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Re: GPLv3 comedy unfolding -- raya's research on "The Four Freedoms"

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: GPLv3 comedy unfolding -- raya's research on "The Four Freedoms"
Date: Sat, 07 Oct 2006 17:23:50 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Stefaan A Eeckels <> writes:

> On Sat, 07 Oct 2006 15:31:53 +0200
> David Kastrup <> wrote:
>> Do you have any evidence of the term "kernel" being used before, or
>> actually even outside of UNIX?
> I quoted this section from Ralston's "Encyclopedia of Computer
> Science and Engineering", 2nd Edition (Copyright © 1983 Van Nostrand
> Reinhold) in my answer to one of Alfred's posts:

Yes, I saw that after my question.

> One could argue be that by 1983 Unix had already had such influence
> that the term kernel had been "backported" into descriptions of
> other operating systems. But even simplistic 70s OSes like CP/M
> consisted of a nucleus (BIOS/BDOS/CCP) and utility programs (such as
> PIP and FORMAT), and CP/M was never influenced by Unix.

Well, I am the author of a CP/M 2.2 BIOS that has seen some moderate
distribution, and I don't remember ever coming across either the term
"kernel" or "nucleus" in connection with CP/M.

It would actually appear to me to be pretty preposterous, since CP/M
does not manage any system _resource_ worth mentioning.  It provides
access to the devices, but it does not manage memory, processing
power, access, or even file ids (the caller has to allocate FCBs, the
internal control structures for files, by itself, and pass the
pointers into CP/M).  There is no heap, no kernel thread, not even a
system stack IIRC (though the CCP calls applications from its own
stack, and if the application _returns_ instead of calling the exit
BDOS function, the CCP assumes that it has not been overwritten by the
application and continues).

Some later developments saw minor extensions (CPM-3.0 in memory
management, Concurrent CP/M in cooperative(?) processing), but they
never became widespread.

In contrast, OS/9 (which was written for the 6809 initially) was
_much_ more sophisticated.  Talking about "kernel" would make more
sense here.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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