[TUHS] Software written in B

Sebastien F4GRX f4grx at f4grx.net
Wed Jun 7 20:14:14 AEST 2023

Hello everyone,

this is my first post on this list.

After looking at the archives for this mailing list, I have seen that 
the B language has been discussed several times already.

After viewing Ken Thompson's interview by Brian Kernighan at VCF East 
2019, I became interested in the B language, as it seemed full-featured 
for system programming, close to C, and simple enough to write a parser 
for it without a code generation tool.

So for fun and self-education, I am now writing a (or yet another) B 
compiler, in C, after reading Jack Crenshaw's "Let's build a compiler" 
documentation ( https://compilers.iecc.com/crenshaw/ )

Here it is: https://git.sr.ht/~f4grx/bpars

It is now starting to generate code for the 68hc11 8-bit platform. It 
can also generate C code.

I have written some test programs, found some B examples, but I thought 
it would be great to use my compiler with actual B software.

Of course, B was a "transition" language, that did not have a continued 
use as soon as it evolved into C. so if any software remains, it will be 
quite hard to find.

And here is my question, is any of you aware of original B source code 
archives? or are in touch with people that would know?

In particular, I read on this document written by Dennis Ritchie: 

 > After the TMG version of B was working, Thompson rewrote B in itself 
(a bootstrapping step).

I have also read that the YACC tool was initially written in B.

There might be other historical B sources that I am not aware of.

Do you know if any of this code has survived to this day? Where could I 
find more information about this?

Thank you very much,

Sebastien Lorquet (F4GRX)

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