[TUHS] [SPAM] Re: If not Linux, then what?

Clem Cole clemc at ccc.com
Wed Aug 28 23:52:42 AEST 2019

On Wed, Aug 28, 2019 at 12:06 AM Larry McVoy <lm at mcvoy.com> wrote:

> I could be wrong but that's my memory.  What he told me was streams was
> for line disciplines for tty drivers.

Rob - this syncs with what Dennis I had talked about too *i.e.* Using
streams for the serial interface; as the line disciplines stuff was a mess
by that point.  I cannt say I remember talking to him about using streams
for networking.   But I will say, I did agree that when we looked later at
Stellar; but stuck with using sockets.  This was for no other reason than
to ensure that the BSD code 'just worked' and for a product, which where I
was at the time (and I think Larry also at Sun), ensuring existing code
worked (and worked efficiently), has to be the high order bit.

I do hear you about many of the deficancies of 'pure joy.'  It seems that
it is always difficult as systems implementors to decide when to have an
'ice age' and try to kill off the old code and when to evolve it.  IMHO:
the code running user space that exploited the networking layer was still
new enough, that evolution (*i.e.* hanging on an interface that was seemly
'good enough' - sockets) was more attractive than revolution.  FWIW: we can
now analyize and argue why BSD UNIX and the socket interface were what made
it happen, but the historical fact is that sockets did seed the user space
network code base.

Also, I will observe that your comments about replacing MPX are a solid
memory for me also, IIRC Greg developed MPX for datakit originally.  He had
sent me a copy at CMU in the late 1970s (but before V7 was out the door)
and we had it in our v6++/CMU distr front -end system. I also remember
messing with it in on the Teklabs system. Because I had messed with it at
CMU aqnd was familar with its semantics, we we got the 3COM UNET code base
(which was the first commercial IP/TCP implementation and it ran in user
space unlike the later BBN Gurwitiz code base), and I rewrote some of Greg
Shaw and Bruce Borden's stuff to use MPX.   I'm trying to remember how
their code worked before we hacked it -- (maybe Rand Pipes); but that was
too many beers ago for my brain to still have it.  I'm pretty sure
Greg/Bruce took this back to 3Com when we were done.   Sadly, the UNET
stuff seems to have been lost.

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