Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 1st Jul 2009 20:19 UTC
General Unix "Earlier this year, people in many places wrote about the 40th anniversary of the moment Ken Thompson sat down and started to work on UNIX (which is actually in August). In fact, UNIX celebrates another birthday this year, even though on a slightly smaller scale. In July 1974, exactly 35 years ago, Dennis Ritchie and Ken Thompson published the first version of their seminal paper The UNIX Time-Sharing System in the Communications of the ACM."
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Roots Matter
by fretinator on Wed 1st Jul 2009 20:47 UTC
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I think the roots of Unix matter. All Unix and Unixish systems come from a multi-user, networked background. Thus, Unix-like applications expect to share the computer. On the other hand, Windows (aka DOS) comes from a single-user background - thnk CPM or other home computers of the day. The applications were for cataloging VCR tape collections, home finance, etc. Thus, even to this day, many Windows applications tend to expect full control of the computer.

Roots matter.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Roots Matter
by flanque on Wed 1st Jul 2009 21:14 UTC in reply to "Roots Matter"
flanque Member since:

Please, can we stay away from throwing mud on other operating systems just for one article per week?

It seems to me the point of your comment is just hang shit on Windows, and for no good reason.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Roots Matter
by fretinator on Wed 1st Jul 2009 21:27 UTC in reply to "RE: Roots Matter"
fretinator Member since:

Not really - it's just helps to better understand the security issues. Really, I think Windows has a very solid kernel. It's just 2 issues that hold them back:

1. Developers need to adjust their thinking to proper Windows application etiquette. Use the users home profile directory for configuration files, etc. I am a Windows developer and learned this the hard way - my app didn't work in Terminal Server (more of a multi-user environment).

2. Give up endless compatability with the past. Some of the old, poorly written apps are going to have to stop working.

However, your point is valid. I did mean to toot the horn of Unix - its built-in multi-user, networking legacy - more than I wanted to trash Windows. I just bought an upgrade license to Windows 7. It is not my main OS, but I like to keep Windows around.

Now if I could just afford a Mac. That would be way cool!

Reply Score: 3

Comment by Maki
by Maki on Wed 1st Jul 2009 21:53 UTC
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the creation of Unix Time Sharing System is a major milestone in general computer history, not just to unix-like systems.

Happy birthday

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Maki
by Lennie on Thu 2nd Jul 2009 11:02 UTC in reply to "Comment by Maki"
Lennie Member since:

I think Unix also had a large part in the creation, ideas and fruition of the internet. Which, I think we could say, also had a pretty large impact.

Reply Score: 1

Beyond Unix
by stew on Thu 2nd Jul 2009 17:51 UTC
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I may be the only one here with that opinion, but I think we should work towards retiring Unix. Sure enough, Unix has done great things for us, but we shouldn't consider it the ultimately perfect system. A lot of things have changed in the last 35 years in terms of who uses computers and how they use computers. And we have to ask ourselves, is Unix the best tool for that or are there better approaches?

As just one example, files in Unix are typically single forks of an anonymous byte stream - in the beginnings of Unix, this was sufficient, since the vast majority of data was English text stored on tape drives. Nowadays, we have videos with multiple audio tracks and subtitles in multiple languages. Is a single fork linear file still appropriate? Or could we envision a file system that uses mulitiple forks, where the audio streams could appear to an audio editor as a pure mp3 or wav file, the subtitles appear to a text editor as if they were an ASCII file and let the GIMP see it as a large collection of images?

I think it's time to build the Unix of the 21st century.

Edited 2009-07-02 17:52 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Beyond Unix
by madcrow on Thu 2nd Jul 2009 18:57 UTC in reply to "Beyond Unix"
madcrow Member since:

Yes, it's still sufficient. You see, anonymous byte streams are flexible things. Just because the operating system doesn't IMPOSE a set structure on files doesn't mean that they can't have one internally. Take, for example, your video example. Several container formats exist which provide the structure needed to implement multiple audio and subtitle tracks in a video. All you would need to do would be to agree on certain common container formats. Changing the filesystem itself is overkill.

Edited 2009-07-02 18:59 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Beyond Unix
by frood on Sun 5th Jul 2009 11:15 UTC in reply to "RE: Beyond Unix"
frood Member since:

But it would be pretty sweet to be able to open the subtitle stream of a video file without the editor having any understanding of the file type.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Beyond Unix
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Mon 6th Jul 2009 03:52 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Beyond Unix"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:

No, it wouldn't.
How would it know it was a subtitle stream?
Would you require all files to have a subtitle stream?
What format would the subtitle stream be required to be in?

It seems to me that in order for it to work there would already have to be a stream format defined for the OS to know what was were. Any solution would seem to be non future compatible.

Byte streams, are actually much better. Ever study the OLE file format that was used by MS Office? There are quite a few revisions to the file type that are not compatible with each other, nor are they compatible with the new xml format. If that separation of document parts was implemented in the file system itself, they wouldn't have been able to make those changes with out major OS updates.

Reply Score: 2