[TUHS] [COFF] Pondering the hosts file

Ron Natalie ron at ronnatalie.com
Fri Mar 12 07:08:15 AEST 2021

The "name" in this context the host/network/gateway name such as 
SRI-NIC.ARPA.    3COM.COM would not have been legal back then.
Nowhere does it imply that any of the other fields are so restricted.

------ Original Message ------
From: "Bakul Shah" <bakul at iitbombay.org>
To: "Ron Natalie" <ron at ronnatalie.com>
Cc: "The Unix Heritage Society" <tuhs at minnie.tuhs.org>; "Internet 
History" <internet-history at postel.org>
Sent: 3/11/2021 4:02:50 PM
Subject: Re: [TUHS] [COFF] Pondering the hosts file

>On Mar 11, 2021, at 12:32 PM, Ron Natalie <ron at ronnatalie.com> wrote:
>>Amusingly one day we got an Imagen ethernet-connected laser printer.   
>>  Mike Muuss decided the thing should be named BRL-ZAP and since I 
>>didn't know what to put down as the machine type, and it did have a 
>>68000 in it, I had Jake put 68000 in the entry in the host table.
>>The next day I got all kinds of hate mail from other BSD sites who 
>>assumed I had intentionally sabotaged the host table.   Apparently, 
>>the BSD systems used a YACC grammar to parse the NIC table into the 
>>Berkeley one.   The only problem is they got the grammar wrong and 
>>assumed the CPU type always began with a letter.    There parse blew 
>>up on my "ZAP" host and they assumed that was the desired effect.
>This is understandable as
>a) All the "official machine names" in various assigned numbers RFCs 
>start with a letter.
>b) the BNF syntax for the "host table specification" entries in RFC 952 
>or 810 are not precise enough.
>><cputype> ::= PDP-11/70 | DEC-1080 | C/30 | CDC-6400...etc.
>>NOTE:  See "Assigned Numbers" for specific options and acronyms
>>          for machine types, operating systems, and protocol/services.
>>          for machine types, operating systems, and protocol/services.
>c) 68000 was not an official name!
>:-) :-) :-)
>>I countered back that using a YACC grammar for this was rediculous.   
>>There was already a real popular file on UNIX that had a bunch of 
>>fields separated by colons and commas (/etc/passwd anybody) that it 
>>was never necessary to use YACC to parse.
>Can't argue with that! Though that doesn't mean a handwritten parser 
>wouldn't have complained about 68000.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://minnie.tuhs.org/pipermail/tuhs/attachments/20210311/7c5319d7/attachment.htm>

More information about the TUHS mailing list