The Unix Heritage Society mailing list
 help / color / mirror / Atom feed
From: Henry Bent <>
To: Clem Cole <>
Cc: TUHS main list <>
Subject: Re: [TUHS] Ratfor revived!
Date: Thu, 2 Dec 2021 00:44:33 -0500	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <>

[-- Attachment #1: Type: text/plain, Size: 4461 bytes --]

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:

Data General
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.


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

[-- Attachment #2: Type: text/html, Size: 8321 bytes --]

  reply	other threads:[~2021-12-02  5:45 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 [this message]
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
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 \
    --in-reply-to='' \ \ \ \

* 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).