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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UNIX?!
by SonicMetalMan on Fri 25th May 2012 17:11 UTC
SonicMetalMan
Member since:
2009-05-25

I guess I do not fully understand the issue. You malign UNIX for being too complex, so what? Do Apple users care that a Macbook is BSD at its core? No, it just works.

That's what UNIX is to me. It just works. I have no concerns about the differences with /bin and /usr/bin as those decisions were made long before I delved into the digital world.

If a large group of users decide that UNIX is too fragmented then that group should create an alternative to UNIX and just leave the old guy alone.

Because it just works.

Reply Score: 6

RE: UNIX?!
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 25th May 2012 17:30 in reply to "UNIX?!"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Do Apple users care that a Macbook is BSD at its core? No, it just works.


I once explained this insidious habit of calling stacking layer upon layer "fixing things" (instead of actually fixing the root issues) to a non-geek friend as such:

Saying that Mac OS X addresses the complexity from UNIX is like saying large sunglasses and extensive clothing fixes the issue of a woman getting physically abused by her husband.

Edited 2012-05-25 17:31 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: UNIX?!
by kwan_e on Sat 26th May 2012 00:57 in reply to "RE: UNIX?!"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

" Do Apple users care that a Macbook is BSD at its core? No, it just works.


I once explained this insidious habit of calling stacking layer upon layer "fixing things" (instead of actually fixing the root issues)
"

The reason why this layer stacking happens (developers like to call it "abstraction") is in the futile hope that if they can get everything to work on a standardized layer, they can then get on with the task of fixing everything underneath the layer without breaking people's setups.

That ends up not happening because 1) developers, whether open source or commercial, are fired up about the designing of a new layer, but that excitement dies soon after it's half finished 2) end user software can't keep up with the changes, whether it's the people making them, or the people using them not wanting to change 3) developers create competing standards which means no one wants to commit to a design that won't survive.

Layering is a necessary evil because no one wants to break everything, especially the developers.

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE: UNIX?!
by stew on Fri 25th May 2012 18:19 in reply to "UNIX?!"
stew Member since:
2005-07-06

I wish "it just worked". For one thing, the switch from Mac OS to Mac OS X meant that all of a sudden, spaces in filenames became a real problem. Try it, create a folder with spaces in its filename, check out some sizable Unix OSS project and try to run the configure/make/etc command chain. Quite often you will get error messages. Since Xcode is just wrapping gcc/llvm, it suffers from similar problems.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: UNIX?!
by redshift on Sat 26th May 2012 01:07 in reply to "RE: UNIX?!"
redshift Member since:
2006-05-06

I wish "it just worked". For one thing, the switch from Mac OS to Mac OS X meant that all of a sudden, spaces in filenames became a real problem. Try it, create a folder with spaces in its filename, check out some sizable Unix OSS project and try to run the configure/make/etc command chain. Quite often you will get error messages. Since Xcode is just wrapping gcc/llvm, it suffers from similar problems.


Well.... the skill level required does go up when you are playing with the UNIX side of OSX. A mac user really does not have to touch that part of the mac for normal usage.

Reply Parent Score: 1