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edu Organization: ITS, Case Western Reserve University To: Pesky Rabbit <email@example.com> CC: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: Dates in your Computerworld interview On 10/29/10 9:32 PM, Pesky Rabbit wrote: > In your Computerworld interview > <http://www.computerworld.com.au/article/222764/a‐z_programming_languages_bash_bourne‐ again_shell/?fp=16&fpid=1> > in May 2008, the reporter states, "Bash, or the Bourne‐Again Shell is a > Unix shell created in 1987 by Brian Fox. ... In 1990, Chet Ramey, Manager > of the Network Engineering and Security Group in Technology Infrastructure > Services at Case Western Reserve University, became the primary maintainer > of the language." > > These dates are both clearly wrong. Brian Fox didn't announce the first > beta for bash until Jun 7, 1989 > <http://groups.google.com/group/gnu.announce/msg/a509f48ffb298c35?hl=en&pli=1>. Actually, that date is pretty much on the mark. Brian started work on bash in late 1987, and started writing code in early 1988. The copyrights on all the bash source files date from 1987. The bash that was released for beta testing was already a substantial, sophisticated product, complete with job control and command line editing, and that took time. I was already involved at that point, and can attest to it. You seem to expect that it sprang fully‐formed from Brian's keyboard ready to release for testing within a few weeks or months after he began. > And he remained the principal maintainer into at least early 1993 > <http://groups.google.com/group/gnu.misc.discuss/msg/4f42c739cd7e8bd8>. The story, like so many other things, is a little more complicated. Brian released bash‐1.12 in February, 1992. He never released another. Though he remained the nominal maintainer, Brian was laid off by the FSF and effectively stopped working on bash by mid‐1992. I continued to answer questions and produce bug fixes for bash‐1.12. I was working on my own releases of bash by that time, and made several on my own. The first widespread public one was bash‐1.13‐cwru in August, 1993. In August, Brian and I started discussing transitioning maintenance to me. By later that year, the ‐cwru suffix had been dropped and the bash‐1.13.4 release was the official one available from prep. At that point, around November, 1993, I was the de facto maintainer. By the time bash‐1.14 was released in June, 1994, I was the official maintainer. > When did you actually become the primary maintainer for bash and is there > anything online that might be used as a citation? You can search for things like "bash 1.12 release" and "bash 1.13 release" on google groups for contemporary postings. On the off chance you're
writing a paper, you can cite this message as personal communication. > Best regards, > pesky rabbit It's generally considered impolite to not identify oneself when asking questions. Chet ‐‐ ``The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne.'' ‐ Chaucer ``Ars longa, vita brevis'' ‐ Hippocrates Chet Ramey, ITS, CWRU email@example.com http://cnswww.cns.cwru.edu/~chet/