[its-hackers] ITSPKG WINAGE

Jack Haverty jack at 3kitty.org
Sat Jun 12 22:15:25 CEST 2021

Good find.   At that time, there was a lot of interest (especially from 
the govrnment who was funding everything) in developing and 
demonstrating ways to use the ARPANET other than just as a 
remote-terminal mechanism.   Neal's MACSYMA interconnection was one of 
several projects that tried to make that external computing resource 
appear as if it was local to MIT-DM.

I wrote another such interconnection, making it possible to submit batch 
process jobs (virtual decks of punch cards) to the IBM360 at UCLA.   So 
Muddle then had the ability to use 360 programs as Muddle functions.  I 
never thought this was very useful, but it was apparently important as a 
demo of ARPANET capability for "resource sharing".   It was called 
NETRJS or maybe NETRJE, and probably not interesting to resurrect, 
unless someone somewhere has resurrected an IBM360 running batch!

All of those network resource-sharing projects led mw to write RFC 722, 
which tried to capture the experience and suggest some basic 
principles.  The problem of the computer dealing with sporadic and 
unpredictable interactions with the system operator was an especially 
nasty issue.   RFC 713 described a way to make data structures more 
palatable to transfer across the net.   If you look carefully at the 
syntax of the protocol, you'll probably notice that it looks a lot like 
Muddle printouts of data structures - made it easy for my mail system 
(COMSYS) to create data for transmission over the net, and parse 
incoming data into Muddle objects.

Have fun,
/Jack Haverty

On 6/12/21 11:29 AM, rrs0 at earthlink.net wrote:
> Hi Jack,
> Besides from wanting to be able to run MIGS again, none of the main reasons I wrote a new package system ITSPKG
> Is so people (including me) could run things like Neal's muddle structure editor (in muddle) again.
> BTW I found a reference to Neal's plating system, "MUDDLE;UGRF >" in RFC-678
> 	Rick
>> On Jun 9, 2021, at 11:29 AM, rrs0 at earthlink.net wrote:
>> Thanks Jack,
>> I dicd  find RFC-578 which describes Neal Ryan's Muddle (at DM) to MADSYMA (at ML) interface. I
>> Also think Neal programmed a Plotting package for math functions in Muddle, maybe called GRAPHX.
>> 		Rick
>>> On Jun 9, 2021, at 10:49 AM, Jack Haverty <jack at 3kitty.org> wrote:
>>> Yes!  When I think about the editor, I recall the face of one of the guys who wrote it.  Couldn't remember the name until you mentioned it -- Neal Ryan.
>>> The EDITor was entirely written in MDL.  I think it also depended on using an Imlac for your display, which wasn't a problem since almost all TTYs were Imlacs.
>>> ....................................................................
>>> I think you'll have a lot of fun if you can find/recreate this ancient stuff.   It's really too bad that DM was never very big on writing papers et al.   Mostly we wrote code...
>>> /Jack Haverty
>>> MIT-DM 1970-1977
>>> On 6/9/21 12:49 AM, Lars Brinkhoff wrote:
> .........................................

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