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   Re: [xml-dev] more QName madness

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Tim Bray scripsit:

> Tim Bray {decvax!microsoft!, ihnp4!alberta!} ubc-vision!mprvaxa!tbray

To unpack this for non-oldtimers, it meant that you had to know a
route to any of the machines mentioned.  For me, for example, ihnp4 was
marob!nyhub!ihnp4, if I remember correctly.  So from my viewpoint Tim's
email address was marob!nyhub!ihnp4!alberta!ubc-vision!mprvaxa!tbray,
where each name was (in principle) meaningful only to the host that
preceded it in hop-by-hop mail routing.  The inconvenience of this system
was substantial.

The original 1969 Unix filesystem was even more "local" and inconvenient.
No pathnames either relative or absolute existed (/ was not special)
and the directories formed a general graph rather than a tree, with
arbitrarily named edges.

The only distinguished node was one's home directory, and only
because that's where logging in put you.  Everyone had to have a link
(conventionally named "bin") to the main binary directory in order to
run programs, as well as links to "lib" and other useful places, and
"chdir" was a dangerous act: if the directory structure was poorly set
up, it might be impossible to navigate back to where you came from if
no sequence of named links could reach that point.

By 1973, we had the now-familiar absolute and relative pathnames, the
root directory came into existence, as did the "." and ".." conventions.
It is still possible to insert a single file into multiple directories
with distinct names.

John Cowan                                <jcowan@reutershealth.com>     
http://www.reutershealth.com              http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
Yakka foob mog.  Grug pubbawup zink wattoom gazork.  Chumble spuzz.
    -- Calvin, giving Newton's First Law "in his own words"


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