Mike Meyer writes:
 > If memory serves (and it may not at this remove), /usr/local/bin
 > wasn't on my path until I started using VAXen, meaning there were few
 > or no packages installing in /usr/local on v6 & v7 on the 11s.

If you remember v6 and v7, then please enumerate the packages which
installed in /opt on those systems.  All "packages" I am aware of from
the v6/v7 era installed in /usr or in /usr/local, although I am sort of
fuzzy on the exact derivation of /usr/local at this point in time.  I do
recall having a /usr/local on my V6 PDP-11/40, but it could have been
contamination leaking over from the 32V system.  I do remember the
abomination of /usr/ucb which put binaries in /usr/ucb but also included
/usr/ucb/lib, etc.  I always hated that structure.  I know that we made
extensive use of /usr/local in 1983 on 4.1bsd, especially in installing
software taken from Usenet, so I think that /usr/local really started
with extensive use of Usenet distribution, which was coincident with
wide-spread use of BSD on VAXen.

As far as I remember, I never encountered the use of /opt until Solaris.


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