[TUHS] Documents for UNIX Collections

Warren Toomey via TUHS tuhs at tuhs.org
Sat Jul 9 08:58:10 AEST 2022

All, Matt e-mailed this to me and the TUHS list, but it doesn't seem to
have made it through so I'm punting on a copy ...

----- Forwarded message from Matt Gilmore -----

Subject: Documents for UNIX Collections

Good afternoon everyone, my name is Matt Gilmore, and I recently worked with some folks here to help facilitate the scanning and release of the "Documents for UNIX" package as well as a few odds and ends pertinent to UNIX/TS 4.0.  I've been researching pretty heavily the history of published memoranda and how they ultimately became the formal documents that Western Electric first published with UNIX/TS 5.0 and System V.  Think the User's Guide, Graphics Guide, etc.

In my research, I've found that document sets in a similar spirit have been published since at least Research Version 6.  I've been able to track down a few that are on the TUHS source archive in original *ROFF format (Links given as path in the tree to avoid hyperlink mangling):

Research V6: V6/usr/doc
Mini-UNIX: Mini-Unix/usr/doc
PWB/UNIX 1.0: PWB1/usr/man/man0/documents
    (note, I'm not sure where the actual docs are, this is just a TOC, Operators Manual is in op in the base man folder)
Wollongong 7/32 Version: Interdata732/usr/doc (only 7/32 relevant docs, allegedly)
Research V7: V7/usr/doc
UNIX/32V: 32V/usr/doc

There are probably others, but these are the ones I'm aware of on the archive for Bell-aligned revisions prior to the commercialization of UNIX/TS as System III.  On the note of System III, I seem to have an archive that is slightly different than what is on TUHS, namely in that it has this same documents collection.  I can't find it in the System III section on the site, so I'm assuming it isn't hosted anywhere presently.  One of the projects I'm working on (slowly) is comparing these documents with the 4.0 docs I scanned for Arnold and making edits to the *ROFF sources with the hopes I could then use them to produce 1:1 clean copies of the 4.0 docs, while providing an easy means for diff'ing the documents as well (to flush out changes between 3.0 and 4.0).  Happy to provide this dump to Warren for comparison with what is currently hosted.

Usenix also published documentation sets for 4.2 and 4.3BSD in the 80's which served the same purpose for BSD users.  There seems to be a 4.4BSD set as well, although I haven't looked at these yet, I've got a random smattering between 4.2 and 4.3 of the comb-bound Usenix manuals, but I assume the 4.4 set is in a similar vein, with reference guides and supplementary documents.  Looks like a lot of the same, but with added documents regarding developments at Berkeley.

Now for my reasons for mailing, there are a couple:

1. Is anyone aware of whether similar document sets were compiled for MERT, UNIX/RT, USG Program Generic, or CB-UNIX? Or would users of those systems have simply been referred to the collection most closely matching the version they're forked from?

2. Was there ever any such document set published in this nature as "Documents for UNIX" consistent of memoranda for 5.0/System V? Or did USG immediately begin by providing just the published trade manuals? The implication here is if USG published no such documents, then the Documents for UNIX 4.0 represents the last time USG compiled the memoranda as they were written (of course with version-related edits) with original authorship and references as a documentation set.

3. Have there been any known efforts to analyze the history and authorship of these documents, explicitly denote errata and revisions, and map out the evolution of the system from a documentation perspective like this?

Thanks for any insight anyone can provide!

- Matt G.

P.S. I'd be interested in doing more preservation work, if anyone else has documents that need preserving, I'll happily coordinate shipment and scanning.

P.P.S. Ccing Warren, I don't know if I'm able to send emails to this list or not, so pardon the extraneous email if not necessary.

----- End forwarded message -----

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