[TUHS] Origin year of BSD csh?

Clem Cole clemc at ccc.com
Mon Jun 27 05:41:19 AEST 2016

Interesting... Horton's timing sounds right because  I'm pretty sure we had
some sort of Berkeley shell @ before CMU had 2BSD on the v6++ systems in
1978 - (I have to ask him, Klone must have been the one that brought it
over to Mellon Institute ). I state that because I remember trying to play
with it as well as another hacked shell V6 (I think from Harvard) around
that time.  I was fascinated by the idea of being able to change the
default command system, which no other OS I was using I could do same
(TOPS*, VMS, TSS, Exec/8).   But I remember I didn't like some of choices
of the Berkeley shell's syntax and tended to avoid it/could not figure it
out.    Within a year or so V7 showed up there after with Bourne shell and
I was happy with that.

A few years later, I did switch to typing to the csh when I got to UCB, but
that was not until after the MIT job control stuff had been spliced into
the BSD kernel (Horton & Kleckner were probably the ones that convinced me
to learn it).  With job control I became a fan, but never warmed up to the
programming syntax.   I picked up the mantra that I still consider wise --
"type to Joy and program to Bourne."   This is comfortable for the ROMS in
the muscles of my fingers, but my scripts are portable.


PS To this day (like about a month ago), if I need to hack on my .login
script when I move sites (I have some site specific stuff in .login and
.profiles), I have to grab the cshell man page so I don't screw up the

On Sun, Jun 26, 2016 at 2:14 PM, Larry McVoy <lm at mcvoy.com> wrote:

> On Sun, Jun 26, 2016 at 09:30:39AM -0700, Mary Ann Horton wrote:
> > I brought csh with me to Bell Labs in the summer of 1979.  The folks at
> Bell
> > Labs recoiled in horror: they had just gone through a painful conversion
> > from the Mashey shell to the Bourne shell
> I used csh for a while before ksh became available.  It was an improvement
> over the Bourne shell, IMO, but once ksh came out I went back to Bourne
> shell syntax.  And now bash is pretty nice.
> --lm
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