When was tab completion invented? - Unix

This is a discussion on When was tab completion invented? - Unix ; Greetings. Does anyone know when tab completion was first implemented as a software feature? According to Wikipedia, the Bourne shell was first implemented in 1977. Did that first implementation feature tab completion? If not, does anyone know approximately when it ...

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Thread: When was tab completion invented?

  1. When was tab completion invented?

    Greetings.

    Does anyone know when tab completion was first implemented as a software
    feature? According to Wikipedia, the Bourne shell was first implemented
    in 1977. Did that first implementation feature tab completion? If not,
    does anyone know approximately when it was added? Is there any software
    that predates the Bourne shell which featured word or filename completion
    of some sort?

    Regards,
    Tristan

    --
    _
    _V.-o Tristan Miller [en,(fr,de,ia)] >< Space is limited
    / |`-' -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= <> In a haiku, so it's hard
    (7_\\ http://www.nothingisreal.com/ >< To finish what you

  2. Re: When was tab completion invented?

    In article <4601939.RDZpiVanSC@ID-187157.News.Individual.NET>,
    Tristan Miller wrote:

    > Greetings.
    >
    > Does anyone know when tab completion was first implemented as a software
    > feature? According to Wikipedia, the Bourne shell was first implemented
    > in 1977. Did that first implementation feature tab completion? If not,
    > does anyone know approximately when it was added? Is there any software
    > that predates the Bourne shell which featured word or filename completion
    > of some sort?
    >
    > Regards,
    > Tristan


    The Borne shell (sh) didn't have tab completion. The C-shell had
    command-line editing but no tab completion. If you're talking about
    when this happened on a UNIX platform, it was probably when tcsh or bash
    got introduced.

    It was a major feature of the TENEX EXEC on DEC-10s and on TOPS-20 on
    DECsystem-20s.

    --
    DeeDee, don't press that button! DeeDee! NO! Dee...




  3. Re: When was tab completion invented?

    Greetings.

    In article , Michael
    Vilain wrote:
    >> Does anyone know when tab completion was first implemented as a software
    >> feature? According to Wikipedia, the Bourne shell was first implemented
    >> in 1977. Did that first implementation feature tab completion? If not,
    >> does anyone know approximately when it was added? Is there any software
    >> that predates the Bourne shell which featured word or filename
    >> completion of some sort?

    >
    > The Borne shell (sh) didn't have tab completion. The C-shell had
    > command-line editing but no tab completion. If you're talking about
    > when this happened on a UNIX platform, it was probably when tcsh or bash
    > got introduced.
    >
    > It was a major feature of the TENEX EXEC on DEC-10s and on TOPS-20 on
    > DECsystem-20s.


    No, my question isn't restricted to the Unix platform. I'm looking for any
    reference to the first use of word, command, or filename completion. If
    TENEX had it, I suppose that pushes the first implementation back to 1970
    or so. Is there an original document (an early tcsh manual?) online I can
    examine and cite?

    Regards,
    Tristan

    --
    _
    _V.-o Tristan Miller [en,(fr,de,ia)] >< Space is limited
    / |`-' -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= <> In a haiku, so it's hard
    (7_\\ http://www.nothingisreal.com/ >< To finish what you

  4. Re: When was tab completion invented?

    Michael Vilain writes:

    > In article <4601939.RDZpiVanSC@ID-187157.News.Individual.NET>,
    > The Borne shell (sh) didn't have tab completion. The C-shell had
    > command-line editing but no tab completion. If you're talking about
    > when this happened on a UNIX platform, it was probably when tcsh or bash
    > got introduced.


    TCSH did it before bash. Please check my URL's and correct/augment
    this info for the Wiki if I am wrong.

    I think the Bash shell came out in 1989. See

    http://groups.google.com/group/comp....e=source&hl=en

    >It was a major feature of the TENEX EXEC on DEC-10s and on TOPS-20 on
    >DECsystem-20s.


    Never had the pleasure. :-)

    TCSH was, I thought, named in honor of "TENEX C-SHELL"
    Emacs also had filename completion for a long time.

    Ah. Check this link
    http://groups.google.com/group/comp....e=source&hl=en

    It mentions TCSH's search and recognition of command names in 1983.
    It mentiones Ken Greer and Mike Ellis. I think this was command name
    completion, which since it included searchpath-based commands, it was
    "filename completion". I don't remember if it did argument expansion
    as well at that time. But see below.

    In 1987, a release of TCSH came out and it had filename completion
    http://groups.google.com/group/comp....0f05f8332fb04d

    It was a complete re-write of the 1985 version. This file calls it
    "Tops-C SHELL." Digging further, this 1987 source credits Ken Greer
    for filename completion in 1983:

    http://groups.google.com/group/comp....a?dmode=source





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  5. Re: When was tab completion invented?

    In article ,
    Michael Vilain wrote:

    > It was a major feature of the TENEX EXEC on DEC-10s and on TOPS-20 on
    > DECsystem-20s.


    I'm pretty sure TENEX used ESC for completion, not TAB.

    --
    Barry Margolin, barmar@alum.mit.edu
    Arlington, MA
    *** PLEASE post questions in newsgroups, not directly to me ***

  6. Re: When was tab completion invented?

    In article ,
    Barry Margolin wrote:

    > In article ,
    > Michael Vilain wrote:
    >
    > > It was a major feature of the TENEX EXEC on DEC-10s and on TOPS-20 on
    > > DECsystem-20s.

    >
    > I'm pretty sure TENEX used ESC for completion, not TAB.


    http://tenex.opost.com/

    I recall the completion or built-in help feature was driven by "?".
    You'd type the first few characters of a command and it would beep if
    there was an ambiguity. If you typed "?" it would print the options at
    that point. This was even a TENEX jsys call (e.g. a call the to OS).
    All you had to do is setup a table with the tree of options and it would
    parse your tree and do the command completion for you. File completion
    was using the ESC key which was also a jsys call. But that wasn't a
    shell, but rather the OS itself doing the command completion as part of
    the openf jsys.

    I haven't touched a 20 since the mid-1970's (or a VAX since the
    mid-90's)...

    --
    DeeDee, don't press that button! DeeDee! NO! Dee...




  7. Re: When was tab completion invented?

    In comp.unix.misc Michael Vilain wrote:
    > The Borne shell (sh) didn't have tab completion. The C-shell had
    > command-line editing but no tab completion. If you're talking about
    > when this happened on a UNIX platform, it was probably when tcsh or bash
    > got introduced.


    The Bourne shell (sh) still doesn't have tab completion, unless you're on
    a system that has BASH as /bin/sh (i.e. Linux). And while csh doesn't
    have tab-completion, it uses Escape to do the exact same thing. (Tested on
    a NetBSD 2.0 /bin/csh, which is _not_ tcsh).


    - Hubert

  8. Re: When was tab completion invented?

    Tristan Miller writes:

    > Greetings.
    >
    > Does anyone know when tab completion was first implemented as a software
    > feature? According to Wikipedia, the Bourne shell was first implemented
    > in 1977. Did that first implementation feature tab completion? If not,
    > does anyone know approximately when it was added? Is there any software
    > that predates the Bourne shell which featured word or filename completion
    > of some sort?
    >
    > Regards,
    > Tristan


    I din't think plain Bourne shell has ever had completion.

    The first unix implemenation I know of was tcsh, which initially was a
    set of source code patches to the csh source.

    Snippet from the tcsh man page:
    ---
    THE T IN TCSH
    In 1964, DEC produced the PDP-6. The PDP-10 was a later re-
    implementation. It was re-christened the DECsystem-10 in
    1970 or so when DEC brought out the second model, the KI10.

    TENEX was created at Bolt, Beranek & Newman (a Cambridge,
    Mass. think tank) in 1972 as an experiment in demand-paged
    virtual memory operating systems. They built a new pager for
    the DEC PDP-10 and created the OS to go with it. It was
    extremely successful in academia.

    In 1975, DEC brought out a new model of the PDP-10, the
    KL10; they intended to have only a version of TENEX, which
    they had licensed from BBN, for the new box. They called
    their version TOPS-20 (their capitalization is trademarked).
    A lot of TOPS-10 users (`The OPerating System for PDP-10')
    objected; thus DEC found themselves supporting two incompa-
    tible systems on the same hardware--but then there were 6 on
    the PDP-11!

    TENEX, and TOPS-20 to version 3, had command completion via
    a user-code-level subroutine library called ULTCMD. With
    version 3, DEC moved all that capability and more into the
    monitor (`kernel' for you Unix types), accessed by the
    COMND% JSYS (`Jump to SYStem' instruction, the supervisor
    call mechanism [are my IBM roots also showing?]).

    The creator of tcsh was impressed by this feature and
    several others of TENEX and TOPS-20, and created a version
    of csh which mimicked them.
    ---

    The "kermit" modem program also implemented completion, and they
    mimicked the COMND JSYS as the mechanism for it.


    >
    > --
    > _
    > _V.-o Tristan Miller [en,(fr,de,ia)] >< Space is limited
    > / |`-' -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= <> In a haiku, so it's hard
    > (7_\\ http://www.nothingisreal.com/ >< To finish what you


    Thomas (who used a dec-2060, running tops-20 at the university)

  9. Re: When was tab completion invented?

    Oh, and it was ESC that was used for completion initially.

    It also had an annoying misfeature at the time I was using tops20. If
    you had two filenames that started out the same, it would not fill in
    as far as it could. You had to type in as much text as to make it
    unambiguous, really stupid.

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