[TUHS] Documentation for Sys-V basic interpreter

segaloco via TUHS tuhs at tuhs.org
Sat May 20 06:19:02 AEST 2023

The earliest documentation I can spot is the bs(1) man page dated November, 1979 in the CB-UNIX 2.3 Manual (although the page itself is tagged CB-UNIX 2.1.)

This appears to be the same lineage as what we see in the commercial PWB releases, however, the earliest backstop I have on that is June, 1980 with 3.0. PWB 1.0 contains no such page, and unfortunately the situation right around 1979 is still a bit fuzzy re: PWB 2.0 and UNIX/TS. That said, the preface to the CB-UNIX 2.3 manual (which is also a 2.1 page from 1979) pays no credit to the UNIX/TS 1.1 nor PWB 2.0 manuals the way the PWB 3.0 preface does, so perhaps bs(1) started in CB?

Looking forward, this utility persists up til SVR2, but is gone as of the SVR3 globe-with-UNIX-lines manual series. Curiously, it was also omitted from the 3B20 PWB 4.1 manual, but the 5.0 and subsequent System V 1 and 2 manuals don't have a hardware-exclusivity masthead mark, so this was likely made portable/ported to 3B20 sometime around '81. In any case, none of the man pages in any of these manuals indicate any memoranda or other papers in the SEE ALSO. Doesn't mean one doesn't exist, but points to the likelihood that the manpage is really all you get documentation-wise. Even the BTL versions don't mention any papers.

In any case, that's what I could turn up, there is a bs(1) manpage in the following versions:

- 1979 - CB-UNIX 2.1
- 1980 - PWB 3.0/System III
- 1981 - PWB 4.x (Non 3B20)
- 1981 - CB-UNIX 2.3 (unmodified from 2.1)
- 1982 - PWB 5.0
- 1983 - System V
- 1984 - System V Release 2

Hope that helps. All of these save the 4.x version should be in various places around. I don't remember seeing anything outrageously different between 3.0 and 5.0, so it very well may be that the 4.x manpage could be easily synthesized with a diff, but I don't have a physical page to prove anything.

- Matt G.
------- Original Message -------
On Friday, May 19th, 2023 at 8:06 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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