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

Christopher Browne cbbrowne at gmail.com
Wed Feb 12 04:35:07 AEST 2020

On Tue, 11 Feb 2020 at 05:00, 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.
> But I'm a grumpy old man and getting far off topic. Warren should cry,
> "enough!".

I recently saw indication that the UI for Sam and Acme were inspired by
Oberon.  (And per url [1] below, Rob Pike is quoted, sort of...)

I'd be interested (and I think that's a TUHS thing ;-) ) in hearing some
elaboration on that.  All that is said is that "Rob was blown away" and
that this "influenced" Sam/Acme; is there some further explanation of that
worth pointing at?  (Or are some Oberon fans putting words in mouths?  ;-) )

[1] https://lists.inf.ethz.ch/pipermail/oberon/2011/006245.html
When confronted by a difficult problem, solve it by reducing it to the
question, "How would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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