The priorities of
&& || vs.
== etc. came about in the following way.
Early C had no separate operators for
(Got that?) Instead it used the notion (inherited from
of "truth-value context": where a Boolean value was expected,
after "if" and "while" and so forth, the & and | operators were interpreted
as && and || are now; in ordinary expressions, the bitwise interpretations
were used. It worked out pretty well, but was hard to explain.
(There was the notion of "top-level operators" in a truth-value context.)
The precedence of
| were as they are now.
Primarily at the urging of Alan Snyder, the
|| operators were
added. This successfully separated the concepts of bitwise operations and
short-circuit Boolean evaluation. However, I had cold feet about the
precedence problems. For example, there were lots of programs with
if (a==b & c==d) ...In retrospect it would have been better to go ahead and change the precedence of
&to higher than
==, but it seemed safer just to split
&past an existing operator. (After all, we had several hundred kilobytes of source code, and maybe 3 installations....)