[TUHS] etymology of cron

John Cowan cowan at mercury.ccil.org
Thu Dec 24 02:04:36 AEST 2015

Norman Wilson scripsit:

> 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.

Well, of course there are conferences and there are conferences.  The
only conference I've ever had a paper published at, Balisage, is as
peer-reviewed as any journal.  (And it is gold open access and doesn't
charge for pages -- the storage costs are absorbed as conference overhead.)

> 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:?)

It can't be just raw oral history, though, or it's a primary source again.
People's memories *are* fallible.  It's got to to be legitimate historical

> But I'd be satisfied if we could somehow stamp out the use of spurious
> references to support spurious claims.

I suppose you could get the original author(s) to print a retraction.

John Cowan          http://www.ccil.org/~cowan        cowan at ccil.org
If [Tim Berners-Lee] has seen farther than others,
        it is because he is standing on a stack of dwarves.  --Mike Champion

More information about the TUHS mailing list