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From: Douglas McIlroy <>
To: TUHS main list <>
Subject: [TUHS] Re: Has this been discussed on-list? How Unix changed Software.
Date: Tue, 6 Sep 2022 11:07:19 -0400	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <> (raw)

> (Research) Unix ... 'shipped' with zero known bugs.

It wasn't a Utopia. Right from the start man pages reported BUGS,
though many were infelicities, not implementation errors.

Dennis once ran a demo of a ubiquitous bug: buffer overflow. He fed a
2000-character line on stdin to every program in /bin. Many crashed.
Nobody was surprised; and nobody was moved to fix the offenders. The
misdesign principle that "no real-life input looks like that" fell
into disrepute, but the bad stuff lived on. Some years down the road a
paper appeared (in CACM?) that repeated Dennis's exercise.

> An emergent property is "Good Security”

Actually security (or at least securability) was a conscious theme
from the start to which Ken, Bob Morris, and Fred Grampp gave serious
attention. Networking brought insecurity, especially to Berkeley Unix.
But research was not immune; remote execution via uucp caused much
angst, but not enough to kill it.

In regards to the basic question. To oversimplify: Theme 1. Unix
facilities encouraged what Brian recognized and proselytized as
software tools. Theme 2. OS portability was new and extraordinarily
final. Subsequent OS's were all portable and were all Unix.


             reply	other threads:[~2022-09-06 15:09 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 25+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2022-09-06 15:07 Douglas McIlroy [this message]
2022-09-06 17:13 ` Larry McVoy
2022-09-07  1:40 ` steve jenkin
2022-09-07  2:33   ` segaloco via TUHS
2022-09-07  4:08     ` Steve Jenkin
2022-09-07 13:08   ` Steffen Nurpmeso
2022-09-07 14:56   ` Larry McVoy
2022-09-07 21:27     ` Steve Jenkin
2022-09-07 22:36       ` Larry McVoy
2022-09-08 14:42       ` Paul Winalski
2022-09-08 15:02         ` Larry McVoy
2022-09-08 15:04         ` ron minnich
2022-09-08 15:52           ` Warner Losh
2022-09-08 16:47             ` Paul Winalski
2022-09-08 16:50             ` segaloco via TUHS
2022-09-08 17:58               ` ron minnich
  -- strict thread matches above, loose matches on Subject: below --
2022-09-06 19:04 Douglas McIlroy
2022-09-05 23:48 [TUHS] " steve jenkin
2022-09-06 16:09 ` [TUHS] " Marc Donner
2022-09-07  4:00   ` steve jenkin
2022-09-07 14:58     ` John Cowan
2022-09-07 17:13     ` Paul Winalski
2022-09-08 14:12       ` Paul Winalski
2022-09-07  5:15   ` steve jenkin
2022-09-07 13:20     ` Dan Cross
2022-09-07 13:52       ` Steve Nickolas

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