[TUHS] Unix stories, Stephen Bourne and IF-FI in C code

Steve Johnson scj at yaccman.com
Mon Jan 9 13:31:18 AEST 2017

I wasn't directly involved in this, but I do remember Dennis telling
me essentially the same story.  I don't recall him mentioning Ken's
name, just that "we couldn't use _od_ because that was already taken".

Steve B and I had adjacent offices, so I overheard a lot of the
discussions about the Bourne shell.  The quoting mechanisms, in
particular, got a lot of attention, I think to good end.  There was a
lot more thought there than is evident from the surface...

Steve (not Bourne)

----- Original Message -----
From: "Norman Wilson" <norman at oclsc.org>
To:<tuhs at tuhs.org>
Sent:Sun, 08 Jan 2017 21:30:03 -0500
Subject:Re: [TUHS] Unix stories, Stephen Bourne and IF-FI in C code

 Doug McIlroy:

 There was some pushback which resulted in the strange compromise
 of if-fi, case-esac, do-done. Alas, the details have slipped from
 memory. Help, scj?


 do-od would have required renaming the long-tenured od(1).

 I remember a tale--possibly chat in the UNIX Room at one point in
 the latter 1980s--that Steve tried and tried and tried to convince
 Ken to rename od, in the name of symmetry and elegance. Ken simply
 said no, as many times as it took. I don't remember who I heard this
 from; anyone still in touch with Ken who can ask him?

 Norman Wilson
 Toronto ON

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