[TUHS] Bourne shell and comments

arnold at skeeve.com arnold at skeeve.com
Fri Apr 21 13:28:06 AEST 2017

Clem Cole <clemc at ccc.com> wrote:

> below...
> On Tue, Apr 18, 2017 at 4:51 PM, Ron Natalie <ron at ronnatalie.com> wrote:
> > I believe the Berkeley #! magic number came first.
> That's right.... the #!path syntax was BSDism that went main stream
> because of its usefulness with "little languages" not just the shell.
>  I'd have to check the tapes but it may have gone back as far as the
> original BSD ~77/78 - Ken would have brought it back after his sabbatical
> (or not - he would have seen it).

I thought it was pretty well established that DMR invented it and
told the UCB guys about it? There's an email in the archives from
him, too.

Dr. McIlroy? Can you clarify?

> The # was nod to the # being the first characters of the C program to say
> to use the preprocessor; but I've forgotten why the bang was added before
> the path.    It could have been almost anything.

Perhaps reminiscent of the '!' escape to shell in ed and maybe
some other interactive programs of the time?  That's purely a guess
on my part.

My two cents,


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