[TUHS] shell escapes in utilities

Clem Cole clemc at ccc.com
Wed Aug 2 01:37:41 AEST 2023


I never understood why sendmail needed it.  [Actually I never really
understand sendmail's need but that's another discussion and discussion
I've had with Ertc over the years]. But shell escape were pretty typical,
until Kulp's ^Z job control stuff and/or real window managers - it would
have sucked not to have had them.
Off the top of my head:

   - any editor (text or graphical)
   - things that controlled the screen like more(1) would have wanted to
   support something like this
   - programs that produced graphical output -- from *roff/tex and the
   like, to many/most of the CAD programs, or even Ghostscript I think.  You
   might want to dump out and suck back in something processed from another
   program, and the 'pipeline' was not always the easy/right way to do that.
   Classic example of calling on the PS/EPS tools from inside of troff.  This
   is why tools like xdvi and the like supported it.
   - long-running games where you did not want to lose your session
   - many things that supported remote job entry/execution - which was
   really common in the old days [hence UUCP, the PWB RJE tools, rsh and the
   like].  IICR there was a couple of versions of telnet/supdup that could do


On Tue, Aug 1, 2023 at 1:48 AM ron minnich <rminnich at gmail.com> wrote:

> I got to wondering, based on the sendmail discussions, how many shell
> escapes have appeared over the years?
> uucp
> sendmail
> xdvi : "The "allowShell" option enables the shell escape in PostScript
> specials"
> There must be a lot of them, however.
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