[TUHS] Thompson at Berkeley on an 11/70

Warner Losh imp at bsdimp.com
Sun Apr 12 00:41:36 AEST 2015

> On Apr 11, 2015, at 12:39 AM, Doug McIlroy <doug at cs.dartmouth.edu> wrote:
> "Greg 'groggy' Lehey" <grog at lemis.com> wrote:
> In FreeBSD there are two files /usr/share/dict/web2 and
> /usr/share/dict/web2a, suggesting that they're Webster.  web2 sounds
> like the words file, while web2a apparently consists of compounds.
> web2 doesn't contain Ritchie or McIlroy, though it does contain
> "organizationally".  The oldest entry in the svn history is:
> r1638 | rgrimes | 1994-05-31 05:09:18 +1000 (Tue, 31 May 1994) | 2 lines
> BSD 4.4 Lite Share Sources
> Those files are Webster's Unabridged. They were derived from
> a tape produced by the army and distributed without restrictions.
> The provenance is more fully described at puzzlers.org; burrow
> down their file tree from "Solving Tools of the NPL" to "The NPL
> Wordlists" and "Our Wordlists" to "Doug McIlroy's Wordlists"

More importantly, it was from Websters 1913 edition, which had passed from
copyright protection at the time it was produced. There’s several words in it
that have shifted in accepted spelling since that edition which I noticed when
a spelling program flagged the now-correct spelling years ago…

There were other word lists floating around the Internet in the 80’s that one
could obtain with some effort that differed. I may have been on a system once
that had both lists. There’s about 30 words that are different, and about 200
words in that other file not in web2. The system I know that had this word list
on it has been turned off for 20 years now, so I can’t easily check these
numbers. I assume other file was the file talked about as being licensed to
Bell Labs…


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