[TUHS] fmt(1): history, POSIX, -t, -c

Mary Ann Horton mah at mhorton.net
Sat May 30 03:14:10 AEST 2020

On 5/29/20 6:39 AM, Clem Cole wrote:
> On Fri, May 29, 2020 at 1:11 AM Michael Stiller via TUHS 
> <tuhs at minnie.tuhs.org <mailto:tuhs at minnie.tuhs.org>> wrote:
>     It is also included in 2.9BSD, or was it backported:
> Just recompiled. I don't think this was one he had to make any changes 
> too. As Mary Ann and I said, Kurt wrote as part of the UCB Mail 
> package [which includes delivermail(8) - which was the moral parent to 
> sendmail(8)].
fmt was literally part of Mail - it compiled in the same source 
directory, and was considered user agent (UA) code. delivermail/sendmail 
was separate, also from Berkeley, but written primarily by Eric Allman, 
and was the mail transport agent (MTA). It's in 2.8BSD as well.
> The whole key is that Keith did not have a Vax at the Math department 
> (they had an 11/70 with max memory) and wanted all of the cool 
> programs that were being created on the Vax.   Remember, VM is 
> automatic overlays.   So first with the kernel, and then later with 
> user code, larger and larger programs were enabled and many of the 
> programs for the Vax migrated to the PDP-11, as people ran out of 
> address space (IIRC: one the first user programs that needed to use 
> overlays was ex/vi.  Again, as I recall the original wnj version by 
> then was such a mess, getting a new/cleaner code base was a large 
> impetus for Keith to start writing nvi).

ex/vi didn't use overlays (unless you count split I/D). It fit in 64 
bits by using ifdefs.  Less useful code, like supporting upper-case-only 
terminals, would be ifdeffed out on the pdp11.

     Mary Ann

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