I’ve been developing system software for UNIX since 1977, when my enhanced editor hed (Horton’s ed) became the favorite tool of Wisconsin’s Computer Science department.

I went on to Berkeley and contributed to Berkeley UNIX, enhancing vi, termcap, and curses, creating system tools such as script, w, and uuencode.

Joining Bell Labs in 1981, I continued to enhance termcap and curses. Termcap was replaced by terminfo, which had more room for growth and allowed programs to start up more quickly. Curses was enhanced with an algorithm that would update the screen quickly without having to redraw large portions when lines and characters were inserted or deleted.

I worked with AT&T to add vi, curses, and terminfo to AT&T’s version of UNIX, which eventually became UNIX System V. I also helped determine which parts of Berkeley UNIX needed to be incorporated into System V.