The History of UNIX in the History of Software – foredrag den 21.marts kl. 16.30

Foredrag for dataloger og dataloginteresserede ved historikeren Tom Haigh fra University of Wisconsin

Lektor Tom Haigh fra University of Wisconsin i Milwaukee gæster Danmark i foråret 2018 inviteret af Institut for Naturfagenes Didaktik. Besøget er foranlediget af ”Danish Network for History and Philosophy of Computer Science.

Tid: 21. marts 2018, kl. 16:30-18:00

Sted: Aud. 6, HCØ, Universitetsparken 5, 2100 København Ø

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Abstract på engelsk:

In this talk I will explore on the early history of Unix, the most influential operating system in history. While the technical history of early Unix is well documented, its relationship to the broader history of software during the 1960s and 70s is less well understood.

I will be focusing particularly on the role of Doug McIllroy, manager of the group that produced Unix, and the connection the Unix “pipe” mechanism to his earlier advocacy for standardized software components. This establishes connections between Unix and other key developments in software history, such as the Algol project, the 1968 NATO Conference on Software Engineering, and the “software crisis” diagnosed by Edsger Dijkstra in his 1972 Turing Award lecture.

I will also make comparisons between the Unix approach to the production and distribution of high quality portable software and parallel developments underway during the 1970s by the developers of mathematical software packages.

I will conclude by sketching some of the implications of this research for continuities and discontinuities between Unix and the modern free/open source software movement.