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From: Clem Cole <>
To: Henry Bent <>
Cc: TUHS main list <>
Subject: Re: [TUHS] Ratfor revived!
Date: Thu, 2 Dec 2021 09:15:43 -0500	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <>

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Henry -- most people that I am aware used the original Fortran-IV version
since that was the Lingua-Franca.  The Pascal version was a few years
later, and frankly other than to read the book, I personally never ran the
results from them.  But I can say I did use the original Fortran version
under VMS back in the day.  As bwk says in the Pascal edition, it was
actually a difficult thing to do because Pascal lacked many features that
really made it uniform across implementations, portable between systems
themselves, and as a reasonable systems programming language.  See: Why
Pascal is Not My Favorite Programming Language


On Thu, Dec 2, 2021 at 12:44 AM Henry Bent <> wrote:

> Thank you, Clem.  I am working on getting the tools running in DOSBox,
> which seemed most straightforward.
> The Byte article (the scan of which I am very grateful for; not having to
> go trawling through the stacks at the Oberlin College library is always a
> plus) claims that the tools have been implemented on:
> Amdahl
> Apollo
> Burroughs
> Cray
> Data General
> HP
> Honeywell
> Intel
> Interdata
> Modcomp
> Multics
> Perkin-Elmer
> Prime
> Rolm
> Tandem
> Univac
> Wang
> Xerox
> CP/M Machines
> MS/DOS Machines
> UNIX Machines
> Which is quite the list; I've never even heard of a few of those!  Based
> on the files in the UNIX Archive, am I to assume that most of those ports
> took advantage of a native Pascal compiler?  That's how I'm planning to
> bring the tools up on my local RT-11 machine.
> -Henry
> On Wed, 1 Dec 2021 at 19:34, Clem Cole <> wrote:
>> ᐧ
>> On Wed, Dec 1, 2021 at 5:25 PM Henry Bent <> wrote:
>>> On Wed, 1 Dec 2021 at 17:17, 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.
>>> Could you provide a link to said environment, and suggest what sort of
>>> machines it might have run on?  I probably have something here that will do
>>> it, and I am very interested.
>>> -Henry
>>>> 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

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  reply	other threads:[~2021-12-02 14:18 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 [this message]
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
2021-12-01 21:24   ` Thomas Paulsen
2021-12-02  7:34   ` arnold

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