[TUHS] Question

Clem Cole clemc at ccc.com
Tue Jan 5 00:11:26 AEST 2021

I also remember a program that was kicking around WH and MH called grope(1)
that IIRC used the algorithms in the code for the 411 operators.   Was that
related?  I do remember is that had a separate dictionary from spell and
ispell that was stored in /usr/lib/grope/[a-z]/mumble

On Mon, Jan 4, 2021 at 4:08 AM Rob Pike <robpike at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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.
> -rob
> 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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