[TUHS] mh/hm, mmh

Mary Ann Horton mah at mhorton.net
Mon Jun 1 03:28:56 AEST 2020

What a wonderful historical tour, Clem! Thank you!

On 5/31/20 7:53 AM, Clem Cole wrote:
> MH used a new Mailbox (on-disk) scheme and formatted all messages in 
> RFC733 form with addresses being flat an in the form: user at host. The 
> new format, used a line a control-As followed by a nl, before and 
> after the message.   The headers of course where RFC733 (type: value 
> with a trailing nl) and were separated from the body of the message by 
> a single nl.
MH's message/file format was also the inspiration for B news, which kept 
each Usenet message in a separate RFC733 format file. (The command line 
interface, however, was more like a feed, not separate shell commands.) 
No control-A separators, though, just separate files.
> At some point in time, UCB built the 'Berk-net' (whose original code 
> was written by ABC/Google's Eric Schmidt).  BTW: Eric would have seen 
> the Spider Network in his summers at BTL.  The key thing with Berknet 
> was cheap.  It ran over 3 wire RS-232C between hosts at 9600 baud.  
>  Like UUCP was used to transfer files and email.    Like UUCP it used 
> a pre-fix addressing form: host:user ; but like RFC733 and unlike UUCP 
> was flat.
> Where Mary Ann and I differ in our memories is who wrote the original 
> version of UCB's delivermail (8ucb) program.   We both agree that it 
> is possible it was Eric Schmidt, as the switch to using 
> delivermail(8ucb) was were Berknet was spliced into the email 
> namespace.  I had thought Kurt wrote it, Mary Ann thought it was Eric 
> Allman.   We agree Eric Allman was hacking on it for the Ing70.  For 
> this response, it doesn't really matter other than to try to get the 
> history right, because it does not matter for the Rand Mail subsystem.
To clarify, I was joking when I mentioned Eric Schmidt as a possible 
author of delivermail. (I should have inserted a smiley.) I wasn't 
directly involved, as Eric Allman was in the Ingres project on a 
different system, but I thought he (Eric Allman) wrote delivermail, and 
so does Wikipedia. I think Kurt Shoens wrote only the MTA, but i could 
be mistaken.
> Anyway around this time, the curses library was created by Ken Arnold 
> (originally to support Rogue) by pulling the screen code out of vi and 
> using Mary Ann's termcap stuff.

I didn't write termcap, Bill Joy did. I wrote terminfo, but that was 
later when I was at Bell Labs in 1982. Ken's curses used termcap, my 
1982 rewrite used terminfo.

     Mary Ann

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