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From: Deborah Scherrer <>
Subject: Re: [TUHS] Ratfor revived!
Date: Thu, 2 Dec 2021 10:34:45 -0800	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <>

Oh no, the Georgia Tech guys were heavily involved with the Software 
Tools stuff at Lawrence Berkeley Lab.  Were in frequent contact.  Did a 
superb job of setting up the Tools there and extending them.  Good guys!


On 12/1/21 11:41 PM, wrote:
> Indeed.
> I never worked with this directly, though. I went to grad school
> at Georgia Tech, where some of the students had started with the tools
> from the book and built a beautiful Unix-like subsystem on top of
> Primos on Pr1me minicomputers.  (This code was recoverd in 2019,
> after thinking it'd been lost for 30+ years!)
> I never asked, but I suspect that the Georgia Tech guys simply didn't
> know about the LBL work, or else they developed in parallel.
> Arnold
> 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

  reply	other threads:[~2021-12-02 19:45 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
2021-12-02  7:41     ` arnold
2021-12-02 18:34       ` Deborah Scherrer [this message]
2021-12-01 21:24   ` Thomas Paulsen
2021-12-02  7:34   ` arnold

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