The Unix Heritage Society mailing list
 help / color / mirror / Atom feed
From: Brantley Coile <>
To: "" <>
Cc: "" <>
Subject: Re: [TUHS] Ratfor revived!
Date: Wed, 1 Dec 2021 22:43:39 +0000	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <>

I installed the STUG tape on our CDC Cyber 18/30 minicomputer and went from clunky to cool. A mentor Bob Stearns loaned me a copy of the book and it changed my life. After Bob passed away, his widow gave me the book. I was very touched. 

The Software Tools Groups work certainly made a big difference before Unix was widely available. 

  Brantley Coile

> On Dec 1, 2021, at 4:14 PM, Deborah Scherrer <> wrote:
> All you folks revisiting the Software Tools should remember that there was an entire movement around the first book, based at Lawrence Berkeley Lab.  The Software Tools group, an offshoot of Usenix, had about 2000 members.  We created an almost-entire Unix environment based on a virtual operating system that we designed, inspired of course by Kernighan's ideas.  The collection was ported to over 50 operating systems, including some without file systems.   This is all still freely available, and stored with the Unix archives.
> Deborah
> On 12/1/21 12:59 PM, Clem Cole wrote:
>> Arnold -- sounds fun.  Thank you!!!  I'll add it to my growing pile of things I want to play with at some point.   I too had a wonderful childhood experience with the SW tools.  Somebody had a number of them running on a VMS box when all we had was the VMS Fortran compiler, no C yet.
>> I am curious why did you decide to use byacc?   I would have thought in a desire to modernize and make it more available on a modern system -- was there something in byacc that could not be done easily in bison?   To be honest, I had thought Robert Corbett did them both and bison was the successor to byacc, but I'm not a compiler guy - so I'm suspecting that there must be a difference/reason.   As I said, this is purely curiosity -- an educational opportunity.
>> Thanks again,
>> Clem
>> ᐧ
>> On Wed, Dec 1, 2021 at 3:41 PM Arnold Robbins <> wrote:
>> Hi All.
>> Mainly for fun (sic), I decided to revive the Ratfor (Rational
>> Fortran) preprocessor.  Please see:
>> I started with the V6 code, then added the V7, V8 and V10 versions
>> on top of it. Each one has its own branch so that you can look
>> at the original code, if you wish. The man page and the paper from
>> the V7 manual are also included.
>> Starting with the Tenth Edition version, I set about to modernize
>> the code and get it to compile and run on a modern-day system.
>> (ANSI style declarations and function headers, modern include files,
>> use of getopt, and most importantly, correct use of Yacc yyval and
>> yylval variables.)
>> You will need Berkely Yacc installed as byacc in order to build it.
>> I have only touch-tested it, but so far it seems OK.  'make' runs in like 2
>> seconds, really quick. On my Ubuntu Linux systems, it compiles with
>> no warnings.
>> I hope to eventually add a test suite also, if I can steal some time.
>> Before anyone asks, no, I don't think anybody today has any real use
>> for it.  This was simply "for fun", and because Ratfor has a soft
>> spot in my heart.  "Software Tools" was, for me, the most influential
>> programming book that I ever read.  I don't think there's a better
>> book to convey the "zen" of Unix.
>> Thanks,
>> Arnold

  parent reply	other threads:[~2021-12-01 23:02 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 16+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2021-12-01 20:23 Arnold Robbins
2021-12-01 20:57 ` John Cowan
2021-12-01 20:59 ` Clem Cole
2021-12-01 21:14   ` Deborah Scherrer
2021-12-01 22:23     ` Henry Bent
2021-12-02  0:34       ` Clem Cole
2021-12-02  5:44         ` Henry Bent
2021-12-02 14:15           ` Clem Cole
2021-12-02 14:35             ` Brantley Coile
2021-12-02 14:49             ` arnold
2021-12-02 16:30           ` John Cowan
2021-12-01 22:43     ` Brantley Coile [this message]
2021-12-02  7:41     ` arnold
2021-12-02 18:34       ` Deborah Scherrer
2021-12-01 21:24   ` Thomas Paulsen
2021-12-02  7:34   ` arnold

Reply instructions:

You may reply publicly to this message via plain-text email
using any one of the following methods:

* Save the following mbox file, import it into your mail client,
  and reply-to-all from there: mbox

  Avoid top-posting and favor interleaved quoting:

* Reply using the --to, --cc, and --in-reply-to
  switches of git-send-email(1):

  git send-email \ \ \ \ \

* If your mail client supports setting the In-Reply-To header
  via mailto: links, try the mailto: link
Be sure your reply has a Subject: header at the top and a blank line before the message body.
This is a public inbox, see mirroring instructions
for how to clone and mirror all data and code used for this inbox;
as well as URLs for NNTP newsgroup(s).