[TUHS] Documentation for Sys-V basic interpreter

Clem Cole clemc at ccc.com
Sat May 20 23:43:26 AEST 2023

Matt - again, thank you.  I just did a diff between the man pages from
the System III version on TUHS and the version I have from Kirk's CD set
[which was what we had a UCB].  The System III version looks different from
the UCB man page (*e.g*., no plot() functions and a few other things).
 So, I did a little checking last night and wrote a couple of emails to
some folks.  The evidence I have found does seem to me that Dick Haight wrote
the original bs(1) command.  Note that Dolotta, Haight, Piskorik, and
Mashey were the original PWB 1.0 core team, as it were.   But ... looking
at my printed PWB 1.0 manual, there does not seem to be a bs(1) man page.
However, we know that while PWB was never released officially outside of
the Bell System - although parts of PWB 'leaked' to MIT, CMU, and UCB
[probably via the OYOC's -- Noel's MIT system is clearly influenced by PWB
1.0 and I know the CMU system we had was also thanks to folks like tjk and
Phil Karn].   The point is that many/most of the commands from PWB [with
SCCS being the most important], if not the full kernel itself, arrived in
those places.

So a semi-educated >>WAG<< ...  with the evidence being that

   1. Haight's bs(1) was different from Ken's bas(1) which was in V7,
   2. bs(1) is on Kirk's CD (disk4),
   3. we know parts of PWB leaked from Bell,
   4. I personally remember having it at UCB;

Kirk's version at UCB predated the System III/V one you have, and it is
likely an either Haight version from PWB 1.0 somehow.    We know a Dale and
their team in Columbus not only wrote their own enhancements, but they also
took the source from all over: Research, PWB, and some of the
universities.    The CB/UNIX folks likely updated bs(1), and later, when
some of the CB UNIX enhancement made it back to Summit and in PWB 2, 3, and
the like - that's where the updated version appeared.


On Sat, May 20, 2023 at 12:29 AM segaloco via TUHS <tuhs at tuhs.org> wrote:

> Here are raw[1] and nroff-d[2] restorations of the CB-UNIX 2.1 stamped
> page:
> [1] - https://pastebin.com/EAjMyvSn
> [2] - https://pastebin.com/Dgh1g5q8
> According to a diff with the 3.0 manpage in the tree[3], these are some
> changes of note from CB 2.1 to PWB 3.0:
> - Added ibase, obase
> - Added elif and using a single fi to end an if elif else chain
> - Added return for returning from function calls
> - Added support for tables (arrays based on key-value pairs)
> - The plot(11) routine swaps the corners about the y axis
> - A bug is removed indicating a limit of 250 lines, 250 variables, and
> artificial truncation of names to six characters.
> Unfortunately the CB 2.1 page on the archive[4] doesn't indicate anything
> of particular note that wasn't pretty much the same in PWB 3.0.
> [3] -
> https://www.tuhs.org/cgi-bin/utree.pl?file=SysIII/usr/src/man/man1/bs.1
> [4] -
> https://www.tuhs.org/Archive/Distributions/USDL/CB_Unix/cbunix_man1_01.pdf
> (Page 32-39)
> - Matt G.
> ------- Original Message -------
> On Friday, May 19th, 2023 at 5:31 PM, Clem Cole <clemc at ccc.com> wrote:
> Matt.
> Does the CB man page match the PWB 3 version? I may be mixing something up
> in my memory so I ask because I seem to remember there were some
> differences between some scripts that came from different places ( We did a
> lot with graphics in the cad group and when we had tools that came from
> other places it was often graphics that bit us which is why I think that
> sticks in my mind). I’ll have to try looking at the version we had at UCB
> in a bit.
> As for doc the only thing I remember was a man page for the tool.
> Clem
> On Fri, May 19, 2023 at 4:19 PM segaloco via TUHS <tuhs at tuhs.org> wrote:
>> 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
>> --
> Sent from a handheld expect more typos than usual
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