[TUHS] phototypesetter C (was nm on Third Edition .o files)

Noel Chiappa jnc at mercury.lcs.mit.edu
Fri Dec 23 22:50:47 AEST 2016


    > I don't think I ever heard the appellation "phototypesetter C"
    > before.

Interesting data point; thanks for passing that along.

    > Certainly C and the phottypesetter developed independently, though in
    > the same room. But the explanation that they got linked by appearing in
    > the same tape release makes perfect sense.

I have this vague memory of being told, or reading somewhere, that many of the
changes from 'vanilla V6' C to 'phototypsetter' C were added because they were
needed for that project, hence the name. Alas, I have no idea where I might
have gotten that from (I had a quick look at a few likely documentary sources,
but no joy).

It's quite possible that this was a supposition on someone outside Bell's part
(or perhaps inside Bell, but outside the Unix group), because the two came out
in the same tape.

Reading the notes about the upgrades (in particular, "newstuff.nr") makes it
seem like a more likely driver of _some_ of the changes was the Interdata port
(which was also happening at around the same time, if I have the timeline
correct). And of course some might have been driven by general utility (e.g.
the ability to initialize structures).

It would be interesting to see if anyone remembers why these changes were made.

   Noel


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