[TUHS] First appearance of named pipes

Dave Horsfall dave at horsfall.org
Sun Mar 8 13:06:50 AEST 2020

On Sun, 8 Mar 2020, Rob Pike wrote:

> Always bemused me that to get a named local I/O connection one ended up 
> with "Unix domain (what does that even mean?) sockets" rather than named 
> pipes, especially since sockets are about as natural a Unix concept as 
> lawn mowers.


> I've been told, but haven't confirmed, that early sockets didn't even 
> support read and write.

They had their own I/O calls such as send()/recv() (and still do).

> They still don't support open and close, and never will.

Huh; imagine my surprise when I named a function "shutdown()" because
it was called at SIGTERM to clean up...

> Networks are not intrinsically more special than any other I/O 
> peripheral, but they have become gilded unicorns mounted on rotating 
> hovercrafts compared to the I/O devices Unix supported before them.

And that's being polite...  They are the worst interface that I have ever 
seen (including OS/360).  At a previous $ORKPLACE there was a library that 
said simply "I am server on port N" and "I want to contact a service on 
a.b.c.d on port N"; I wish I'd stole^Wborrowed it when we eventually 
parted company.

-- Dave

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