Talk:Unix

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Semiprotected edit request: The links to "The UNIX Time-Sharing System" don't work[edit]

Please insert either http://cm.bell-labs.com/cm/cs/who/dmr/cacm.html or http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/~brewer/cs262/unix.pdf — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kiechlus (talkcontribs) 09:32, 25 December 2014 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done, got it replaced with an archived version. — Dsimic (talk | contribs) 07:03, 26 December 2014 (UTC)

Naming of the references[edit]

Hello, Ylee! Regarding your revert, I tend to disagree with your explanation. Speaking of reusing references later, nobody will search for already named references just to reuse them; only searching the Wiki code by the URL or looking at the rendered "References" section makes sense for that purpose. Furthermore, not naming references that aren't reused later doesn't improve the article, but it improves the Wiki code by reducing clutter. At the same time, my edit you've reverted also fixed the use of |page= vs. |pages=; as we know, the former should be used for single pages, while the latter should specify page ranges or lists. Of course, I'm more than open to discussing this further. — Dsimic (talk | contribs) 05:36, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

First, don't assume you that you speak for other editors. I know I am not the only one who makes sure a citation does not already exist in an article before inserting it.
Second, if I (the original editor for the affected cites) ever decide to go back and reuse them, I'd have to reinsert the references.
Third, WP:REFNAME says nothing about avoiding clutter by avoiding naming references when not needed; quite the contrary.
Fourth, pages= is always preferable because (as any perusal of an existing article would show) it automatically prints "p." or "pp." depending on whether a single number or range of numbers is used. Ylee (talk) 05:52, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
Well, you also assume to be speaking on other editors' behalf when saying that it "inhibits later reuse" of references. So what if you need to name a reference later? Is your time so precious? :) At the same time, WP:REFNAME describes how to use "a source more than once", not how to prepare it for some possible later reuse. Speaking of |page= vs. |pages=, it seems you're again trying to "future proof" it if anyone decides to add more pages; if someone is meticulous enough to add more pages, he or she will surely also know the fine details and differences between those two parameters. — Dsimic (talk | contribs) 06:05, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

UNICS data inaccurate[edit]

The data on the origin of UNICS is inaccurate, unless you regard Brian Kernighan a liar, as he told a conference that it was a quip he made on the first maiden voyage of the system when Ritchie's login from a user console failed. (The system at that time was written in B.) All attempts to assign other credit to this acronym fail and are not better than sophomoric. Brian's still around - ask him. For the jibe was taken by ken and dmr as a friendly challenge: ken asked dmr to make B a compilable language (which he did). How Peter's supposed to factor into this pseudo-history is a mystery, but he's never mentioned in those early years at Bell and bwk never mentions him at all. So it's apocryphal. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 82.255.20.188 (talkcontribs) 0:45, 24 August 2015‎

UNIX or Unix[edit]

The discussion in the article about this issue is already fairly complete, but I just noticed another interesting trend in Google's "Ngram" service: [1] it's interesting to note that in the 1980s, the spelling "UNIX" was much more popular than "Unix" (a 4:1 ratio), but the trend reversed in the 1990s, until in 2000, they became equally common in books. 37.142.229.250 (talk) 12:50, 27 October 2015 (UTC) I'm not sure where, if at all, to add this information in the article 37.142.229.250 (talk) 12:50, 27 October 2015 (UTC)

the correct spelling is UNIX. Schily (talk) 13:08, 27 October 2015 (UTC)
Please don't say things like this because they do not tell the entire story and this topic has already been discussed at great length before. The reality is that the version in small-caps is the original. Please see the following threads: Talk:Unix/Archive_1#.22UNIX.22_vs._.22Unix.22 and Talk:Unix/Archive_4#Trademark. We should not insist on any changes or make any changes in this regard until the past discussions have been reviewed and other editors agree on a course of action. If I remember correctly, "Unix" is used for the OS in the generic sense, whereas "UNIX" is commonly used with the trademark. I may be wrong, but I think there was some method to the madness. In any case, this has been debated for years in the article. Best regards. Huihermit (talk) 13:20, 27 October 2015 (UTC)
You are right with the fact that UNIX is written in small caps and this spelling was used after troff has been introduced. Before Unics was used. If you believe that "Unix" is a correct spelling, please give examples where "Unix" is used. Schily (talk) 14:13, 27 October 2015 (UTC)
BYTE 1983, InfoWorld 1989, Computer World 2001, ZDNet, 2011, Network World, 2013, and a quick glance at the references at various Unix-related wp articles turns up a lot more of these. Also the O'Reilly books Unix Power Tools and Unix in a Nutshell (but not Addison-Wesley publications, those use "UNIX", AFAICT). QVVERTYVS (hm?) 15:09, 27 October 2015 (UTC)
If you could find a single official AT&T published text that contains "Unix", I would be convinced. Schily (talk) 15:40, 27 October 2015 (UTC)
Per WP:COMMONNAME, "the term or name most typically used in reliable sources is generally preferred" and WP:SECONDARY tells us to prefer secondary sources over primary ones (like AT&T publications). Both of those are Wikipedia policy. QVVERTYVS (hm?) 15:51, 27 October 2015 (UTC)
In our case, secondary sources are useless as they may contain typos that would not have been in AT&T publications. Please this internal AT&T paper that announces the SCCS version 4: [2] every instance of the term UNIX is all caps. Schily (talk) 16:03, 27 October 2015 (UTC)
It's too easy to just reject sources as unreliable if they don't support your conclusion. QVVERTYVS (hm?) 16:55, 27 October 2015 (UTC)
Is this your way of telling us that you could not find an AT&T initiated text that spells "Unix"? Schily (talk) 17:07, 27 October 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── No, I'm saying that your reasoning is backwards. You start by positing the conclusion, ask for sources that oppose the conclusion, and when those are presented, you wave them away. QVVERTYVS (hm?) 20:58, 27 October 2015 (UTC)

For what it's worth, we can look back a little at the ancient Unix source code itself. For V1, we just have some text output for man pages, but not the original roff source. We can see that in some V1 source code, like in the Unix kernel (where small-caps are impossible), they are using the capitalized form UNIX. For V3 man pages, we see all-caps UNIX in the man pages. For V4, we get more modern troff sources, and we see the title in all small-caps, including the initial "U". It seems to be that all-caps was at least used in source code in early versions. However, for printed documentation, the all-small-caps form was the standard by the mid-1970s. Later, the all-caps form became prominent due to copying the capitalized letters (and perhaps due to earlier usage).

Now, all of this points to the idea that by the mid-1970's, the Unix authors were using an all-small-caps form as the standard, and the all-caps form when they were not able to typeset the all-small-caps form. Later according to the Jargon File, Dennis Ritchie tried to get the name changed to Unix because they didn't like the all-caps form that others had been using, but by that time the all-caps form was being forced on them due to conventions. Dennis Ritchie gave up trying to fight it. Later the form Unix became common as a genericized form of UNIX, and it also happens to be what Dennis Ritchie at least wished for.

If we want to see Bell Labs CSRC internal usage of the term through the 1980s and 1990s, we can look at the Plan 9 fortunes file, which contains the fortunes brought over from Bell Labs Research Unix. Here we can see that when forced into plain ASCII text, they are using both UNIX and Unix forms interchangeably without any special bias:

Of course, none of this is to say that early usage or "official usage" dictates the form used on Wikipedia. As always, Wikipedia should follow WP:COMMONNAME. In that case, it would probably be the generic mixed-case form "Unix," which is certainly more common these days. Best regards. Huihermit (talk) 05:12, 28 October 2015 (UTC)