Subject: Re: FTP: LIST vs. NLST
To: Trevin Beattie <>
From: Robert Elz <kre@munnari.OZ.AU>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 02/01/2001 09:42:33
    Date:        Wed, 31 Jan 2001 08:37:49 -0800
    From:        Trevin Beattie <>
    Message-ID:  <>

  | Are you sure?

Pretty sure, yes.

  | Unix isn't a spring chicken itself; in fact, Bell Labs' 1st
  | Edition is just as old as the first RFC,

Yes, that's true - but the first knowledge of unix outside Bell Labs
was really the CACM paper in 1974 (everyone here should have read that
one I assume, it has been reprinted plenty of times).

The first unix distributions outside Bell Labs were 1975 I think.

Neither Bell Labs, nor AT&T were connected to the internet until
comparatively recently (in a historical sense of recent anyway).

  | and the Berkeley Standard Distribution predated RFC-765 by a few years. 

765 is modern by FTP standards.   The first FTP RFC I can find is RFC114
(April 1971).

  | I had always thought the RFC's and the Internet evolved along with Unix,
  | often by the same groups of people.

There was no unix on the internet until (just before) the 4.2 BSD
distribution (about 1980).   It wasn't the BSD systems that were first
I don't think, there was (at least one) other implementation (if I
recall correctly) that was never used in a very widespread fashion.

It was only after 4.2 was distributed, that unix systems really started
appearing on the internet (and comparatively quickly, swamping everything
else). After that internet development started being driven more and more
by unix users, until then, not very much at all.  Before then, unix networking
was all uucp, and similar technologies (remember, even ethernet didn't
exist back in the early days - nor did any other LAN technology, except
RS232 cabling and similar).

And to answer the other mail, no, what CP/M might have been like is
not relevant at all - all this came before the first microcomputers,
and their OS's were ever developed.   There was no DOS, no CP/M, nothing
else like those.   And even if there had been, they wouldn't have been
connected to the internet - that cost hundreds of thousands of $/year,
generally paid out of a US govt research grant to the institution (which
was necessary to have to be allowed to connect unless you were part of
the US Govt anyway - and in the early days "US Govt" here really included
only DARPA & the Military - even other parts of the govt weren't invited).

The smallest computers of the time were the mini-computers (of which there
weren't a lot, PDP-8's and the like - this is before the PDP-11 existed).

What matters is what TENEX, TOPS-{10,20}, and MVS did (though MIT had a
MULTICS system connected in the relatively early days - though I don't
know just how early, that one would have been the closest to unix in
general operation, for obvious reasons).

Just remember that file transfer is one of the most basic operations
(remote login is the other) that are needed on any network - there would
have been a file transfer protocol from the earliest days of the internet
(well before TCP for example - in fact, rfc114 predates TCP).


ps: I appreciate how all of this can be difficult to grasp for people
who themselves didn't exist back in those days, and for whom the existance
of the personal computer was more an issue of "when can I get one?"
rather than "when will they invent one...?"