[TUHS] Question: stdio - Who invented and ...

arnold at skeeve.com arnold at skeeve.com
Mon Mar 23 20:32:34 AEST 2020

Ed Bradford <egbegb2 at gmail.com> wrote:

> I've forgotten who created stdio, USG or the research group. Can any of the
> youthful BTL folks of the 1970's refresh my mind.

It was part of V7. I think DMR gets most of the credit.

> Given that stdio was invented and, in my opinion at the time, a reasonable
> and usable standard interface to IO on Unix, I am curious why no standard
> for networking was developed or proposed and discussed. Sockets just
> defined a new and very quirky IO interface for Unix based systems.
> Was any thought given to defining networking
> using the
>   creat/open/read/write/close/mknod/link/unlink/chmod/chown
> model of IO in UNIX?

Much of this has been discussed (to death) already on this list, and fairly recently, too.

At that time networking was still a research topic. The Bell Labs folks worked
on it, and this is visible in the streams stuff in V8/V9/V10 and early Plan 9,
but by that time their work was less influential on the wider Unix community.

There were efforts to integrate networking into the Unix file namespace, but
it doesn't fit overly cleanly, and such things didn't spread.

BSD networking adopted sockets from other, earlier efforts. IMHO less thought was
given to "integration with Unix ideas" as opposed to just getting something working
and usable, but that's just my opinion based on hindsight.

BSD sockets spread because BSD was in the right place at the right time: it ran
on the Vax, it also provided paging. Straight research Unix did not support
the vax at the time, and people were looking to move to the 32 bit environment.
All that plus csh with its interactive features (history, job control) and the
vi screen editor (with ed inside it), made BSD (and thus its networking) very

Again, all of this is my 2 cents, and there's much more to be found in
the list archives.



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