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).
Permalink for comment 519579
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE[2]: Re:
by kurkosdr on Sat 26th May 2012 19:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Re:"
kurkosdr
Member since:
2011-04-11

Why? What's the benefit?

Simple. Amateur user sees HDD1:Folder/image1.jpg and HDD2:image2.jpg and immediately understands what's going on. User sees /Folder/image1.jpg and says "Da freak is this? Okay, I guess / is the hardrive i installed the OS or something, because this is were my usr directory is" Then he sees /mnt/hdd2/image2.jpg and says "Why is my second harddisk a subdirectory under my first harddisk? What's that mnt folder? Waahhh, I don't understand what's going on!" See, most people don't know the concept of "mounting", and good luck explaning it to them before their attention span ends. As you say, GUIs try (and partially) solve this problem by making it appear a if Unix/Linux has multiple roots, by Gnome still has a "filesystem" button that will expose the nastyness and confuse the user. IMO all GUIs should completely hide from users the fact Unix doesn't have multiple roots, by replacing "/" with HDD1: and /mnt/hdd2 with HDD2: and hiding the mnt folder, and have a switch somewhere in the settings that old timers can activate to get the real filesystem back (if you know how the Unix filesystem works, you should know the button).

Just how were you planning to type this non-printable ASCII character?

This sounds funny, but it's a real problem. It's the lack of a unit seperator button that's causing spaces to be a problem with most CLIs. Just use some key combination like shift+space. No, that would make typing slower. You could mandate double or single quotes, but again some people would complain it makes typing slower. Ok, I don't have an answer. Anyway, this isn't Unix's fault exactly, I admit.

Well tell me why I don't have X.org (or Wayland or MGR or any type of GUI) installed but I can still use graphical programs?

How? What is your OS using to draw on the screen? Do you have hardware accel and what drivers are you using? Anyway, the fact most (non-Apple) Linux and Unixes ship with the slow, problematic X.org, is turning people off from using them. If X is not needed, why everyone bundles it with their OS? So that some geeks can boast their OS has a network transparent desktop? Just selve the network transparent desktop most people don't need 'till you have perfected it. Geeks can download and install X by themselves if they want a network transparent dekstop. And since we are talking about graphics and audio stacks, Linux innovates once again by breaking audio too (which used to work in *nix) with pulseaudio, yet another middleman unecessary for most users.

PS: Another problem with *nix is that Unix has a really narrow hardware compatibility list, and Linux tends to break upgrades if binary blobs are used to run the hardware, but I am an optimist, and hope that Sputnik will solve this, by providing a range of laptops with Linux friendly hardware that doesn't break during upgrades, but till that happens, it's still a problem. And when it comes to Unix, it's still "good luck, dude" when trying to find compatible hardware (esp laptops)

Edited 2012-05-26 19:46 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1