[TUHS] Slashes (was: MS-DOS)

Steffen Nurpmeso steffen at sdaoden.eu
Sat Jul 9 02:27:04 AEST 2016


Clem Cole <clemc at ccc.com> wrote:
 |On Fri, Jul 8, 2016 at 7:09 AM, Steffen Nurpmeso <[1]steffen at sdaoden.\
 |eu[/1]> wrote:
 |...and that actually makes me wonder why the engineers that
 |created what became POSIX preferred slash instead
 |I can not speak for anyone else.   But at the time when I was a part \
 |of the /usr/group UNIX standards** mtgs  I personally do not believe \
 |I had ever 
 |heard of the term "solidus." Such a term maybe had been used in my fi\
 |rst form Latin classes from the 1960s, but by the 1980s  I had long a\
 |go forgotten 
 |any/all of my Latin.  I certainly did not try to remember it as a com\
 |puter professional.

Of course.  It doesn't even sound friendlier with its origins in
the Roman culture, as a name for money.  I wasn't consciously
aware of this once i've responded.

 |In those days many of us, including me, did (and still do) refer to t\
 |he asterisk as "splat" and the exclamation point as "bang"  from the \
 |sound made by 
 |them when they printed yellow oiled paper @ 10 cps from the console T\
 |TY.  But slash was what we called the character that is now next to t\

That is something to remind.  The standard has two occurrences of
bang, in the shell syntax and for the Mail variable of the same name.
And yes, young, brilliant and highly educated men and women
explore new worlds.  So splat makes a lot of sense.

If seen from this angle it is even less enjoyable that Linguists
put more prominence on the correlation of slash and solidus.

 |he shift key 
 |on modern keyboards.   I do not remember ever using, much less needed\
 | to refer to, the character "back slash" until the unfortunate crap t\
 |hat the folks 
 |in Redmond forced on the industry.   Although interestingly enough, t\

You mean the word?  We don't have a word for this character in
German, as far as i know.  (But you surely used it for \n \t etc.)

 |he vertical bar or UNIX "pipe" symbol was used and discussed freely i\
 |n those days. 
 |  I find it interesting that Redmond-ism became the unshifted charact\
 |er, not the vertical bar by the shear force of economics of the PC.

This sentence prevented work and caused an interesting journey via
Wikipedia.  I am looking at a DEC VT52, from before Microsoft.
(I really like my current Apple (US) keyboard, after say twenty
years of sorrow in which i couldn't forget the robust metal
i think IBM keyboards that the administrators of the insurance my
father worked at used in their two-skyscraper-floors bunker.)


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