[TUHS] Question

Rob Pike robpike at gmail.com
Mon Jan 4 19:07:43 AEST 2021

That was done by Tom Duff, I believe before he came to Bell Labs. I might
have brought the idea with me from Toronto. The code, or at least a simple
version of it, is in The Unix Programming Environment starting around page
208. We credit Tom in the endnotes for the chapter.


On Mon, Jan 4, 2021 at 8:00 PM Ed Bradford <egbegb2 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Thank you for responding. My recollection is that one of your
> folks put the spelling corrector into the shell so when I typed
> the wrong letters for a directory or file, the spelling correct
> would help. It was particularly noticible in the "chdir - cd" shell
> command. Do you recall any such person and if so, did he (and it
> was a he) use Peter's work?
> There was a distance algorithm that was far better than anything I've seen
> since. Yes, please send me Peter's contact information.
> I am
> Ed Bradford, Ph.D. Physics, retired from IBM
> Pflugerville,TX
> egbegb2 at gmail.com
> PS: We chatted sometime in 1980 or so about
> adding database capabilities to the interactive
> environment. I was interested in adding it to
> the Bourne Shell at the time.
> On Sun, Jan 3, 2021 at 2:23 PM M Douglas McIlroy <
> m.douglas.mcilroy at dartmouth.edu> wrote:
>> > I was a BTL person for 8 years between 1976 and 1984. During
>> > that time there was a spelling corrector that was better than
>> > anything I see today. There was a concept of "spelling distance"
>> > that corrected a whole bunch of stuff that even today cannot be >
>> corrected.
>> > Who in that era worked on spelling correction at BTL. I was at
>> > Columbus BTL (1976-1979) and Whippany BTL (1979-1984).
>> Peter Nelson made an interface to spell(1) that showed putative errors in
>> context. I believe it could suggest corrections. I remember the project; I
>> installed hooks for it in spell(1). I don't remember the date, but it would
>> probably not have been early enough for you to have used it in Columbus.
>> If there's a chance that Peter's program is the one you remember
>> and you'd like to get in touch with him, I can give you his
>> email address.
>> Doug
> --
> Advice is judged by results, not by intentions.
>   Cicero
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