Subject: Re: New ptyfs / /dev/pts hangs up reboot/shutdown
To: Johnny Billquist <bqt@Update.UU.SE>
From: Greg A. Woods <>
List: current-users
Date: 11/24/2004 18:33:26
[ On Wednesday, November 24, 2004 at 10:21:21 (+0100), Johnny Billquist wrote: ]
> Subject: Re: New ptyfs / /dev/pts hangs up reboot/shutdown
> Curious question...
> Who came up with a name like "ptyfs"?
> It's totally silly.
> pseudo-teletype filesystem???

it's not really "teletype" meaning exclusively "Teletype ASR 33" or similar  ;-)

Instead it is:

	$ dict pty
	1 definition found
	From Virtual Entity of Relevant Acronyms (Version 1.9, June 2002) [vera]:
	       Pseudo-Terminal driver

Though some folks say TTY was derived from the trademarked Teletype
brand name, it's also easy enough to argue that it stands for the more
generic "teletypewriter" (from which I believe the brand name was
derived!), and in this day where anything and everything can be
"virtualized" into the digital realm of modern computers the idea of an
electronic virtual typewriter shouldn't in any way hint that TTY implies
hardware of any kind, let alone the obsolete products made by Teletype
Corporation.  Although our culture has grown away from its fascination
with the use of the prefix "tele-" to imply "electronically remote", I
suspect the only people who would be confused when I point to a window
on my X11 screen and call it a teletypewriter would be those few old
codgers who have some direct familiarity with the clunky old mechanical
TTYs (such as myself! :-).  (Lots of young kids these days seem to be
unaware of what a "typewriter" really is, though most can form some kind
of a clue that's close enough when they first hear or read the word
because they _all_ know what the verb "type" means!)

I.e. I don't think there's anything wrong with continuing to call the
terminal interface to stdio a "tty", especially not in unix-like
systems, and I don't see any problem with the concept of a pseudo-tty
filesystem, especially not in a system where everything is represented
as a file in the first place!  ;-)

						Greg A. Woods

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