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Re: [PATCH] mdoc: Update operating system release numbers

From: Larry Kollar
Subject: Re: [PATCH] mdoc: Update operating system release numbers
Date: Mon, 23 Nov 2020 22:24:44 -0500

Ingo Schwarze <> wrote:

>>>  2. The concept of encoding names and versions of all operating
>>>     systems is not sustainable in the long run.
>> This was probably a product of its times; there was BSD, only one BSD,
>> and then there was System V, and the importance of that conflict caused
>> people to adopt a kind of tunnel vision.
> Maybe.  Then again, we are talking about 1989.  By that time, the
> following systems already existed, just as some examples:
> - SVR1         (1983)
> - SunOS 1.0    (1983)
> - HP-UX 1.0    (1984)
> - Ultrix-32    (1984)
> - V9 AT&T UNIX (1986)
> - AIX 1        (1986)
> - MINIX 1.0    (1987)
> - IRIX 3.0     (1988)
> - SVR4         (1988)
> - SunOS 4.0    (1988)

Heh, Idris croaked the year prior (1979-1988). 
First Unix-like system I dealt with. It had a formatter more akin to
roff than troff (or even nroff), with no macro facility. Instead, it used
hard-coded requests to mimic higher level man/ms constructs. I
learned C mainly to extend it; I was working on adding macros when
we moved to a Sun1 system. (In retrospect, I should have used m4, I
think it was available on Idris.)

>> Does Cynthia ever pop up to reflect on mdoc's design?
> Not really.  With the help of Marshall Kirk McKusick, i managed to
> get into direct contact with her in 2014 …
> One thing she did say that people may like round here is this:
>  "What made the macro package possible was groff.
>   I regret having had to make the work backward compatible
>   with ditroff.  Not my decision.
>   Would have loved to have rewritten the macros solely for groff.
>   The package would have been smaller, simpler and efficient
>   (faster, much faster.)"

Given that ditroff was revived with Plan 9 (and extended with Heirloom
and Neatroff), maybe that wasn’t a bad thing in the long run. :-D 

> [ ... snip all the points we agree on …

Given how you two usually carry on, I was amazed by the amount
of agreement! LOLrunawaycackling

— Larry

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