[TUHS] History of chown semantics

Ed Carp erc at pobox.com
Sat Jan 11 02:20:07 AEST 2014

But it was fun to give away large files to someone else to avoid getting
hassled by a sysadmin when you were close to filling up your disk quota.  :)
 On Jan 9, 2014 6:58 AM, "Clem Cole" <clemc at ccc.com> wrote:

> Ron's right - it was PWB that started the file give away semantic not BSD
> or the Research kernels..  PWB gave way to PWB 2,0, then PWB 3.0 aka
>  System III  .    As for who's idea it was, you probably should ask some
> one like Mash.  I suspect there was some reason for it in the original
> tools --> a guess -.. maybe it some how it helped the IBM RJE stuff that
> PWB developed/supported - any one else remember?
> I agree with you, I always thought it was crazy and always seem to be
> caused me a number of issues with things like tape utilities.    Since the
> Masscomp kernel was a System III/BSD blend, and the Stellix kernel was
> System V3/BSD - we supported it and was were I first really had to deal
> with it.   I don't remember if we made the kernel behavior dependent on the
> universe setting - but I suspect not.
> Anyway, the idea of file give-away made it into the SVID as a result of
> being part of the PWB heritage. There was a definite argument in the POSIX
> meetings if it was good idea to allow it just because SVID allowed it.
>  Some of us thought it was a crazy concept (aka a bad idea).   But at the
> time, there was a large group that fought anything that was not SVID
> ("System V - consider it standard") - they just wanted to take SVID and
> bless it.
> I do not believe that Sun pick up the semantic until the Solaris project
> when the start to take SVR4 and fold Sun things into it.  I did not think
> BSD ever took it.   If it did it was post 4.3.
> I remember the argument int he early POSIX meetings, I've forgotten why
> some of backed down and let it stand.    Bostic or Quarterman might
> remember as I seem to think they were at that set of meetings also.
> Clem
> On Thu, Jan 9, 2014 at 7:46 AM, Ronald Natalie <ron at ronnatalie.com> wrote:
>> To my knowledge none of the "research" versions allowed chown() other
>> than for the superuser.
>> The non-su behavior seems to have orginated in PWB UNIX.
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