[TUHS] etymology of cron

Norman Wilson norman at oclsc.org
Wed Dec 23 23:36:03 AEST 2015

John Cowan:

  Wikipedia is by nature a *summary of the published literature*.  If you
  want to get some folklore, like what "cron" stands for, into Wikipedia,
  then publish a folklore article in a journal, book, or similar reputable
  publication.  Random uncontrolled mailing lists simply do not count.


That sounds fair enough on the surface.

But if you follow the references cited to support the cron
acronyms, you find that random unsupported assertions in
conference papers do count.  That's not a lot better.

I'd like to see a published, citable reference for the
true origin of `cron'.  Even better, better published
material for a lot of the charming minutiae of the early
days of UNIX.  (Anyone feel up to interviewing Doug and
Ken and Brian and whoever else is left, and writing it up
for publication in ;login:?)

But I'd be satisfied if we could somehow stamp out the
use of spurious references to support spurious claims.
If I had the time and energy I'd look into how to challenge
the cron acronyms on those grounds.  Any volunteers?

Norman Wilson
Toronto ON

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