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In Memoriam Professor Niklaus Wirth

Am 1. Januar 2024 verstarb mit 89 Jahren Professor Niklaus Wirth, Informatikprofessor an der ETH Zürich.
Er war Träger des Turing Rings, des "Nobelpreises der Informatik" und der einzige Deutschsprachige Träger dieser Auszeichnung.

Als Diplomand (E-Technik) 1986 an der TU München hat mir mein Betreuer "Algorithmen und Datenstrukturen" von N. Wirth in die Hand gedrückt, mit dem Kommentar ab nächste Woche schreibst du dann Software in Pascal (VAX/VMS). Nach etwas Basic und Fortran war das eine Erlösung und ich bin den Wirthschen Sprachen bis heute auch immer treu geblieben.

2011 konnte ich Prof Wirth persönlich an der ETH anlässlich eines Kolloquiums zu "Oberon in der Industrie" treffen. Er brachte eine originale Ceres Workstation mit, die er auch vorführte. Inklusive der wohl ersten Europäischen Computermaus. Robuste Hardware die ich anschließend in die Tiefgarage zu seinem Auto schleppen durfte.

2014 gab es ein weiteres Kolloquium zu seinem 80. Geburtstag mit illustren Gästen unter anderem Vinton Cerf.
Niklaus Wirth hielt den Abschlussvortrag. Auf seiner letzten "Folie" steht folgendes zu lesen:

What have I learnt?
Writing a program is difficult
Writing a correct program is even more so
Writing a publishable program is exacting

Programs are not written. They grow!
Controlling growth needs much discipline
Reducing size and complexity is the triumph

* Programs must not be regarded as code for computers, but as literature for humans

Das Foto mit Professor Wirth und dieser Folie hab ich seit 2014 über meine Arbeitsplatz hängen.
Letzter Vortrag, letzte Folie. Professor Niklaus Wirth (vorne rechts) während des Kolloquiums zu seinem 80. Geburtstag 2014 an der ETH in Zürich.

Professor Wirth 2011 an "seiner" Ceres Workstation. Es läuft natürlich Oberon.
Betriebssystem, Compiler, Grafische Benutzeroberfläche < 30000 Zeilen Quellcode

Die Maus der Ceres - wahrscheinlich Europas älteste Computermaus

Mein Beileid seinen Angehörigen und Freunden
Markus Greim

P.S. Wer sich heute mit MISRA-C beschäftigt (Wir machen C zu Pascal) , weiß wie weit Pascal seiner Zeit voraus war und offensichtlich immer noch ist.


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