On 10/1/2013 Glenn Fowler posted this to the ast-users mailing list:
As has been pointed out several times on the AST and UWIN lists, AT&T gives very little support to OpenSouce software, which is why we have so few people involved with our rather large collection of AST software. In spite of this,
UWINand other AST tools continue to be used in several AT&T projects.
It turns out that software isn't the only thing lacking support: both dgk (David Korn) (AT&T fellow, 36 years of service) and gsf (Glenn Fowler) (AT&T fellow, 29 years of service) have been terminated, effective October 10. Our third major partner, Phong Vo (AT&T fellow, 32 years of service), left a few months ago for Google. The UWIN maintainer, Jeff Fellin, is still with AT&T and provides UWIN support for some critical operations.
Both dgk and gsf will continue to work on AST software, and might actually have more time (at least in the short run) to focus on it.
The download site and mail groups will remain within AT&T for at least the next several months. Our AT&T colleague, dr.ek, AST user and bug detector, will maintain the site. We have secured the astopen.org domain and are investigating non-AT&T hosting options, including a repository with bug tracking.
The process of change will take time; the patience of the user community will be greatly appreciated. Its quite a shock to have 3 weeks to plan personal, career, and hacking futures after working in an environment that has essentially been stable for almost 30 years. The user groups will be informed as plans solidify.
Korn's own wikipedia page says he worked for AT&T Labs Research until 2013..., but he is now working for Googlecitation needed. A dgkorn github user account was created in November 2014, but it has been the source of exactly 0 public contributions since that time, and subscribes to as many repos.
Since 2013, the related mailing-lists have grown progressively less active. For example, the fourth-quarter ast-developers list for 2013 had posted 156 messages by 12/1/2013, but the same list for fourth-quarter 2015 lists only three messages, and this is the last of them:
Subject: Re: [ast-developers] Transitioning ast to GitHub
Is there any intention to transition the ast codebase to a source code repository like GitHub? That would make it much easier for the community to contribute. I'm concerned that without such a collaborative environment, ast-related development will stall as bug reports and source-code patches get lost in the ether.
Does anyone have a full git repo they can publish somewhere (repo.or.cz, github, whatever)? Git server is down for ages, now even www2.research.att.com (22.214.171.124) went down.
This makes one wonder about the future of Kornshell. Has it died? Are we to see no more releases?
And, indeed, though AT&T lists all of the AST links at their labs research landing page, none of these seem to work. These are the same dead links listed at kornshell.com for download. Even if the current server state should prove only temporary for now, the dried-up mailing-list doesn't seem to bode well.
And so, is the korn shell now kaput? Or is there more activity along these lines elsewhere?