[TUHS] pre-more pager?

Random832 random832 at fastmail.com
Thu Nov 9 05:22:44 AEST 2017


On Wed, Nov 8, 2017, at 13:54, Will Senn wrote:
> In the meantime, how did folks page through text like man sh and such
> before more? I know how to view sections of text using sed and ed's ok
> for paging file text (painful, but workable). I just can't seem to locate
> the idiomatic way of keeping everything from constantly scrolling out of
> view! Obviously, this isn't a problem on my mac as terminal works fine,
> but I like to try to stay in character as a 1970 time traveling unix user
> :).

Well, in the beginning, there was paper. You didn't need to "page"
because you had actual pages you could hold in your hand (if not the
manual typeset as an actual book, then the printed output from the
teletype). The utility of a 'pager' as such came from the proliferation
of CRT terminals. To that extent, using the scroll bar in your terminal
to imagine you're going through a roll (well, it was actually fanfold
AIUI) of paper may actually be more "in character" than installing a
pager.

The earliest (mainline BSD, anyway, SRI-NOSC "pg" is dated earlier)
pager in the archives is "cr3" in 1BSD - it alludes to the existence of
an earlier kernel hack with the same effect (enabled, according to
legend, by setting the CR delay in the tty line discipline to mode 3
i.e. "stty cr3").

There are also four different programs in the archive called "pg", all
for the same purpose, that appear otherwise unrelated to each other. The
OpenSolaris one comes from some version of System V, which is the one
that the one available on modern-day Linux is a clone of - the others
are of far earlier vintage. Other programs include "more" (naturally)
from  3BSD, and "p" (which is very minimalistic, despite using a few
V8-specific library features, but V8 isn't in the web-accessible source
archive) from Version 8 research unix.

Some of these are for V7 or V6 contemporary PDP-11 Unixes, and most of
them are far simpler than more so you should have little difficulty
getting them working anyway.

Links:
http://minnie.tuhs.org/cgi-bin/utree.pl?file=1BSD/s6/cr3.c
http://minnie.tuhs.org/cgi-bin/utree.pl?file=2BSD/src/cr3.c
http://minnie.tuhs.org/cgi-bin/utree.pl?file=2.9BSD/usr/src/ucb/more.c
http://minnie.tuhs.org/cgi-bin/utree.pl?file=32V/usr/src/cmd/pg.c
http://minnie.tuhs.org/cgi-bin/utree.pl?file=AUSAM/source/S/pg.c
(apparently unrelated to the 32V version)
http://minnie.tuhs.org/cgi-bin/utree.pl?file=SRI-NOSC/s2/pg.c
http://minnie.tuhs.org/cgi-bin/utree.pl?file=OpenSolaris_b135/cmd/pg/pg.c

https://danhalbert.org/more.html - mentions cr3


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