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

Marc Rochkind rochkind at basepath.com
Tue Jan 10 01:30:58 AEST 2017

Just a quick note about Algol vs. Algol 68: The two are used
interchangeably (it seems) in this thread, but they're very different
languages, with very different control structures. Someone mentioned he had
studied Algol in school, which is plausible. If he in fact studied Algol
68, that's worth a story in its own right!

[Whoops... forgot to properly terminate that last sentence.]



On Sun, Jan 8, 2017 at 8:31 PM, Steve Johnson <scj at yaccman.com> wrote:

> 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>
> Cc:
> 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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