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Re: Changing section header autogenerated by 'refer'?

From: M Douglas McIlroy
Subject: Re: Changing section header autogenerated by 'refer'?
Date: Tue, 17 Nov 2020 19:29:14 -0500

> If I'm not mistaken, Research-era AT&T Unix had a look(1)
command which was explicitly for quick-and-dirty text
database application. I expect a Murray Hill veteran or
Plan 9 maven could say more.

There's not much to say. "Look" did binary search in a file
of one-line entries. Its main use was to check the presence
of (prefixes of) words in dictionary lists, particularly
/usr/dict/words. As machines got faster, "look" lost its speed
advantage over "grep", which performs much more general search
and doesn't require ordered data.


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