Xah Lee's Unixism

jmfbahciv at aol.com jmfbahciv at aol.com
Wed Sep 1 14:07:35 CEST 2004

In article <j-OdnS-Q8aADqKjcRVn-tQ at speakeasy.net>,
   rpw3 at rpw3.org (Rob Warnock) wrote:
>Craig A. Finseth  <news at finseth.com> wrote:
>| Ville Vainio  <ville at spammers.com> wrote:
>| >... 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...
>| 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?).
>Which, like PS/8 & OS-8 [and "DECsystem-8" from Geordia Tech] for the
>PDP-8, modelled the command syntax after that of the venerable PDP-10!!

You'ld probably get further about who's on first by knowing that
the guy who did OS-8 also did TOPS-10 monitor work.  It was not
unusual for one guy to work on all architectures within DEC.
If he liked to use TECO, he'd carry it over to the next project
and write it up in that computer's machine language.  An even
easier way to transfer functionality back then was to use
a cross-assembler.  For instance, I'd enter a programmer's PDP-11
code and put it into a file on the TOPS-10 system.  Then after
a fast assembler check with the cross-assembler of the coder's
choice, I would either punch the ASCII out of papertape or
run FILEX which would transfer the PDP-10 bits onto the DECtape
in PDP-11 format.

That's how code migrated in the olden days.
>| Consider the "PIP" command.
>Indeed. And COPY & DEL & DIR, etc.

Well, not quite :-).  COPY and DELETE called PIP via a CCL
command.  DIRECT became its own program.  To do a directory
using PIP required a switch and wasn't a monitor level 


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