[TUHS] Groups origins

Norman Wilson norman at oclsc.org
Mon Oct 4 08:10:17 AEST 2021

I can't speak to the evolution and use of specific
groups; I suspect it was all ad-hoc early on.

Groups appeared surprisingly late (given how familiar
they seem now): they don't show up in the manual
until the Sixth Edition.  Before that, chown took
only two arguments (filename and owner), and
permission modes had three bits fewer.

I forget how it came up, but the late Lee McMahon
once told me an amusing story about their origin:

Ken announced that he was adding groups.

Lee asked what they were for.

Ken replied with a shrug and `I dunno.'

Norman Wilson
Toronto ON

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