Linked by Eugenia Loli on Mon 20th Mar 2006 07:13 UTC
General Unix After receiving several comments to his November 2005 article on hating UNIX, David Chisnall offers his responses and further insight on his continuing disdain.
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RE[7]: Shell Globing
by Vanders on Mon 20th Mar 2006 20:59 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Shell Globing"
Vanders
Member since:
2005-07-06

Well I'd disagree to a certain extent. UNIX is pretty conservative about these things. That's why it's still fundementally the same OS it was 35 years ago.

As the author of the original article points out, when globbing was implemented as part of the shell it was a good idea. These days, perhaps it isn't. Maybe things could be made more flexible if globing wasn't built into the shell.

As it happens, this is one of those things that just can't change. It's baked right into the design. Not performing globing before passing the arguments to the executable would break pretty much everything; applications would need to be re-written to perform the globing themselves and expand the raw shell arguments, and that clearly isn't going to happen.

What's been really amazing is that a simple reply to make the simple point that perhaps a design decision made over 30 years may not be the best design today has erupted into a long thread about the merits of globing, something that I happen to care very little about in the grand scheme of UNIX design. Even if I don't think it's much of a problem, it's amazing to see that many people arn't even willing to consider the possibility that it could be done better today.

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