[TUHS] basic tools / Universal Unix

Larry McVoy lm at mcvoy.com
Thu Nov 16 05:58:58 AEST 2017


On Wed, Nov 15, 2017 at 10:40:35AM -0800, Bakul Shah wrote:
> On Nov 15, 2017, at 9:12 AM, Ralph Corderoy <ralph at inputplus.co.uk> wrote:
> > 
> > Hi Noel,
> > 
> >> 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.
> > 
> > But smart people don't have to create complex stuff, see Unix.  :-)
> > Perhaps it's not because these designers of complexity have good recall,
> > but a mixture of the Brooks's Second-System Effect,
> > http://www.catb.org/jargon/html/S/second-system-effect.html
> > and not being constrained.
> 
> There are two kinds of smarts: people who can remember (and
> even delight in learning) a lot of complex details and add
> to it, and people who don't like to (or can't) remember a
> lot of complex details and try to remove complexity. I think
> both are needed. You don't want the first kind to design a
> system and you don't want the second kind to maintain a
> system.
> 
> But over time software complexity creeps in like disorder.
> You have to constantly try to keep things neat but often
> (you feel) you don't have time for it. "Technical debt" is
> basically the result of procrastination!

"Source code is worthless unless it is maintained"
    -- Rob Gingell, Sun


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