Xah Lee's Unixism

Craig A. Finseth news at finseth.com
Tue Aug 31 18:06:31 CEST 2004

In article <du7k6vfnvx9.fsf at amadeus.cc.tut.fi>,
Ville Vainio  <ville at spammers.com> wrote:
>>>>>> "John" == John W Kennedy <jwkenne at attglobal.net> writes:
>    John> Yes, and also a single-process pipe emulator.  Ever since
>    John> 2.0, MS has been trying to turn MS-DOS (later, Windows) into
>    John> a Unix clone.
>With very little success. Notepad still only understands cr-lf line
>breaks, and / as path separator still screws up most of their cmd line
>programs (which think / is for command line options).
>Microsoft probably thought avoiding compatibility is a good idea, and
>have only lately started to have some regrets, visible as the release

Wrong.  The / was chosen as the command line option separator because
whoever wrote MSDOS was looking to CP/M, who modelled their commands
after a PDP-11 operating system (RT-11?).  Consider the "PIP" command.

When they went to MS/DOS 2.0 and needed path separators, they found
that "/" was already taken, so they used "\".  But there was a hidden
way to tell the command interpreter that it could use "-" for options.

And in all systems starting with 2.0, the system calls have taken "/"
and "\" interchangably.

Craig, who wrote a lot of code for CP/M, MS-DOS 1* and Later....

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