which year this example began to be used for programmers

Anyone who has learned to code (or has merely tried to get to it) knows that there is a long tradition of programming. use the phrase "Hello world!" ("Hello, World !, in English) as a first step to write our first program or script.

The goal is to use a function that displays that phrase on the screen. In the case of the C language, the code to achieve this would be the following:

#include <stdio.h>

int main ()

 printf("Hello, World!");

Last Monday, MIT's CSAIL (Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory) published a tweet celebrating the anniversary "of the day the 'Hello world' said 'Hello world!'":

According to himself, that had happened in 1978 with the publication of the landmark book "C programming Language" by Brian Kernighan and Dennis Ritchie, which includes the code written a bit above.

Seems doable that such an event takes place at the time when the creator of the most popular and versatile language in the history of computing published the first manual for its use. However, several users quickly replied to the CSAL disagreeing of such a statement.

The syndrome of living in fear of becoming a rusty programmer

First, many recalled that Kernighan, a co-author of said book (but not creator of C), had written an internal memo for Bell Laboratories (where Ritchie also worked) called 'Programming in C: A Tutorial', which included this other code, very similar:

main( )

 printf("hello, worldn");

So CSAIL is definitely wrong and the 'Hello, world' was born in 1974? Well no, we can pull the thread even more.

C language

The manual to which MIT attributes (it seems that wrongly) the first appearance of 'Hello, world'.

Hello World in B

And, although Kernighan did not create C, he had created shortly before its predecessor, called -how not- language B... and in 1973 he had written a short introductory work called "A tutorial introduction to the language B" (which today we can consult online in PDF).

In it, we will find the following code, which, although it is something more intricate than the traditional 'Hello World' (due to a limitation of the language itself, which limited the variables to four characters), it has the same function (and the same output on the screen):

main( )

extrn a, b, c, d; put2char (a, b); put2char (c, d);

put2char (x, y)

putchar (x); putchar (and);

to 'hell'; b 'o, w'; c 'orld'; d '! * n';

When, in 2011, Forbes India asked Kernighan why had he chosen precisely those two wordss, he was only able to clarify the following:

"My memory is fuzzy now. What I do remember is that I had seen a cartoon that showed an egg and a girl and the girl said, 'Hello world.'

Kernighan seems to acknowledge her authorship of the phrase here, even if she doesn't remember what inspired it. But there are those who claim that we might have to go further back to locate the first use in programming of the phrase of yore.

Even further back?

And, according to the Jargon File, the first 'Hello World' program would have been written not in B language, but in its predecessor ... the BCPL (no, it was not language A, as illogical as it may seem).

The downside is that, despite the fact that several other websites hold the same hypothesis, neither these nor the Jargon File include sources that support the same, nor do they specify in which year the code in question was written.

Anyway, in case you have any doubts, that first 'Hello, world' at BCPL it would have looked like this:

GET "libhdr"

LET start () = VALOF

$ (writes ("Hello world * N")



The previous example has been taken from "The Hello World Collection", a website that compiles versions of this program written in 603 computer languages ​​and 78 human languages; and that also adheres to the theory that It was Brian W. Kernighan who, in 1973, wrote the first 'Hello World' in the B language..