[TUHS] Dash options

Paul Ruizendaal pnr at planet.nl
Wed Nov 29 07:30:16 AEST 2017

> On Tue, Nov 28, 2017 at 2:36 PM, Paul Winalski <paul.winalski at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> MS/DOS patterned its command line
>> ​ ​
>> syntax after RT-11 and inherited the slash as a command option
>> introduction from there.
> ​Minor correction...   To do a CDC style patient zero history ;-) RT11 took
> it from DOS/8, CP/M took it from RT11, then finally DOS-86 which became
> PC-DOS ney MS/DOS took it from CP/M.

I think Gary Kildall was very much into the PDP-8 when teaching at the
Naval Post Graduate School in the early 70's (doing the FORTRAN/8 compiler
for instance). Can't find the link now, but I read somewhere that his
work with the 8008 and 8080 was guided by the idea of having a PDP-8 like
machine in his home office. For CP/M's command syntax RT11 probably did
not come into it. I just had a quick glance through the CP/M 1.4 - 2.2
manuals, and I did not see slash options (or any other option character).

Microsoft bought QDOS as a base for PC-DOS/MS-DOS. The QDOS system calls
were done such that converting existing 8080 CP/M code with Intel's source
level 8080-to-8086 asm converter would generate the correct code. The FAT
file system was modeled after the one used by MS Disk BASIC for the 8086.
Not sure where the QDOS command line came from, other than CP/M. MS did a
lot of its early development on a PDP-10: perhaps that was an inspiration

Sorry for getting off-Unix-topic...

More information about the TUHS mailing list