Versions of important ITS software

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A shorter title would be appreciated.

An attempt to bring together information from various sources, about version numbers for prominent ITS and pre-ITS software. This includes references to version number and/or dating information, even though the code itself is no longer available. Such data items are marked "version", whereas preserved files are marked "source" or "binary" (as applicable).

Many programs were created on the PDP-6 (or PDP-1, or TX-0) before ITS, and were gradually or abruptly migrated to run under time-sharing. The non-timesharing versions are marked with "NTS".

A note about ITS program versions

Version numbers for ITS and related software do not work exactly like we are used to today, where a version number is associated with a release of a program whose code is fixed. The ITS version numbers are more like file edit versions, or build numbers. A program takes its version from the source file version. When in use, the binary is updated with binary patches, and those updates are also noted on the paper listing, and/or in the source file. At some point, a fresh new binary is built from the source file, which may at that point have added one to the version, or sometimes more if intermediate edits were made.


Since there are hundreds of versions of ITS, this table focuses on preserved files and version information below version 688. From then on, comprehensive ITS version history has been recorded in the backup database. See ITS versions

Source Version Dating Type
Sussman paper listing 138 1967 source
"TSB" DECtape listing 265A version
"TS1"-"TS6" DECtape listings 331-346 version
AI memo 161 350 1968-06 version
AI memo 169 444 1968-12-08 version
AI memo 170 454 1969-01 version
"FW1", "FW4" DECtape listings 527 version
AI memo 161A 530 1969-07-14 version
Article 549 1969-11-01 version
ToTS 3100150 671 <1971-04-01 binary
ToTS 3100150 672-674 <1971-04-01 source
ToTS 3100151 715 1972-02-04 binary
ToTS 3100151 717 1972-03-02 binary
ToTS 3100151 719 1972-03-22 binary
ToTS 3100151 720 1972-03-30 source
ToTS 3100151 722 1972-04-13 source
ToTS 3100151 723 1972-04-14 source
ToTS 3100151 724 1972-04-14 binary
ToTS 3100151 724 1972-04-14 binary
ToTS 3100151 724 1972-04-15 source


DDT by that name was first created on the RLE PDP-1, but even before that the UT3 program on the TX-0 was a similar type of program.

The history of DDT on the AI lab PDP-6 is somewhat muddled. There first was a non-timesharing DDT; it was still in use later, mostly for booting and debugging ITS. The timesharing DDT evolved from NTS DDT, but the latter received some updates over the years. The most obvious link is the DECtape "@ HACTRN" file which is clearly NTS DDT ported over to make timesharing system calls rather than direct IOT instructions. There is also the matter that HACTRN was initially envisioned by Greenblatt to be an entirely unrelated program with an interface more similar to TECO. However, Knight's "multi procedure DDT" won out. Most files called HACTRN are DDT, but some might be code from the other.

This table lists versions up to 285, after which there are plenty of files preserved in the ToTS archive.

Source Version Dating Type
Samson "Subway" DECtape, part of @ LISP 1966? binary, NTS
Greenblatt "cruft" DECtape, @ OPDDT binary, NTS
ToTS 3100150, SYSENG;NTSDDT N77F source, NTS
Samson DECtape "RandomSystem", @ HACTRN binary, NTS
AI memo 147 1968-01
Greenblatt DECtape "TSB" listing, TSDDT 64 64 version
AI memo 169 156 1968-12-08 version
AI memo 161A 198 1969-07-14 version
SYS; @ HACTRN 218 binary
SYS; OLD HACTRN 221 binary
FW; DDT DUMP 256 1971-02-05 binary
AI memo 215 274 1971-04-??
SYSENG; DDT 279 279 source
SYSENG; DDT 283 283 source
SYSENG; DDT 284 284 source
SYSENG; DDT 285 285 source


Source Version Dating Type
PDP-1 TECO 1962
PDP-6 memo 2 1964
Greenblatt "cruft" DECtape binary, NTS
ToTS 310015, .;@ TECO binary, NTS
"TSB" DECtape listing 64 version
"TEC" DECtape listing 105-116 version
"TE2" DECtape listing 103-114 version
SYSENG;TECO 132 132 1969-01-22 source
.INFO.;TECO RECENT 158 1969-10-26 version
AI memo 194 175 1970-04 version
Samson M79 DECtape 186 1970? binary
ToTS 3100150 187 1970-03 source
AI memo 147A 206 1971-09 version


Source Version Dating Type
Samson DECtape "RandomSystem", MIDAS 16K binary, NTS
Greenblatt DECtape "Cruft", @ MIDAS binary, NTS
.; @ MIDAS 1972 binary, NTS
RFC 254 (MIT-DM) 39 1971-10 version
.INFO.; MIDAS RCENT? 41 1969-06-21 version
SYS; TS LMIDAS 43 1971 binary
SYS; TS OMMIDA 63 1971 binary
MUDDLE; TS MIDAS 73 1973 binary
SYSENG; MIDAS 74 74 source
SYSENG; MIDAS 75 75 1971-03-11 source
AI memo 147A 75 1971-10 version
SYSENG; MIDAS 76 76 1971-09-18 source
BACKUP; TS OOMIDA 76 1972 binary
BACKUP; TS OOMMID 76 1972 binary
SYSENG; MIDAS 77 77 1972-01-22 source
BACKUP; TS OMIDAS 77 1972-04-19 binary
BACKUP; TS OLMIDA 77 1972 binary
BACKUP; TS OMMIDA 77 1972 binary
SYSENG; MIDAS 78 78 1972-04-18 source
SYSBIN; MMIDAS BIN 78 1972-04-19 binary
INFO; MIDAS ARCHIV 94 1972-07-10 version
INFO; MIDAS ARCHIV 96 1972-08-10 version
INFO; MIDAS ARCHIV 98 1972-08-13 version
SYSBIN; MIDAS BIN 98 1972-10-08 binary
INFO; MIDAS ARCHIV 103 1973-02-11 version
INFO; MIDAS ARCHIV 108 1973-03-06 version
SYSENG; MIDAS 108 108 1973 source
SYSBIN; LMIDAS BIN 108 1973-03-07 binary
SYSBIN; MIDAS BIN 108 1973-03-08 binary
SYS; TS LMIDAS 108 1973-03-08 binary
INFO; MIDAS ARCHIV 113 1973-03-27 version
SYS; TS OMIDAS 114 1973-03-31 binary
INFO; MIDAS ARCHIV 119 1973-04-08 version
SYSENG; MIDAS 120 120 1973-04-16
INFO; MIDAS ARCHIV 121 1973-04-20 version
SYSBIN; MIDAS BIN 121 1973-05-25 binary
INFO; MIDAS ARCHIV 123 1973-06-07 version
INFO; MIDAS ARCHIV 135 1974-04-01 version
SYSBIN; MIDAS 135BIN 135 1974-03-26 binary


LISP on ITS is Maclisp, meaning Project MAC LISP. It started as an implementation of the original LISP 1.5 to the PDP-6, initially running out of timesharing (since ITS didn't exist yet). It was called PDP-6 LISP, but slightly after it was made to run under timesharing, the name Maclisp came into use.

Source Version Dating Type
AI memo 79 1965-06
"TM2" DECtape listing 39-41 version
"YX1" DECtape listing 41 version
Samson "Subway" DECtape binary
LISP;LISP 97 97 1969-02-02 source
.INFO.;LISP INFO 104 1969-04-25 version
Article 107 1969-11-01 version
ToTS 3100150 131 1971 source