Thursday, October 10, 2013

Once upon a time there were Bell Labs...

Today is another step closer to the end of an era for the old AT&T Bell Labs (now called AT&T Labs). Our valued colleague David Korn (inventor of the famous Korn Shell - ksh) is leaving the labs, and he sent us the following farewell message in a form of (what else?) a Korn Shell script:


cd /tmp
if [[ $(print hello) != hello ]] 2> /dev/null
then echo 'You should use ksh'
 alias print=echo
fi
trap 'rm mvs2*' EXIT
trap 'print "$year: dgk raptured to dgk@xxxxxxxxx"' TERM
for x in 76 78 80 81 83 86 87 88 89 90 91 93 95 99 100 103 107 108 110 112 113
do case $((year=1900+x)) in
 1976) print "$year: Hello Bell Telephone Labs, Holmdel; Goodbye NYU";;
 1978) print "$year: create 'formshell' for RBCS from Bourne shell";;
 1980) print "$year: leave Bell Telephone Labs and return to NYU";;
 1981) print "$year: return to Bell Telephone Labs Murray Hill Bldg 5"
  print "$year: meet erg north dgb and kpv";;
 1983) print "$year: first version of ksh with editing and job control";
  print "$year: dgb becomes my supervisor"
  print "$year: UNIX for apollo with erg and ed fisher";;
 1986) print "$year: compete with kpv for best malloc library";;
 1987) print "$year: win best one liner in obfuscated C contest"
  print "$year: began long and continuing collaboration with gsf";;
 1988) print "$year: KornShell 88 book published";;
 1989) print "$year: 3d file system with gsf and ekrell";;
 1990) print "$year: sfio with kpv";;
 1991) print "$year: begin ast library with gsf";;
 1993) print "$year: first version of ksh93";;
 1995) print "$year: 1993 KornShell book published"
  print "$year: first version of UWIN"
  print "$year: Bell Labs split to AT&T Labs and Lucent";;
 1997) print "$year: move to Florham Park";;
 1999) print "$year: y2k testing software created";;
 2000)  print "$year: ast software becomes self documenting";;
 2003) > mvs2pc; print "$year: create mvs2pc";;
 2007) print "$year: Universal Biller invoicing runs with msv2pc";;
 2008) print "$year: UWIN merged into VizGems written in ksh by Dr. ek"
  print "$year: merged mfcobol compiler into mvs2pc";;
 2010) print "$year: distributed shell using coshell";;
 2012) mv mvs2pc mvs2cloud; print "$year: rename mvs2pc to mvs2cloud";;
 2013) kill -TERM $$;;
 esac
done
exit



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