[TUHS] [TUHS} cat -v and other complaints

Will Senn will.senn at gmail.com
Sat Sep 8 23:36:56 AEST 2018

Doug et al.,

I’m interested in learning about this curses vs blit business. Is there a writeup or book chapter out there that covers this in any detail?



Sent from my iPhone

On Sep 8, 2018, at 7:02 AM, Doug McIlroy <doug at cs.dartmouth.edu> wrote:

>> you can't tell me
>> this system was designed with the idea of running it using text terminal
>> and no mouse.  There is also no cursor addressing, no curses.
> The well named Curses and the associated vi were an ugly outgrowth
> of glass screens--an outgrowth many of us in the Unix lab never
> adopted. That branch of evolution was unrelated to the Blit branch that
> essentially preserved the old TTY interface, except that one could have
> multiple terminals on screen and a mouse was available to give mechanical
> help for manual cut/paste/edit activities. Plan 9 terminal-handling
> smoothly continued that evolutionary branch.
> Mouse support could have been used to take off in a radical direction,
> but it wasn't. To my mind, the primary innovation in Plan 9 was not
> terminal support, nor everything-is-a-file. Rather it was an advance in
> what Vyssotsky called "distributable computing", where components can
> collaborate in a uniform way, no matter where they are. The key was the 9P
> protocol that unpacked the notion of file type--a unifying principle
> that brought simplicity and generality to a diversity of particulars.

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