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The Top UNIX Moments of the Century

Roblimo posted more than 14 years ago | from the gearing-up-for-the-next-millenium dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 200

jyang writes " Performance Computing has this December article: 'The world might seem to run on UNIX, but it wasn't always so. Readers opine on the best moments of everyone's favorite OS.'" Well, among all those "end of the century" lists, we finally found a worthwhile one. ;-)

cancel ×

200 comments

The day Netscape switched to the open-source model (1)

antizeus (47491) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565144)

... did they?!?

Where can I get a tarball for Netscape?

I'm not a frustrated individual, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1565145)

greatest moments in Unix history??? come on! I might have to bash some of you geeks... just keep your shotguns at bay, and leave the the white makeup and black coats at home.

K&R C? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1565146)

Where's K&R C?

Re:The day Netscape switched to the open-source mo (1)

dr (93364) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565147)

Where can I get a tarball for Netscape?

Man, you been living in a box lately or what? :) Go to http://www.mozilla.org [mozilla.org] ...

No snappy subject :( (2)

Indomitus (578) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565148)

I was surprised not to see K&R C on the list (they mentioned when Ken Thompson's mom met his dad though) although I thought it was pretty complete. The fact that mentioned the change from ^ to | as pipe impressed the hell out of me.

It also makes you think about Richard Stallman's contribution to computing to see that like 5 things on the list are his direct doing.

umm... (3)

ywwg (20925) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565149)

Is it just me or was the following entry missing:
* Linus Torvalds uploads the linux kernel

I mean really, that's a given!

More great moments... (2)

bakes (87194) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565150)

What about...
  • WINE frees us all from Windows
  • SAMBA frees us from NT
  • Doom ported to Linux
  • The Berkeley 'r' commands
...and too many others to mention

bakes
--

Re:The day Netscape switched to the open-source mo (1)

Lonesmurf (88531) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565151)

technically, you can't. since the tarball at Mozilla.org is for MOZILLA.

--

CLI/Shell (2)

Detritus (11846) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565152)

When I started using V7 UNIX there were several things that were new and nice.

1. The CLI (command language interpreter) was a separate, user-mode program that could be easily replaced. I was used to DEC operating systems where the CLI was an integral part of the operating system, sort of like the baby alien that attachs to your face in the movie Alien. It couldn't be removed without major surgery on the OS and its tentacles were firmly embedded in the kernel.

2. The shell didn't hardwire the command set like most CLIs of the day. You didn't have to modify the shell to add new commands, just write a new user-mode program. The shell was light on command line policy, leaving most things up to the interpretation of the user program.

Greatest moment? The release of Edition 7. (5)

edhall (10025) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565153)

Research Unix Edition 7 was released in 1978, and included:

  • The Bourne Shell, the first shell that was a programming language in its own right.
  • Environment variables (this was an OS enhancement, not just the shell features supporting it).
  • UUCP--the Unix/Unix Copy Program. This brought networking, email, and (a bit later) news to the masses. This feature literally changed the world.
  • File systems larger than 32MB. Unix was no longer a toy.
  • Lint, along with system sources that actually passed it (no more "register *p" for generic pointers everywhere). C was forever improved by this step, since many people learned to program in it from reading kernel sources (just like Linux programmers do today).
  • 32V, the port to the VAX--this was the ancestor of 3.x and 4.x BSD. (The 2.x BSD's ran on PDP-11's, and for a time were developed in parallel.)
  • And so on...
This was the version that got Unix started at many Universities. It was also the last version of Research Unix to make it out of Bell Labs into general distribution for research and educational use. One can only wonder what we would have seen had AT&T not decided to squeeze money out of it, locking away further Research Editions.
-Ed

best linux moment (0)

skank (106609) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565154)

is when i istalled it on my machine!!

They forgot one (1)

jfunk (33224) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565155)

The day Microsoft got out of the OS arena...

Ahh, that takes me back.. or is it forwards? With time travel you never can tell.

Apollywoggies to the Doctor...

Re:The day Netscape switched to the open-source mo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1565156)

That's right, you can't get a tarball of Netscape, since they're not software, they're a division of AOL. Technically, you are correct. BTW, regardless of what it's marketed as, "Netscape Navigator" has always been Mozilla.

Hamilton Group? (1)

Lonesmurf (88531) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565157)

"The announcement of the Hamilton Group, which begat OS/F, which killed UNIX's viability as a commercial desktop"

Ok, call me a dunce.. but what is the Hamilton group, and when did they make this announcement?

Funny, i kinda thought that *I* was running UNIX on my desktop.

--

Issues with some of their "moments" (2)

dr (93364) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565158)

The day Microsoft released Internet Explorer for Solaris

I fail to see why this is a top moment in Unix history. If anything, this is a downfall, as as far as I'm concerned, the last thing we need running on unix platforms is Microsoft software.

Netscape's introduction of an integrated mail, news, and browser application

I can't say I'm too much of a fan of this one either, at least not the way it's implemented. While I use Communicator for browsing and Mail under RH6.1, I hate the fact that whenever one function (mail or browser) locks up/crashes, the other does too. I think you could have the two as separate applications that were still tightly integrated.

Re:The day Netscape switched to the open-source mo (1)

Lonesmurf (88531) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565159)

I know. Originally, when NSCP/AOL was still Mosiac, they were trying to find out what to call the new Unix client that they were developing. JWZ prompted 'Mozilla'.. and the rest is history.

But!.. leave it up to marketing shmo-heads to screw everything up.

You can't get a tarball of Navigator or communnicator as far as i know...

--

Someone *does* remember :) (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1565160)

AT&T SVR4 and the Amiga?! 1991: The release of SystemVR4 was a major stage in the growth of UNIX. But a little-known fact about the start of this industry paradigm shift was that the very first platform to receive the AT&T port of this innovative and powerfully stable pillar of UNIX was the Commodore Amiga3000(UX)!

I can't beleive it - I can't beleive it!

Someone *does* remember this - it's amazing :)

I still remember the day when all those crappy newspapers called the A3000UX a 'miss of the decade'. Like "Who is going to use UNIX anyway?!". Indeed, it didn't make a lot of success, but Amiga was *always* way ahead of its time.

Re:K&R C? (1)

jwilloug (6402) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565161)

Where's K&R C?

They mention both AT&T's compiler, which I would assume is the first. Someone corrct if I'm wrong...

Re:Issues with some of their "moments" (0)

Kamikaze (3777) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565162)

I'd rather use IE than netscape, but I'll be damned if I sacrifice the yummy unix goodness of my box for it.

gcc? emacs? (1)

jwilloug (6402) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565163)

Amazing how many of them mention free software and the FSF. I mean, GNU is not UNIX, right?

That fateful night (1)

Spiff T (17065) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565164)

What about the night that Bill Joy wrote first versions of a large portion of the unix network utilites.

There's still time... (2)

pb (1020) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565165)

We've got almost 40 years until the end of time as we know it. (or until 64-bit Unix, whichever comes first.)

However... kudos to BSD for developing Unix to what we have today, and the same to the Linux community, for continuing to develop it, and spread the gospel. :)

I think I'm continually impressed with how Unix takes a more open and general approach to everything, and makes life easier in the end.

Like how directories and even hardware devices are files, networking transparency is inherent in X (even if it took me a while to figure that out :), having different widget sets and window managers available, or having a free compiler and a useful toolset...

Truly, if I hadn't found Unix, I would have been doomed to reinvent it. Probably starting with DOS. Ewww....
---
pb Reply rather than vaguely moderate me.

FORTRAN based UNIX? (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1565166)

I just don't understand why everything has to be written in C. Why don't they write a Fortran based OS ? Surely with Fortran's superior mathematical operations it would kill C-written UNIX. Someone should rewrite UNIX in FORTRAN.

That doesn't mean.. (1)

Kitsune Sushi (87987) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565167)

..that the work done by the FSF to construct GNU and further the efforts of free software didn't inadvertantly help Unix at the same time. Many Unices use GNU software packages. I can barely remember the last time I used a Korn, C, or plain old Bourne shell (not that there aren't others that aren't GPL'ed).

Those were great moments for both GNU and Unix, strange as that may sound.

Re:gcc? emacs? (2)

Penrif (33473) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565168)

Well, of course GNU is Not UNIX, but it's impossible to talk about the history of UNIX without talking about GNU tools. What would UNIX be without them? Well, it would seem to me that the folks whom are good at writing OS stuff would have to write tools for their OS, taking them away from working on their OS. #include "GNU.h" OS people say "Hey, this kicks butt! We can go back to work on our OS now!" OS subsiquantly gets better, but relys on GNU tools for that part of it. Hence GNU and the FSF are integral in the history of UNIX, hence why there's in that list. Q.E.D.

Re:FORTRAN based UNIX? (1)

Detritus (11846) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565169)

I believe the first operating system for the Cray (CTSS?) was written in FORTRAN. It was later replaced with UNICOS (Cray Unix).

Machines (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1565170)

Why recreate Unix? Unix is a monster because of a New Jersey mentality and of course because it's a C derivative, too.

Unix workstations could be called `C machines', in the same way as LispMs.

But I don't think it would make much sense having FORTRAN machines, except where you get bitten by the bugs on your C-based system.

If I remember correctly, there was FORTRAN for Symbolics lispms, but I don't know how friendly it was for calling Lisp routines from FORTRAN. There was indeed a C compiler, and X11 (but no Motif. You can use Motif from Lisp via a CLM server running on a Unix workstation).

BTW, Lisp is the only language besides C that has its own native X library (the equivalent of Xlib).
It's way nicer, of course, having all that macro machinery at your disposal.
If you need compatibility with C widget sets, you don't go through it, you use the C Xlib (directly and/or indirectly via Xt, GTK, etc.)

Re:umm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1565171)

Spot on! Cant believe they left that out.

Three I would have added... (1)

mev (36558) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565172)

(1) Creation and adoption of x10 window software
(2) PCC, the portable C compiler
(3) Berkeley networking

Don't know precise events to attach to each, but all seem to have significant impact.

Re:FORTRAN based UNIX? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1565173)

have you ever programmed in FORTRAN? what does mathematical efficiency have to do with low level input/output and hardware control? and if you're concerned with speed why not just use assembly language of the machine you are on? and doesn't this all depend on the optimizations done by the compiler? C is not necessarily slower than FORTRAN. remember languages are just symbolic representations of how to do something :) if you really want to increase the efficiency of your program the best way to so is to get a more efficient programmer.

Re:Hamilton Group? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1565174)

No. YOu are probably running Linux, which is not Unix(tm)

Re:umm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1565175)

Sorry to be technical but strictly speaking Linux aint a unix ;-)

Man page joke... (1)

Mr Windows (91218) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565176)

Reading the HP-UX fsck manual page and finding a joke (the only one I know f in the standard reference docs): "You can tune a filesystem but you can't tuna fish"
Actually, that's the tunefs man page...

Re:Issues with some of their "moments" (2)

Bill Currie (487) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565177)

the last thing we need running on unix platforms is Microsoft software
Have you ever watched the bootup of a commercial unix? Stratus (Ascend, Lucent, whatever), FTX has this most disconcerting copyright message: something like Copyright [some yesr range, I'm not about to boot it just to find out] Microsoft.... Apearently, most commercial unixen have some xenix code in them now.

I don't know how I'll react if I ever see a Microsoft copyright during a Linux boot, probably scream. But then again, if it's in the official kernel, that means that Linus accepted the patch and the code must be of tolerable quality. In that case, I'll be impressed: good quality code out of the king of if it compiles, ship it.

Re: Machines (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1565178)

"Unix is a monster because of New Jersey mentality and of course because it's a C derivative, too." mind explaining what that means? i have no idea what you are implying by "monster" or what "New Jersey mentality" is. maybe i'm just dense, but the sentence is intriguing and i don't have the slightest clue what it means :) also how is unix a C derivative? they both came about at roughly the same time (Unix a little before hand) and very much influenced the evolution of one another, but neither one derived from the other. unix came from multics and C came from B and BCPL. I don't think a Unix workstation can be a 'C machine' in the same sense that lisp machines are lisp machines. i mean real lisp machines are hardware designed to run lisp code quickly and efficiently. as far as i know nobody set out to design a "C machine" that runs C code well. it is the job of the compiler to make sure that C runs well. as C is a very general, low level language, it usually does run well as it is more easily translated into machine code than Lisp. sorry if i sound nit-picky, mainly i was just curious as to what your second sentence means.

Re:umm... (1)

sien (35268) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565179)

Why isn't it ??

Re:FORTRAN based UNIX? (4)

Repton (60818) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565180)

Someone should rewrite UNIX in FORTRAN.

Too right. It's time the Real Programmers [monash.edu.au] reclaimed UN*X from the quiche eaters. Recently, the trend has been to make UN*X easy to use. The 'people' behind this abomination seem not to realise: if we do this, people will use it!

It is clear that steps must be taken. In addition to rewriting UN*X in FORTRAN, I propose additional measures:

  • All UN*X program names to be shortened to 6 characters or less, by arbitrary removal of letters. Obscurity is a plus.
  • UN*X shell to be rewritten: Shell programming is now done in INTERCAL [tuxedo.org] . (it goes without saying that we rm -rf the entire X source tree)
  • The only editor available will be TECO [tuxedo.org] (although I suppose ed may be appropriate also).

It is only through measures such as these that UN*X can return to its glory days.

Fight the good fight, gentlemen.

Remeber: If you can't do it in FORTRAN, do it in assembly language. If you can't do it in assembly language, it isn't worth doing.

--
Repton.

Re:umm... (2)

Bill Currie (487) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565181)

Because Linux Is Not UniX.

Like all great names, Linux is actually a recursive acronym.

Re:They forgot one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1565182)

History recalls that Microsoft left the OS arena in 1990.

Yeah... It's a real bummer to be stuck moving forwards in time. You don't get to relive those special moments.

Re: Machines (1)

Detritus (11846) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565183)

BBN built a computer called the "C machine". It had a strange word size and was designed to run C code quickly.

AT&T designed the CRISP microprocessor to efficiently run C programs.

Western Digital made a CPU from the original LSI-11 chip set that directly executed p-code (UCSD p-System Pascal pseudocode).

I have a vague memory of a FORTRAN machine, I don't remember who built it.

Re:FORTRAN based UNIX? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1565184)

Dude, Or do you think Visual Cobal ++ is better too ?????. Man Fortran didnt have thats functionality that C has, and you try and intergrate asm code (which you need for driver development) with Fortran.

1976 (I think) (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1565185)

John Lions writes his commentery on V6 for his CS class.

A few other people find it useful. ;-)

Looks like a duck, quacks like a duck... (1)

jajuka (75616) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565186)

We all know Gnu's Not Unix and neither is Linux, but come on, that's just a little fun with the lawyers. Unix wouldnt be unix without GNU tools and for most intents and purposes, Linux is close enuf.

There are old school Unix people who are reluctant to let a Linux box into their server room. The best thing that can be done to win these people over is to point out that legalisms aside, GNU/Linux IS Unix. :) Their skillsets apply with next to no learning curve.

Re:FORTRAN based UNIX? (1)

Mr Windows (91218) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565187)

Why don't they write a Fortran based OS ?
Because FORTRAN is (rather `should be') dead.

INTERCAL, OTOH, is not. It's about time the INTERCAL users of the world had an operating system embodying the same concepts, in the same way that (early versions, at least) of UNIX embodied C concepts (or was that vice versa?).

Just think, a shell with INTERCAL syntax; that'd be a start :)

Re:umm... (3)

BrianH (13460) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565188)

I personally consider it an excercise in semantics to argue this point, but technically he's correct in saying that Linux is not UNIX.

UNIX was originally developed in the 70's under the auspices of AT&T Bell Labs. Because of that, AT&T owns the rights to Unix and it's direct derivatives, and receives a royalty for each true Unix sold (and no, it probably won't ever be GPL'd).

In the early 90's, Linus Torvalds was working with a Unix derivative known as Minix, when he began working on what became Linux. He did that for two reasons: A) Minix is not free and couldn't be redistributed. B) He thought he could do a "better" job than the Minix developers had. Now, here's where the important difference between Linux and UNIX comes in. Linus couldn't use the source from UNIX to develop Linux or he'd have been forced to pay royalties (and Linux would not be free). What he did instead was write his OS so that it would be very similar, and yet not infringe on any copyrights. Because Linux uses no UNIX code, and yet is so similar to UNIX, it's proper designation is as a "UNIX clone". Nevertheless, it should also be pointed out that there are quite a few differences between Linux and the commercial Unixes, a fact I personally learned the hard way after scamming my way into a Unix administration job based on my knowledge of Linux. While I wasn't exactly lost, it was definitely "different" (AIX, in case you're wondering).

The Top foo moments of the Century (2)

The Happy Disciple (12824) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565189)

It is not amazingly surprising to see Richard Stallman feature so prominently on this list. Not because he has done so much for UN*X (or so little, for that matter), but because People Know Richard Stallman. They know his name, he has featured prominently in the media in the last couple of years, and projects his name is (still) attached to are doing well.

As to his contribution to UN*X? I have no idea. I'm a newcomer to the wonderful world of SunOS, HP-UX, Solaris, *BSD and linux, I did my first man man in '93, I had my first root in '96, and I feel a lot of the Big Things In UN*X (tm) happened before my time.

I think it is a fundamental thing with these kind of lists that they pretty much always overvalue recent contributions/songs/films/ice-cream flavours, at the expense of older ones. A lot of people only catch on later, and will not remember the first tottering steps, the first breakthroughs, because they simply weren't there yet. They will go for the more recent accomplishments, the things they *did* witness.

So, lists like this are fun, and interesting, but I have my doubts as to their value for actually determining the impact that developments have had, the relative importance of UN*X moments.

Jos "numbers, I want numbers!" D.

Re: Machines (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1565190)

The `New Jersey' mentality is characterized by:

- Worse Is Better approach
- 1 `simple' language hack for each task instead of 1 properly designed language for everything.

Current microprocessors designed thinking about low-level languages like C, Pascal, FORTRAN, etc. (not Java, Smalltalk, Lisp or even C++ RTTI comes into play).
Unix is coded in C (plus `a couple' C++ libs). The design of the APIs is done with C[++] in mind.
They are indeed C machines. Although a real Lisp Machine would have support for GC, tagging, CDR-coding, etc., the most important functional characteristics surface at the software level. Many people would be happy enough with an X86-based Lisp Machine, even if the hardware (PC) is crap.

Even nice MIPS chips are so dumbly designed. Instead of adding a little bit of support for tagged and GCed languages, they keep throwing transistors at speculation and so on. That's because most EEs haven't much of a clue regarding CS beyond hacking C and assembler.

[Yes, I know about PicoJava and that's cool. But actual use is more vapor than anything].

Re: Machines (1)

blues-harp (110357) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565191)

Well, Apple's Open Firmware runs on FORTRAN... so in a sense all modern PowerMacs are "FORTRAN machines" - they just don't run a FORTRAN OS.

Re:FORTRAN based UNIX? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1565192)

If you don't have a working `restrict' keyword,
C programs using arrays are usually slower than FORTRAN because of aliasing uncertainty.

When you write through an irrestrict (ie, normal) pointers,
you're basically saying: "Compiler, please turn off all optimizations beyond this point that might have anything to do with the program state so far".

Re:Someone *does* remember :) (2)

Tet (2721) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565193)

Indeed, it didn't make a lot of success, but Amiga was *always* way ahead of its time.

Yep. My only regret was the pricing structure. I lusted after Unix running on my beloved Amiga hardware for ages, but it was always priced way out my reach :-(

Re:FORTRAN based UNIX? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1565194)

Please show me how is C more functional than HPF in all respects.

Re: Machines (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1565195)

FORTH, not FORTRAN.

And BTW, there're FORTH chips.

I'd have to agree with the creation of vi (3)

Tet (2721) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565196)

Not because it's a great text editor (although I've yet to find anything better :-), but because it prompted the development of termcap to give terminal independence. Previous applications had been hardcoded to use the escape sequences of a particular terminal.

I'd say, in general, that most of the work done at UCB contributed more to the success of Unix than anything else. Without UCB, Unix would have probably remained in the dark ages. They gave us networking, vi, csh, and perhaps most importantly, an open source development model, which allowed Unix to become widespread.

PS. Sure, csh syntax may suck, but without it, we'd all be using Bourne shell. csh gave us command histories, brace expansion, and numerous other goodies that we take for granted today. Without csh, other shells (ksh, bash, zsh) would be very different, if they existed at all.

Re:More great moments... (2)

Q*bert (2134) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565197)

The Berkeley 'r' commands Ah yes, a truly historic windfall for script kiddies everywhere...

Vovida, OS VoIP
Beer recipe: free! #Source
Cold pints: $2 #Product

Re:The Top foo moments of the Century (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1565198)

Stallman _wrote_ Emacs and the gnu C compiler, GCC. From scratch. They're pretty big contributions by themselves.
Admittedly, he no longer maintains them on his own, and has not done so for a long time, but they're both still very, very important pieces opf software.

He also wrote the GPL, and founded the GNU organisation ( most of the core functionality of your linux box comes from people who have placed their code into the GNU codebase)

He's also written many other bits and pieces.

Re:umm... (2)

Raul Acevedo (15878) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565199)

Can someone confirm this, but my understanding is that the Linux name really is just a hacked version of Unix, based on Linus Torvalds' name. It wasn't even chosen by Linus himself, but rather by a friend who I believe was maintaining one of the original ftp sites distributing Linux in its early days.
----------

Re:That fateful night (1)

Q*bert (2134) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565200)

Really? Which ones? Where can I read this story?

Vovida, OS VoIP
Beer recipe: free! #Source
Cold pints: $2 #Product

Re:umm... (3)

Raul Acevedo (15878) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565201)

Ironically, they mention the release of Netscape on Linux, without mentioning the release of Linux itself...
----------

Re:Three I would have added... (1)

Q*bert (2134) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565202)

(3) Berkeley networking

It was mentioned: "integration of TCP/IP into the kernel", eh?

Vovida, OS VoIP
Beer recipe: free! #Source
Cold pints: $2 #Product

Re:FORTRAN based UNIX? (1)

Q*bert (2134) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565203)

Yep... As I understand it, the supposedly-so-great thing about FORTRAN is that it allows you to ocntrol floating-point precision better than C. (Disclaimer: I've never written in FORTRAN, and, from what I've seen of other people's FORTRAN code, I never will.) But since when do operating systems use floating-point operations? I/O is all integral, program logic is integral, symbol processing (e.g. for shells) is integral, and traditional text processing is a special case of integral computation where all operands are a byte wide. About the only thing you'd use floats for would be interaction with the real-time clock, I would guess. That's important for scheduling, but the degree of precision of the floats is not so relevant... the default works fine.

In short, FORTRAN may be good for number-crunching, ubt that doesn't make it a good language for writing OSs.

Vovida, OS VoIP
Beer recipe: free! #Source
Cold pints: $2 #Product

Re:Three I would have added... (2)

edhall (10025) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565204)

(1) Creation and adoption of x10 window software
(2) PCC, the portable C compiler
(3) Berkeley networking

PCC was another product of Edition 7. The VAX C compiler in 32V (and the first VAX-based BSD's) was constructed using PCC.

Berkeley wasn't alone in adding networking to Unix (there were at least half a dozen different protocol stacks for Unix before TCP/IP saw the light of day). But they were contracted to implement the Big One: TCP/IP. A good thing, too, since the NCP stack (NCP was the ARPANET protocol prior to TCP/IP) for Unix was pretty buggy.

X's predecessor was W (developed, I believe, at Stanford). So C isn't the only product of alphabetic succession (its precursor was B-- Ken Thompson's BCPL derivative). I wonder why the Berlin folks haven't named their project "Y"? (Why not?)

-Ed

Missing entries (2)

tilly (7530) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565205)

The first upload of Linux (aka Do you yearn for the days...) has been mentioned. Here are a small sample of others:

  1. Ken Thompson's invention of grep.
  2. Henry Spenser's freely available RE library.
  3. Larry Wall's release of rn.
  4. Larry Wall's release of patch.
  5. Larry Wall's release of Perl.
  6. Solaris' invention of /proc
  7. The US government's decision to require POSIX compliance.


There are just too many to make it a good sample, but the above were darned fine moments. :-)

Cheers,
Ben

finger coke@l.gp.cs.cmu.edu (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1565206)

ought to be on the list. Read about it here [ucsd.edu] .

Re:The day Netscape switched to the open-source mo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1565207)

Spot-on. And I'm convinced that the Mozilla project has been trying to live down the big disappointment most people felt about that. Not only couldn't folks download the source for the Navigator/Communicator they used every day, they couldn't even compile a beta-quality browser. What a complete bummer.

Re:Man page joke... (1)

sirket (60694) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565208)

Thank you. I was waiting to see who would actually remember this.


-sirket

Re:CLI/Shell (1)

pwhysall (9225) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565209)

I have to take issue with point 1, in as much as you *can* replace the DCL CLI that comes with VMS.

Not many people do, as it's so damn powerful, but you can do it.

DCL is extremely good, if a little strange to look at initially (what's with the $ at the start of every line, for example?); however, it has string handling that is way ahead of any *NIX shell. 'course that argument goes away a bit if Perl lives on your system... but not everyone does, or wants to use it.

I feel better now.

(I'm also a VMS admin, can't you tell?)

--

Re:umm... (2)

Imperator (17614) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565210)

Linux does not stand for anything.

When Unix got 8-bit char support (1)

NKJensen (51126) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565211)

Another one missing in the list. The world uses more chars than you'll find in 7-bit ASCII.

That paved the way for Unix to the non-US world (it's out there somewhere you know :-)

Sun rpc ? (1)

javac (21689) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565212)

I think sun rpc deseves to be on the list. It is what enabled cliend server computing as was very popular just a couple of years ago. geach

when Ken Thompson's mom met his dad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1565213)

What is the story behind this?

Re:Three I would have added... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1565214)

One of The Hungry Programmers (of Lesstif fame) claimed [hungry.com] that cutesy name a while back. He can have it. BTW, Berlin was a play on the words MS used to describe its upcoming versions of Windows (Cairo, Chicago, Daytona, etc.) at the time. Everyone's suggested renaming it but can't agree on what to change it to.

Anyway, if you've clicked through, you've noticed that Hungry's Y makes the Freedows project look productive. It's somewhere between "I've got some ideas, a few names, and a cool web page" and "I might be getting around to coding this." It appears that the author may have found smaller windmills to tilt at.

I had no idea... (1)

robotoast7 (107530) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565215)

I didn't know tannenbaum was so closely tied to the origins of open source. His book "Modern Operating Systems" is what got me into programming. He must write good books.

Re:umm... So? (1)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565216)

Linux may not be Unix, but you have to admit that it is significant to Unix, so should be mentioned prominently in this list.

Re:More great moments... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1565217)

not to mention Sendmail...


> Beer recipe: free! #Source
> Cold pints: $2 #Product
> Safe rides home, any hour: $25 #Support

heh, I like that explanation. :)

Re:umm... (1)

Nabuchodonosor (65294) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565218)

hey!! that's my signature! get your own! :o)

Re: Machines (1)

timftbf (48204) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565219)

>>>
Well, Apple's Open Firmware runs on FORTRAN... so in a sense all modern PowerMacs are "FORTRAN machines" - they just don't run a FORTRAN OS.
>>>
Isn't Open Firmware tied to FORTH, nor FORTRAN?

(And I think it's that it contains a FORTH interpreter, not that it's necessarily *written* in FORTH).

Regards,
Tim.

Re:There's still time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1565220)

We've got almost 40 years until the end of time as we know it. (or until 64-bit Unix, whichever comes first.)

Would you believe that Microsoft had the foresight to declare time_t as unsigned, which gives them until 2105 to develop a 64-bit OS? :)

(It's true.)

Re:Man page joke... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1565221)

The only joke? What about "lp1 on fire"?

Re:FORTRAN based UNIX? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1565222)

You think this is funny?

Try http://www.assurdo.com and then try laughing. Since such perverts don't deserve to remain anonymous, the man resposible is Claudio Calvelli. If only his powers could be used for good and not evil...

I've never bothered to register, but since I've named somebody else, I should own up to who I am. eden@hedonism.SWEET.demon.SPAM.co.EATER.uk

Re:umm... (2)

remande (31154) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565223)

Of course, neither does Unix. IIRC, the Jargon File describes the etymology was "a bad joke on Multix", so it is fitting that Linux is a bad joke on Unix.

Who says it has to make sense?

Re:FORTRAN based UNIX? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1565224)

You think this is funny?

Try http://www.assurdo.com and then try laughing. Since such perverts don't deserve to remain anonymous, the man resposible is Claudio Calvelli. If only his powers could be used for good and not evil...

I've never bothered to register, but since I've named somebody else, I should own up to who I am. eden@hedonism.SWEET.demon.SPAM.co.EATER.uk.

Re:umm... So? (2)

BrianH (13460) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565225)

Oh, yes. I wasn't trying to put Linux down, I was just trying to explain the difference as best I know it. As far as my personal opinion goes, Linux should be near the top of that list. While Linux is an interesting OS, it hasn't really contributed that much to UNIX directly. Indirectly it has launched innumerable geeks into the UNIX world, steered scores of programmers to write UNIX apps, and most importantly is the first UNIX variant to achieve household name status. While the vast majority of computer users still haven't ever seen Linux, they know the name. What other UNIX variant can you say that about?

Re:FORTRAN based UNIX? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1565226)

I used to write everything in assembly language, but there's just that pesky portability problem, damnit...

Re:FORTRAN based UNIX? (2)

nwetters (93281) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565227)

Because FORTRAN is (rather 'should be') dead.
(Free) Fortran is neither dead, nor should it be. Instead, at present it is in an unfortunate limbo [std.com] .

Many university maths departments code almost exclusively in F77: everyone understands it, and it has no pointers to slow down your code. If the GNU project [std.com] gets back on track, we could see a rennaisance in Fortran coding for Beowolf and SMP?

As far as commercial use of Fortran, alexk [slashdot.org] pointed out a couple of weeks ago [slashdot.org] that Bloomberg [bloomberg.com] has the bulk of its system written in Fortran. Especially, anything that has to do with their terminals and proprietary databases.

---

Re:when Ken Thompson's mom met his dad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1565228)

If they didn't meet, then there would be no Ken Thompson, and thus no Unix.

Re:K&R C? (1)

maroberts (15852) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565229)

Yep, have to agree with this.
Kernigan and Ritchies extortionately priced [in the UK anyway] paperback has been a staple of my programming life throughout its various editions.

Other good moments for Unix:
Release of PERL
Release dates of Doom and Quake for Unix

multics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1565230)

its multics not multix unix was spelled unics in the begining. one unix two unicses not two unixes as some ppl spell it

Re:umm... (1)

Col. Klink (retired) (11632) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565231)

Ok, Linux may not be a Unix(TM), but they said releasing Netscape on Linux was an important event!

And even though no one's bothered to pony up the bucks to certify Linux, you can't deny that Linux has impacted Unix.

Re:umm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1565232)

hate to burst your bubble, but Linux is just a flash in the pan when you look at the entire history of Unix.

Re:Hamilton Group? (1)

Col. Klink (retired) (11632) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565233)

Well, I'm running both Linux and Unix(tm), specifically Solaris 2.6. Seems commercially viable to me.

restrict pointers and the pitfalls of ptr analysis (2)

Mr Z (6791) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565234)

As the AC above noted, C's default assuptions about pointer aliasing make certain classes of programs run like crap. The new restrict keyword is a huge step in the right direction, but it's still a Band-Aid.

Why are sane pointer aliasing conventions important in the language? Well, since effecient code generation is something nearly everyone lusts after, compiler writers spend alot of effort "optimizing" code. Since C doesn't provide much of a mechanism for describing where pointers point, the compiler has to implement alot of guesswork. If it's not sure, it punts and outputs slow code.

The problem is that these optimizations are hard to get right. Notice how GCC 2.95 broke the Linux kernel, unless you compiled with the new alias analysis turned off. It would be better for the language to have saner pointer semantics.

Note that this wasn't so much of a problem in the beginning when pipelines were short and issue-widths were narrow. Nowadays, though, pointer aliasing issues are one of the biggest issues preventing code from going faster. (I know, I hit these issues regularly.) I welcome restrict with open arms.

--Joe
--

More missed moments (1)

Col. Klink (retired) (11632) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565235)

Ok, I still have mixed feelings about it myself, but what about Solaris 2?

And let's not forget /. either!

Re:FORTRAN based UNIX? (2)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565236)

As I understand it, the supposedly-so-great thing about FORTRAN is that it allows you to ocntrol floating-point precision better than C.

One of the reasons for the continuing use of FORTRAN (I won't say popularity) is infrastructure. FORTRAN optimizing compilers are really really good. FORTRAN is available in a lot of parallel computing forms and for a lot of arrary processors that have no C. The collection math libraries for FORTRAN is peerless.

The main reason that FORTRAN was unsuitable for OS programming in the past was lack of pointers. Anonymous storage is a very powerful tool. But I believe that this is not a limitation with HPF, so it is quite feasible now to write an OS in FORTRAN.

What about in the man page's source? (2)

Mr Z (6791) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565237)

The lp1 on fire bit wasn't in the docs, was it?

BTW, who remembers the rest of the tunefs joke? (Namely, the bits that were in the actual nroff source for the man page?)

From what I recall, the man page's source said something along the lines of "Remove this, and a Unix daemon will dog your steps until the time_t's wrap around." I unfortunately do not have access to a system with the original quote that I know of offhand. Anyone?

--Joe
--

Re:More great moments... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1565238)

Quite possibly the Berkeley 'r'-commands are the blackest chapter in the UNIX historybook.

Netscape wasn't first! (1)

Howie (4244) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565239)

"* Netscape's introduction of an integrated mail, news, and browser application"

Lucid Emacs (jwz's previous project) did all that and, err, edited text files, etc,etc,etc,etc,etc first! :-)


Linux was not missed (1)

mudnux (97604) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565240)

Okay so it didn't make it on this list but in the same edition of Performance Computing [performancecomputing.com] was the OPA Awards [performancecomputing.com] in which Linux contributers receive the coveted Editors Award (see the final entry on the page).

Re:K&R C? (1)

benbean (8595) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565241)

It's extortionately priced in the U.S. too.

Rubish. Linux is missing. Written by Bill Joy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1565242)

They have emacs and Netscape on there, but not Linux. Obviously this was written by Bill Joy.

Yeah, but Linux is good for Unix. (1)

Mr Z (6791) | more than 14 years ago | (#1565243)

Linux may not be an official Unix, but it is good for Unix. That alone makes it an important event in Unix history.

It's important in the same way IBM PC clones were important to IBM. They weren't IBM PCs, but the fact that they were compatible and completely changed IBM's impact on the world was fairly relevant. Linux seems to be having a similar effect with respect to Unix.

--Joe
--
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