> OK, that I can understand. It's ages since I played with
> readline, but I think you can preload the buffer it works on
> (bash does that, no?) so ed + readline could be made to work
> that way.
Or, if you have moved beyond the era of simulated glass
teletypes on graphics screens, you could do the editing
in the terminal (program).
It's a real shame the mux/9term way of doing things never
caught on. I suppose it is because so many people are
wedded to programs that require cursor addressing; I'm
glad I never succumbed to that.
I use ed (or its cousin qed a la Toronto) for simple stuff.
Mostly I'll use the traditional commands, but sometimes
I will, in mux/9term style, print a line with p, type
c, edit the line on the screen, pick it up and send it,
type . return.
And of course I can do that sort of thing with any program,
whether or not it is compiled with some magic library.
All this is something of a matter of taste, but I have
sometimes amazed (in a good way) my colleagues with it.
Robert T Morris (the son who committed the famous worm) was an
intern at Bell Labs for a couple of summers while I was there.
He certainly wasn't an idiot; he was a smart guy.
Like many smart guys (and not-so-smart guys for that matter),
however, he was a sloppy coder, and tended not to test enough.
One of the jokes in the UNIX Room was that, had it been Bob
Morris (the father) who did it,
a. He wouldn't have done it, because he would have seen that
it wasn't worth the potential big mess; but
b. Had he done it, no one would ever have caught him, and
probably no one would even have noticed the worm as it crept
> From: Doug McIlroy
> A little known fact is that the judge leaned on the prosecutor to reduce
> the charge to a misdemeanor and accepted the felony only when the
> prosecuter secured specific backing from higher echelons at DOJ.
I had a tangential role in the legal aftermath, and am interested to hear
I hadn't had much to do with the actual outbreak, so I was not particularly
watching the whole saga. However, on the evening news one day, I happened to
catch video of him coming out of the court-house after his conviction: from
the look on his face (he looked like his dog had died, and then someone had
kicked him in the stomach) it was pretty clear that incareration (which is
what the sentencing guidelines called for, for that offense) was totally
So I decided to weigh in. I got advice from the Washington branch of
then-Hale&Dorr (my legal people at the time), who were well connected inside
the DoJ (they had people who'd been there, and also ex-H+D people were
serving, etc). IIRC, they agreed with me that this was over-charging, given
the specifics of the offender, etc. (I forget exactly what they told me of
what they made of the prosecutor and his actions, but it was highly not
So we organized the IESG to submit a filing in the case on the sentencing, and
got everyone to sign on; apparently in the legal system when there is an
professional organization in a field, its opinions weigh heavily, and the
IESG, representing as it did the IETF, was the closest thing to it here. I
don't know how big an effect our filing had, but the judge did depart very
considerably from the sentencing guidelines (which called, IIRC, for several
years of jail-time) and gave him probation/community-service.
Not everyone was happy about our actions (particularly some who'd had to work
on the cleanup), but I think in retrospect it was the right call - yeah, he
effed up, but several years in jail was not the right punsishment, for him,
and for this particular case (no data damaged/deleted/stolen/etc). YMMV.
> the idiot hadn't tested it on an isolated network first
That would have "proved" that the worm worked safely, for
once every host was infected, all would go quiet.
Only half in jest, I have always held that Cornell was right
to expel Morris, but their reason should have been his lack
of appreciation of exponentials.
(Full disclosure: I was a character witnesss at his trial. A
little known fact is that the judge leaned on the prosecutor
to reduce the charge to a misdemeanor and accepted the felony
only when the prosecuter secured specific backing from
higher echelons at DOJ.)