[TUHS] Documentation for Sys-V basic interpreter

Clem Cole clemc at ccc.com
Sat May 20 06:15:04 AEST 2023

Sure the sources and a man page or two exists.  Ken Thompson wrote bas(1)
and bs(1) was Dick Haight - which IIRC correctly, was ~78/79.  Haight's
program which would go out as part of System V ---  was first distributed
outside of the labs in System III. I would have expected man pages in
either source distribution.  I don't have those online to check and I don't
tend to bother with System V as its historically less interesting.

That said, one thing I do remember is that the primary version of bs from
the PWB family (certainly the one we had at UCB) was a little different
from the version I saw in a couple of the BTL sites later.  My >>memory<<
here (which could be flawed) was the CB Unix folks added a few features --
like a set of plotting function that Whippany picked up etc.  I only
remember this because we were working with a number of different places
(from different AT&T labs to IBM, Intel, NS, HP, Tek, etc.) when we
developed the UCB CAD tools.   I remember and an incident where one of the
Bell folks we had at UCB had brought some thing with him that relied on the
strange bs dialec -- i.e. did not run on the UCB CAD systems - which had
the version of PWB. It was close, but made calls to some extra stuff (plot
and the like IIRC).

My suggestion, as always start in the TUHS archives and look there -- that
will be the most complete of what was released. That said,  Disk4 of Kirk's
set will have all the stuff we had in /usr/local (like cpio etc..) on the
UCB systems.  FWIW: I'm fairly sure the sources and the man pages will be
with Kirk's trove. But I don't believe BSD ever released it, as it was not
part of V7, so you will not find it in a formal BSD distribution tape.


On Fri, May 19, 2023 at 11:07 AM KenUnix <ken.unix.guy at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi.
> Was any documentation ever done for the basic interpreter
> that was on System-V?
> Things like allowed keywords or special keywords.
> Thanks
> Ken
> --
> WWL 📚 Okey Dokey OK Boss
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