[TUHS] Dennis' Draft of the Unix Timesharing System: not so draft?

Dan Cross crossd at gmail.com
Tue Dec 20 06:50:50 AEST 2016

On Mon, Dec 19, 2016 at 3:10 PM, Noel Chiappa <jnc at mercury.lcs.mit.edu>

>     > From: Warren Toomey
>     >  Ritchie, D.M.  The UNIX Time Sharing System.  MM 71-1273-4.
>     >  which makes me think that the draft version Doug McIlroy found
> Not really a response to your question, but I'd looked at that
> 'UnixEditionZero' and was very taken with this line, early on:
>   "the most important features of UNIX are its simplicity [and] elegance"
> and had been meaning for some time to send in a rant.
> The variants of Unix done later by others sure fixed that, didn't they? :-(
> On a related note, great as my respect is for Ken and Doug for their work
> on
> early Unix (surely the system with the greatest bang/buck ratio ever), I
> have
> to disagree with them about Multics. In particular, if one is going to
> have a
> system as complex as modern Unices have become, one might as well get the
> power of Multics for it. Alas, we have the worst of both worlds - the size,
> _without_ the power.
> (Of course, Multics made some mistakes - primarly in thinking that the
> future
> of computing lay in large, powerful central machines, but other aspects of
> the system - such as the single-level store - clearly were the right
> direction. And wouldn't it be nice to have AIM boxes to run our browers and
> mail-readers in - so much for malware!)

I've been thinking that there's likely a PhD hiding in building a
Multics-style ring-like abstraction from nested virtual machines; the Dune
work at Stanford took a similar tack, if one squints at it a little bit.
Come to think of it, I always kind of wanted to get a PhD. Maybe that'd be
an interesting research idea. Anyone looking for a student? :-)
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