[Tutor] RE: Why MS chose \

Charlie Clark charlie@begeistert.org
Thu Apr 17 04:40:02 2003

> Having digest problems so answering this indirectly...
> My understanding of the reason for the choice of \ was that / was already 
> in use. MS DOS(and its precursor) were originally cheap clones of CP/M 
> and CP/M programs conventionally used / for command line options.
> (CP/M didn't have paths as we know them...)
> Thus when MS had to introduce paths(DOS 2?) they chose the opposite form 
> of slash.
> I just checked and certainly the CP/M assembler and MBASIC interpreters 
> both used '/' for commandline options as did the original CP/M wordstar. 
> So it sounds reasonable.
> Alan G

> [Seabrook, Richard] Seems to me I remember using double slashes // in IBM 
> OS360 JCL back in the 60s but I don't know if Gates & Co. go back that 
> far.  Before that it was pretty much * in IBSYS, $ in IBJOB and @ in 
> UNIVAC systems if I recall correctly.
> Dick S.

Thanx to you both. It was my question initially. That's one of the great 
things about this list: finding out all kinds of interesting bits of 
computer history.