Re: Orphaned processes on OpenVMS

The VMS way sounds much more sensible. As I remember, VMS actually
came after Unix. Anyone know if the design of the VMS process
hierarchy was a deliberate reaction to issues with Unix?

Yes, VMS is newer. But no, I don't think Unix had much, if any,
influence on design decisions in VMS. Maybe MULTICS did have some
effect, but I wouldn't bet on it. When VMS was bring developed, Unix was
still somewhat obscure, and only used to some extent in the academic
world, and still a bit primitive by todays standards. (We're talking
1975 here.)

Well I don't think it can be argued that Unix was unknown to the VAX/
VMS design and implementation teams. Gordon Bell has documented that
Ken Thompson was retained to consult the VAX architecture committee in
regards to providing Unix the necessary primitives and services needed
to run on a VAX.

See the Smithsonian Oral History Interview with Gordon Bell
Recipient of the 1995 MCI Information Technology Leadership Award for
Innovation, Computerworld Smithsonian Awards
Interviewer: David K. Allison, Curator, Division of Information
Technology and Society, National Museum of American History,
Smithsonian Institution
Date of Interview: April 1995
Location: Palo Alto, CA
"The only customer we talked to was Ken Thompson of Bell Labs. He was
hardly a customer, but rather a developer who was helpful in what we
needed in order to run UNIX."

Also see "Inventing the Enterprise" by Tracy Manor in CIO Magazine
Dec. 15th, 1999, page 127.
"The only outsider who the design team invited to review the
architecture was [Unix codeveloper] Ken Thomson," Bell remembers.

It is also well known that the VAX and VMS designs were closely
integrated to give VMS the advantage of an architecture closely
fitting to it's needs. Maybe that doesn't mean there was a direct
influence of Unix on VMS but it would appear to be at least an
indirect influence, and far from being unknown to the designers of VAX
and VMS

For those interested Gordon Bell has an extensive public archive of
DEC historical documents including original internal papers on VAX
design considerations here...

Gordon Bell's Home page is here...


Keith Cayemberg

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