[TUHS] Unix taste (Re: terminal - just for fun)

Norman Wilson norman at oclsc.org
Thu Aug 7 08:24:31 AEST 2014

Davwe Horsfall:

  I was surprised when "chdir" became "cd", but I suppose it fits the 
  philosophy of 2-letter commands.


Don't forget that the original spelling, in the PDP-7 UNIX that
had no published manual, was ch.

The 1/e manual spells it chdir.  I remember that in one of
Dennis's retrospective papers, he remarks on the change, and
says he can't remember why.

I once asked in the UNIX room if anyone could recall why ch
changed to chdir.  Someone, I forget who, suggested it was
because the working directory was the only thing that could
be changed: no chmod or chown in the PDP-7 days.  I don't know
whether that's true.

Norman Wilson
Toronto ON

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