This is why I always disliked PCs, not for any religious or ideological reasons. I always thought the x86 instruction set was the ugliest thing ever.
If you’ve never had the pleasure of programming an x86-family processor in assembly language, you don’t know pain. The 32-bit x86 chips (including the ‘386, ‘486, and Pentium-class parts from Intel and AMD) do an amazing job of dragging one of the world’s oldest processor designs into the modern age. They do it while still maintaining binary compatibility with chips that are three generations and 15 years behind. It’s impressive, really, but it makes these chips tricky to program with low-level code.
Since the discussion forum has gotten into a question of evolution and popularity, I thought I’d pop in with the parallel universe of assembly language. IMHO, x86 assembly language is far inferior to many of the other alternatives. Yet, the biggest target cpu is the x86.
The only upside, I suppose, is that Intel managed to single handedly destroy the art of hand crafted assembly. The vacuum being filled in by C. The problem with the popular choices is not just restricted to higher level languages (and that’s not even getting into the question of Operating Systems). [Lambda the Ultimate]