[TUHS] etymology of cron

Marc Rochkind rochkind at basepath.com
Sat Dec 26 02:21:55 AEST 2015

Got into this thread very late.

Some of the posts seem to assume that Wikipedia has some sort editing
oversight. I think of it as a collection of people. Somebody said that a
better source was needed, but that's just his or her opinion. It doesn't
mean that Wikipedia as an organization has rejected or dismissed the text
in question.

Anyway, I edited the article to reflect what I always knew and what
apparently Ken has actually confirmed. The acronym is ridiculous. One might
as well say that "cat" stands for "communicate as text" or that "ls" stands
for "label status". ;-)

Someone may back out my change, true, but then I can just put it in again.
I've been involved in these back-and-forths before, and in the past they
usually settled down after a while.

We'll see what happens.


On Thu, Dec 24, 2015 at 5:52 PM, <scj at yaccman.com> wrote:

> This has been a somewhat bizarre and troubling thread, all in all.
> Would anybody want to discuss the origin of 'ls'?   Or 'at'?
> Steve
> PS: (that was NOT a serious suggestion!)
> > On Thursday, 24 December 2015 at 10:17:53 -0500, John Cowan wrote:
> >> Clem Cole scripsit:
> >>
> >>> Rik in his role as the editor of ;login is going to try work with Doug
> >>> and
> >>> to get something "published" into the next edition which should satisfy
> >>> the
> >>> Wikipedia folks.   There is a minor issue is that Rik is technically
> >>> past
> >>> the deadline but due to the holiday, there are a few days of grace that
> >>> the
> >>> workers putting the issue together have said they will thankfully try
> >>> to
> >>> handle.
> >>>
> >>> So maybe we can have get this fixed shortly.
> >>
> >> I don't think so.  Is ;login: a peer-reviewed journal?  It doesn't
> >> look like it to me.
> >
> > One of the original references was from the proceedings of an AUUG
> > conference.  From personal experience I can confirm that the level of
> > review for the conferences fell far short of what USENIX did.
> >
> >> Still, the current state says:
> >>
> >>     The origin of the name cron is from the Greek word for
> >>     time, ???????????? (chronos), according to its author Ken
> >>     Thompson[2][better source needed]. Others have suggested that the
> >>     name comes from the Greek God Chronos[3] or that it is an acronym
> >>     for "Command Run On Notice"[4] or "Commands Run Over Night",[5]
> >>     but the references lack substantiation.
> >>
> >> Even if someone is still grumbling on the talk page, that doesn't
> >> substantially misrepresent anything that I can see.
> >
> > Yes, that last sentence was my update.  As I mentioned in an earlier
> > message, I think that it's appropriate that it should stay, if only to
> > stop people making the claim again in a more forceful manner.
> >
> > But it would be nice to be able to remove the [better source needed].
> > It seems that there's only one person objecting to the changes.  I've
> > asked him on the talk page what he really wants.
> >
> > Greg
> > --
> > Sent from my desktop computer.
> > Finger grog at FreeBSD.org for PGP public key.
> > See complete headers for address and phone numbers.
> > This message is digitally signed.  If your Microsoft MUA reports
> > problems, please read http://tinyurl.com/broken-mua
> >
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