Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 18th Aug 2008 23:33 UTC, submitted by Charles Wilson
Editorial GoboLinux is a distribution which sports a different file system structure than 'ordinary' Linux distributions. In order to remain compatible with the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard, symbolic links are used to map the GoboLinux tree to standard UNIX directories. A post in the GoboLinux forums suggested that it might be better to turn the concept around: retain the FHS, and then use symbolic links to map the GoboLinux tree on top of it. This sparked some interesting discussion. Read on for more details.
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RE[6]: Inertia and stupidity
by leos on Tue 19th Aug 2008 14:55 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Inertia and stupidity"
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And the reason these abilities work so well is because it was factored into the design from the get-go. You can't keep on building on a system that was designed for mainframes and then hope it will still be up-to-date and capable 40 years later.

And yet it is... Plan9 is toast, just because it had one or two neato features doesn't make it even remotely suitable as a base for a modern OS.

You're right - which is why I think it is a silly effort to try and retrofit these ideas to an existing operating system - when ever it is tried, it'll be a compromised version with limitations that take away from what it promised.

That's how software development works. This thread is the pre-cursor to "second system syndrome" where the old system is just fine, but slightly ugly, so overzealous engineers design the new system to be perfect in every way and end up with a bloated, impossible to finish project that only works in theory. Happens all the time.

I gave Plan 9 as an example, but I'm sure there are other ways to go about solving problems. We already have numerous clones of *NIX - what there needs to be is an easy to use operating system which is unrestrained from decisions made two decades ago.

And why exactly? Just so it would be a bit cleaner? Well that's at least 10 years of effort to make it an even remotely viable competitor, and 20 years to match the established OSes out there. If you're volunteering.... Anyway, the idea that we are tied down by legacy concepts, and could do a lot better if we started from scratch is a myth. There is no pile of ideas out there that are impossible on current systems.
SkyOS is a good example. They started from scratch, and by all accounts it is a clean and efficient OS (since it's designed by one man, it's much cleaner than most new designs will be) with a nice logical design. But it's going on 10 years and there really isn't anything in SkyOS that we don't have in Windows/Linux/MacOS.

An operating system which is documented and well maintained from day one rather than something get grows into an out of control beast which ends up causing problems for the programmers at a later date.

If you've done any programming you'd know that's impossible. Unless you have a spare trillion dollars lying around and an army of programmers you can control completely. Accept the chaos and work to make it better bit by bit.

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