[TUHS] V9 shell [was Re: Warner's Early Unix Presentation]

Dan Cross crossd at gmail.com
Wed Feb 12 03:36:03 AEST 2020

On Tue, Feb 11, 2020 at 4:59 AM Rob Pike <robpike at gmail.com> wrote:

> My general mood about the current standard way of nerd working is how
> unimaginative and old-fashioned it feels. There are countless ways we could
> be interacting with our terminals, editors, and shells while we program,
> but for various sociological and historical reasons we're pretty much using
> one from decades ago. I'm sure it's productive for almost everyone, but it
> seems dull to me. We could be doing something much more dynamic. I mean,
> xterm is hardly more sophisticated than the lame terminal code that ran in
> mpx (ca. 1982), other than colors and cursor addressing, which date from
> the 1960s via early PCs. IDEs don't sing to me, although they are powerful,
> because they don't integrate well with the environment, only with the
> language. And they are just lots of features, not a coherent vision. No
> model to speak of.

> Compare what happened with our shell windows with what happened with our
> "smart" phones in the last 20 years and you'll get some inkling of what I
> think we're missing. It's not that we should program the way we use
> iPhones, but that there are fields where user interface work has made a
> real different recently. Not so in programming, though. We're missing out.

What do you think of thinks like Jupyter or Lighttable?  The early demos
for the latter, I thought, were particularly compelling (though sadly the
current implementation seems like much more of a traditional text editor
and far removed from the original vision). Compare
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H58-n7uldoU to

But I'm a grumpy old man and getting far off topic. Warren should cry,
> "enough!".

One of the reasons we study history is to understand the present and inform
our decisions for the future. Personally, I enjoy these sorts of
explorations of where we might have done things differently.

        - Dan C.
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