[TUHS] What UNIX Artifacts Are Still Missing?

Clem Cole clemc at ccc.com
Fri Dec 8 02:28:18 AEST 2017


On Thu, Dec 7, 2017 at 1:14 AM, Jon Steinhart <jon at fourwinds.com> wrote:

> Don't know how much time you've spent on standards committees; I've done my
> ​ ​
> time.
>

​So true for many of us on this list ;-)
​

> Standards committees are not filled with altruistic folks working to
> make something great.

​I would modify that to be: are not *ALL *filled​

There are some members that want the right thing and yet can be conflicted
too.

I remember at an later /usr/group meeting (before we became the POSIX
committee) we were discussing case folding.  From a historical stand point case
flowing is left over from the 60s when files names were stored in 5 bits
and ASR33s could not easily generate upper and lower case - as I like to
point out in Kindergarten, kind Mrs Munger taught there was big A and
little a and they were different.

Anyway, at the time it was interesting the two folks from DEC were really
conflicted.   All of us there agreed that case folding was a no-no, but
thanks to VMS and the layer DEC was starting to develop, they knew that it
was going to be a fight inside of DEC.

Doug's observation about malloc(0) and mine on case-foldin; the problem is
'self interest' - when is the 'good of the community at large' out weights
the good of the on; but the one just happened to have the
largest economic incentive.

If I recall when we started that work, Sun might not have yet existed or
was at its infancy.   So the big player was DEC,  and we were trying to get
HP, IBM, *etc*. to join to fray.  The economic argument won out, we wanted
to big guys with us if we were going to succeed, so we backed off that
requirement.

Political flame to follow ...

This is why things like Net Neutrality matters IMHO.   Doing the right
thing for everyone, means a few big players have to make changes that cost
them money.    They don't like being told to do that.   They are
applying the economic golden rule (he who has the gold, makes the rules).

Clem
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