31st December 2015
A few days back I sat down and did an OCR job on Dennis Ritchie's draft of the Unix Time-sharing System from 1971. It got me to thinking, there isn't a single document that look at the design decisions in early Unix, what inspired them and what has lasted over time. I was going to write a paper on it, but then I realised that it was probably beyond me.
Instead, I've thought of two other things to do. One is to see that the draft gets into print, somehow. I think that one way is to annotate it with commentary about Unix at that time, to make the document relevant to now. This is where I can talk a bit about the design of early Unix.
The other thing is to set up a wiki to capture all the snippets and papers and things that are Unix related. I wanted to ask Doug McIlroy if he had a more exact date for Ken's implementation of pipes but a) I couldn't find the date range that I'd narrowed it down to and b) according to my e-mails I had asked him that in 2008. So, it's time for a central repository of Unix information for both academics and fans.
Besides, the 50th anniversary of Unix is coming up in 2019. The wiki would be a fitting celebration of the 50th anniversary, and it will take me (us) all that time to get it done!
P.S. And I can also move my blog here.