Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 25th May 2012 14:55 UTC
General Unix James Hague: "But all the little bits of complexity, all those cases where indecision caused one option that probably wasn't even needed in the first place to be replaced by two options, all those bad choices that were never remedied for fear of someone somewhere having to change a line of code... They slowly accreted until it all got out of control, and we got comfortable with systems that were impossible to understand." Counterpoint by John Cook: "Some of the growth in complexity is understandable. It's a lot easier to maintain an orthogonal design when your software isn't being used. Software that gets used becomes less orthogonal and develops diagonal shortcuts." If there's ever been a system in dire need of a complete redesign, it's UNIX and its derivatives. A mess doesn't even begin to describe it (for those already frantically reaching for the comment button, note that this applies to other systems as well).
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Comment by zhuravlik
by zhuravlik on Fri 25th May 2012 19:01 UTC
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Yes, that's why almost all production and even home systems are Unix-like: GNU/Linux, Solaris, *BSD, Mac OS X.

Even Windows includes SFU since once.

It is the most vital philosophy. Just because it just works over many years and allows easily port and replace small pieces of software without significant changes to the whole product.

Fat and monolithic systems tend to die in relatively short terms. Just look at Windows: they are unable to replace UI properly because their old ui is the part of solid initial design.

And what of Unix? No, KDE is bad now, we switch to Gnome, oh it is bad too, just use XFCE, still to fat? - dwm is your friend.
X11 is bad, bad, we are switching to Wayland.
What if text logs and shell scripts are too easy to maintain and understand, but we need to be called super-pro. No problem, bro, systemd and journald are your best friends. Or upstart. Or just have old plain init and nobody shall change your mind.

Yes, this diversity has an obvious side effect of fragmentation.
But it is free as in "free culture" - just reuse, replace and share.

Unix is a free culture of a system design. Everyone is welcome.
Yes, without GNU and BSD Unix will be just another proprietary blob. But because of them it was revolution and it still has great potential.

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