[TUHS] looking for HOSTS.TXT parsers and how is /dev/net/HOSTNAME enabled?

ron at ronnatalie.com ron at ronnatalie.com
Fri Apr 19 21:57:03 AEST 2019

Amusing thing on parsers.    I had written a short C subroutine to eat HOSTS.TXT directly which we used rather than the Berkeley /etc/hosts format.
It presented the same interface to the caller as the Berkeley one.

We found out that when we added a host with a type "68000" that we suddenly broke every straight BSD system.   Apparently, they used a YACC grammar to parse HOSTS.TXT into /etc/hosts and had screwed it up assuming the machine type field (like the hostname) had to begin with a letter.     It didn't help that the machine we added was named "BRL-ZAP."    There was some discussion that we had done this intentionally.    I pointed out that a YACC grammar was way overkill and there must be some existing file on UNIX that has fields separated by colons that there was simpler stuff written to parse 😊    Anyhow, for expedience Jake just added an "MC" on to the machine type to appease the Berkeley toadies.

There was a protocol defined to download the host file which we ran nighly .

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