[TUHS] early Unix papers, from Jim Joyce

G. Branden Robinson g.branden.robinson at gmail.com
Wed Nov 9 02:42:20 AEST 2022

At 2022-11-07T23:12:40+0000, segaloco via TUHS wrote:
> The following papers stick out to me as papers that haven't surfaced
> in any of the research I've done (not exhaustive, but what stuck out
> to me):
> Why Pascal is Not My Favorite Programming Language
>     - This sounds fun, not hard UNIX info, but fun

The infamous CSTR #100.  :D  It has been in circulation as a while,
though the copy I have has been stripped of its CSTR identifier and the
header margin is suspiciously short for an ms(7) paper.

> A Typesetter-Independent TROFF
>     - A ditroff-specific paper?  Can't say I've seen such a thing,
>     would be interested in this one.

That's CSTR #97, also well-known, albeit not as well known as it should
be by people who regard CSTR #54 (1992 revision) as Torah.  #97 is
surely Taldmudic.

> I know someone (can't recall name/email) in the GROFF mailing list
> seemed particularly excited about ditroff information that could be
> gleaned from the UNIX/TS 4.0 docs, this may be their golden carrot.

That was me.  The golden carrot would be the [nt]roff source from that
release.  Someone pointed me in the direction of McKusick's CSRG CD-ROM
archives for that, but I haven't made the time to chase it down.  I'm
trying to eat my vegetables first and get a groff release out.  We're
closing in on 400 bugs fixed since 1.22.4...

> PIC - A Graphics Language for Typesetting
>     - The list mentions a March 1982 revision.  This would post-date
>     the UNIX/TS 4.0 version, although there is the Research V10
>     version of the paper.  However, an initial flip through the V10
>     Volume 2 manual reveals no specific last-modify date.  That would
>     ultimately trace back to
>     https://minnie.tuhs.org/cgi-bin/utree.pl?file=V8/usr/doc/pic . I
>     can't find the roff sources for V9 or V10 of this paper though,
>     I've just got the physical book for V10.

I'm envious, if you have both bound volumes of the V10 manuals.

groff's pic.ms document (identifying Eric Raymond as author, although I
believe it understates its debt to the above document, CSTR #116) muses
about a "pre-ditroff" version of pic, but I have never encountered any
evidence that any such thing existed.  The \D drawing command escape
sequences did not exist in Ossanna's troff; see the line 601 switch() in

> The PIC Graphics Language
>     - Another PIC paper?

I'm curious to see any variant documentation of pic, particularly its
early versions.

> Writing Tools - The STYLE and DICTION Programs
>     - Ditto, I'd be curious how much of what became trade-book WWB/DWB
>     documentation started as Bell memoranda and if a full manual could
>     be compiled from just memoranda.

I share your interest in WWB-related documents.

In case there's anyone who's not already aware of this, the Internet
Archive has a very nice cache of documents formerly hosted at


I find the refer(1) database of _all_ CSTR document numbers to be of
particular interest.


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