[TUHS] Line Numbers Before SysIII nl? BSD num?

Warner Losh imp at bsdimp.com
Mon Jul 25 07:04:05 AEST 2022

On Sun, Jul 24, 2022 at 2:33 PM segaloco <segaloco at protonmail.com> wrote:

> All this discussion is making me incredibly glad I posed the question, as
> it does indeed seem that before num and nl, line numbering was more of a
> "to each their own" rather than there being a canonical best practice.
> By the way, what inspired the whole quandary in the first place was doing
> some editing on a V6 UNIX system and realizing I hadn't the foggiest idea
> of how to get the system to spit back line numbers to remind myself what
> addresses to supply to various ed commands.  I suppose at the time using a
> context search was such an effective means of getting ed's cursor where you
> wanted it that having a means to number lines wasn't crucial to effectively
> working in ed, so long as one was good with their regex and searching.
> I'm realizing I might need to reach out to the maintainer of the nl
> manpage in FreeBSD (and perhaps other OSs and distros) as the history
> section of the page posits that nl was first introduced in SVR2, when in
> reality the earliest public offering was System III, although the trail
> goes cold at that point, I can only assume it came from USG.

I can update it. Done.

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