This selection of supporting papers to accompany the Programmer's Manual reflects both continuity and change in the UNIX research system since the last such collection appeared in the seventh edition a decade ago. Three-fourths of the papers are completely new, and many of the rest have been substantially rewritten. Most of the papers represent the work of members of the center where the system was born, Computing Science Research at AT&T Bell Laboratories. Previous work of this center has become so widely known that many of the more basic papers from the seventh edition could safely be dropped to make way for more recent material.

Some papers continue important themes that date from the early days of the system: software tools, program development, text processing, document preparation. Some address the down-to-earth subject of the care, feeding, and protection of a multifaceted system in an imperfect world. Others address the increasingly pervasive theme of communications and distributed computing: `stream' connections among processes and files on one or more computers, cross-machine file systems, multiplexed (windowed) terminals, worldwide electronic mail. A few papers suggest the breadth of research applications that meet and reinforce each other in this system: music, graphics, protocol verification, image processing.

Here one can find more up-to-date information about the popular troff family of typesetting software than in any other published work. One may also see, in the diverse styles of the several authors, various ways to exploit troff and some of its newer rivals. In the useful index by Lorinda Cherry and the playful pico-portraits by Gerard Holzmann, one may enjoy some unusual outputs from tools.

Besides the authors of the individual papers, many other people have helped to bring the tenth edition system into being. They are acknowledged in the preface to Volume 1. The manual is dedicated to the memory of the late Lee McMahon, whose influence pervades the system's approaches to text processing and data networking.

Lee McMahon portrait A. G. Hume
M. D. McIlroy
January, 1990

Copyright © 1990 AT&T and Lucent Technologies Inc. All rights reserved.

The McMahon portrait above is of an older Lee than the one actually used; I couldn't track down the one in the printed edition --dmr