[TUHS] earliest Unix roff

Clem Cole clemc at ccc.com
Sat Sep 14 08:55:24 AEST 2019

Thanks.  So we have a date that explains the pdp-11 assembler version - it
was there at v1.

On Fri, Sep 13, 2019 at 6:14 PM Warren Toomey <wkt at tuhs.org> wrote:

> On Fri, Sep 13, 2019 at 05:45:51PM -0400, Clem Cole wrote:
> >    It does leave us an interesting question, when did the original
> roff(1)
> >    show up and when did nroff(1).  The original, roff(1), was early, and
> >    of course not until after the original PDP-11/20 port.  But was it as
> >    early as first edition?   roff was the first formatting program.
> nroff
> >    replaced it later on, although roff lived through the 6th edition (I
> do
> >    not believe it is on the v7 tape).
> There was a roff on PDP-7 Unix:
>     By the spring of 1971, it was generally agreed that no one had the
>     slightest interest in scrapping Unix. Therefore, we transliterated
>     the roff text formatter into PDP-11 assembler language, starting from
>     the PDP-7 version that had been transliterated from McIlroy’s BCPL
>     version on Multics, which had in turn been inspired by J. Saltzer’s
>     runoff program on CTSS.
> From "The Evolution of the Unix Time-sharing System"
> http://www.read.seas.harvard.edu/~kohler/class/aosref/ritchie84evolution.pdf
> Cheers, Warren
Sent from a handheld expect more typos than usual
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