Paul - you made a couple of comments and asked a few questions which I'll take a shot at best I can having been there.   Sam spent a few hours in my apartment drinking beer and watching football, and sometimes doing laundry much less and arguing networking stuff. (I had a washer and dryer in those days and he had a vacuum cleaner which I borrowed from him).  Before CSRG, Sam had been working for a networking start up in the lower bay who's name escapes me at the moment.   IIRC they had been doing a terminal concentrator of some type.  Previous to UCB, I had been at Tek.  Presotto at DEC, Baden and George at Pr1me on the their 750.

Sundays were often a football and beer session, usually at Mike Carey and my place.

On Fri, Sep 22, 2017 at 6:36 AM, Paul Ruizendaal <> wrote:

Could you elaborate on how Accent networking influenced Joy's sockets?
​ ...​
The Accent system was definitely heavy on people's mind.   The 1979 CMU SPICE machine proposal had made quite a splash (I should scan it, I still have an original copy).  Bert Halstead and Gettys later told me the story at MIT how they had a meeting when it came out and the whole tone was 'what are we going to do what the CMU thing'​ (the result was Athena).

By the time I got Berkeley, most of the community was watching what was going on.   The issue in the end with Accent was that they did wrote it in Pascal and it was not done with a UNIX API base (hence Mach would be C and build into BSD).   But Accent was the new cool system and UNIX was not (yet) centered as the 'the' system in the DARPA community.

DARPA was still reeling from the move from the PDP-10, and a lot people were not 100% happy with that  (we have been discussing rms's hating Unix and still pushing ITS as an example - he was hardly the only one).   While the VAX has the HW was officially the DARPA system, Stanford was pushing for VMS if you remember.   Some folks want different HW from the VAX too.   CMU & MIT were pushing DARPA for the idea of person workstations (Stanford would join that too soon after an CMU EE would do his grad work at Stanford - Andy B and build the "SUN" -- taking the ideas from the old CMU distributed front-end project to a level no one ever imagined).

The point is that DARPA is kinda mixed up and the politics are not as clear as it might seem 30 years later.

Rashid had presented the ports idea and whole Accent network model at a DARPA PI meeting at Berkeley, I want to say in the Fall 1981-ish (date may be off by a year or two).   IIRC he gave the Berkeley systems seminar that week too. All the UCB System people like me, had the paper and we were abuzz about it.  Mike Powell of Cray DemOS fame, was teaching the Grad OS course and he was mixed up in the argument; as was Bart Miller (now at U Wisc) who was one of his students then. 

Mike has us all writing different papers and proposing different ideas.   Who specifically contributed what is hard to say at this point, although Joy was the master craftsman and final author/implementor of what went into the CRSG system.  At lot of test stuff was done in private code or in other UCB OS's work.

But Joy was absolutely trying to come up with something for UNIX that would give a lot of the functionality of the Accent in more UNIX centric manner because he felt he needed to keep the DARPA focused on UNIX as the system of choice.   Hence overlaying the file descriptor in the socket call while Rashid in Mach, would leave ports as separate concept.


​I ​
think this idea came from Sam Leffler, but perhaps he was inspired
by something else (Accent?, Chaos?)
Sam is a good friend and I give him credit for many things.  Primarily as making sure the BSD system worked.   As I have always said about Joy, "he types open curly brace, close curly brace and he patches faster than anyone I have even known.​"

So, besides mopping up after Bill, the three things I know you can credit to Sam are routed, rcp/rsh, and trailers in the headers.   Besides that, he was in on everything, but what was his, what was Bills, what was someone's else's is hard.

As one of my friends who did his undergrad @ MIT who was also a UCB grad student when I there put it (describing MIT's job control that Joy swiped and added to BSD), "Bill recognized a lot of great ideas and then peed on them to make them smell like UCB."



Last and least, when feeling argumentative I would claim that connection
strings like "/dev/tcp/host:port" are simply parameter data blocks encoded
in a string :^)
Exactly... Although the way that worked, was actually a side effect/bug in name.​


 Back in 1980 there seems
​ ​
to have been a lot of confusion over message boundaries
It really was before 1980.   Those of us that lived networking in the 70s, we were still trying to figure out what was the right way to do a lot of things.  By the early 80s we agreed we had to have it, but best known methods were still off.    We were still fighting the wars of SNA vs. DECnet vs Wangnet vs MAP vs YourNet vs TelCo vs ....   People had not yet recognized Metcalfe's Law.​

Which really is an example of where engineers forget the technology is actually driven by economics.    The 'winner' may not be the technology that is the 'best' from 'theory.' 

We forget that fact often on this list too I fear.   I know it hurts, a number of things I have been part in my career I 'know' were 'better' than what 'won' but it does not matter.  They were not economical.