[TUHS] basic tools / Universal Unix

Noel Chiappa jnc at mercury.lcs.mit.edu
Thu Nov 16 00:06:34 AEST 2017


    > From: Andy Kosela

    > That is why MIT and Bell Labs represented two very different cultures.

Oi! Not _everyone_ at MIT follows the "so complicated that there are no
obvious deficiencies" approach (to quote Hoare's wonderful aphorism from his
'Emperor's Old Clothes' Turing Award Lecture).

My personal design mantra (it's been at the top of my home page for decades)
is something I found as a footnote in Corbato and Saltzer, 'Multics: The First
Seven Years': "In anything at all, perfection has been attained, not when
there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away..."

No doubt some people would be bemused that this should be in a Multics paper,
given the impression people have of Multics as incredibly - overly -
complicated. I'll avoid that discussion for the moment...


I've often tried to understand why some people create these incredibly
complicated systems. (Looking at the voluminous LISP Machine manual set from
Symbolics particularly caused this train of thought...) I think it's because
they are too smart - they can remember all that stuff.

Maybe my brain isn't like that (or perhaps I use large parts of it for other
stuff, like Japanese woodblock prints :-), but I much prefer simpler things.
Or maybe I'm just basically lazy, and like simpler things because they are
easier...

	Noel


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