[TUHS] Bourne shell and comments

Bakul Shah bakul at bitblocks.com
Fri Apr 21 13:43:31 AEST 2017

From the horse’s mouth (as per https://www.talisman.org/~erlkonig/documents/dennis-ritchie-and-hash-bang.shtml ):

From: "Ritchie, Dennis M (Dennis)** CTR **" <dmr at research.bell-labs.com>
To: <erlĸonigⓐtαlismαn.org>

Date: Thu, 19 Nov 2009 18:37:37 -0600
Subject: RE: What do -you- call your #!<something> line?

 I can't recall that we ever gave it a proper name.
It was pretty late that it went in--I think that I
got the idea from someone at one of the UCB conferences
on Berkeley Unix; I may have been one of the first to
actually install it, but it was an idea that I got
from elsewhere.

As for the name: probably something descriptive like
"hash-bang" though this has a specifically British flavor, but
in any event I don't recall particularly using a pet name
for the construction.


[Sorry about the html]

> On Apr 20, 2017, at 8:28 PM, arnold at skeeve.com wrote:
> 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,
> Arnold

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