Java News from Saturday, January 29, 2005

Marc Ramsey has pushed the earliest date for filename extensions back to 1965, by finding a DEC PDP-6 brochure that shows a file extension on page 16 and a manual that shows file headers containing 1-6 character names and 1-3 character extensions on page 14. He writes, "Active development of Multics didn't really begin until 1965, and file extensions there were implemented only as a naming convention (as they are under Unix). The immediate predecessor of Multics, CTSS, had a notion of primary and secondary file names (up to 6 characters each), but not file extensions as such. My current guess is that DOS/Windows style file extensions originated on the original BBN/MIT PDP-1 timesharing system circa 1962 (from which the PDP-6 system was conceptually derived), but there is very little information available on that system." The PDP-1 dates to 1960. However, the ealriest models did not have disk drives or file systems. An October 63 PDP-1 handbook describes a tape drive for the PDP-1, but does not even use the word "file"; so it seems likely that the PDP-6 was indeed the first DEC computer to use filename extensions. But did any other manufacturers get there first?

The Jakarta Apache Project has released Cactus 1.7, a simple framework for unit testing server-side Java code such as servlets, Enterprise JavaBeans, tag libraries, etc. New features since 1.6 include

In addition, many bugs were fixed.