[TUHS] crt0 -- what's in that name?

Anthony Martin ality at pbrane.org
Tue Jun 13 07:28:09 AEST 2023

Chris Pinnock via TUHS <tuhs at tuhs.org> once said:
> > On 12 Jun 2023, at 21:22, Dan Cross <crossd at gmail.com> wrote:
> > I thought it was pretty well known that it stands for, "Block Started
> > (by) Symbol”?
> I wrote a paper on a.out a year or so ago and
> concluded that I could not find an adequate answer
> - so avoided the issue with a non-commital
> footnote.

Your paper says there are disagreements about what
it stands for. What gave you that impression?

>From https://www.tuhs.org/Usenet/comp.unix.wizards/1990-June/033811.html

	Dennis Ritchie says:

	Actually the acronym (in the sense we took it up;
	it may have other credible etymologies) is "Block
	Started by Symbol." It was a pseudo-op in FAP
	(Fortran Assembly [-er?] Program), an assembler
	for the IBM 704-709-7090-7094 machines. It defined
	its label and set aside space for a given number
	of words. There was another pseudo-op, BES, "Block
	Ended by Symbol" that did the same except that the
	label was defined by the last assigned word + 1.
	(On these machines Fortran arrays were stored
	backwards in storage and were 1-origin.)

	The usage is reasonably appropriate, because just
	as with standard Unix loaders, the space assigned
	didn't have to be punched literally into the
	object deck but was represented by a count


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