[TUHS] Happy birthday, Dennis Ritchie!

Theodore Ts'o tytso at mit.edu
Fri Sep 15 05:30:10 AEST 2017


On Thu, Sep 14, 2017 at 12:15:32PM -0400, Steve Nickolas wrote:
> > Maybe some are deluded like that.  But the more typical case (and I saw
> > this personally not just on "the Internet") are those who actively and
> > consciously disdain Unix, and want Penguin kernel based systems to move
> > to a completely new and different userland, free from any links to Unix
> > history.
> > 
> > And we should stop assuming they're kidding when they say so openly.
> > 
> 
> Isn't that pretty much just Lennart Poettering and his fan club?

It's mostly Lennart Poettering and his fan club, but it's also
important to remember that Unix was not perfect.

For years, I've been ranting about the telldir/seekdir interface, for
which JFS has three b-trees that have to be updated for every
directory operation --- one of which was added *just* because of
telldir/seekdir.  Other file systems make other design choices or go
through other bits of hell just because of telldir/seekdir, but
assuming a 32-bit cookie which must survive potentially indefinitely,
with the readdir "will return file names exactly zero or one times"
guarantees required by POSIX, is rather hellish.

Or, say the atime update requirement, which can be a performance
killer, and for which the default on Linux violates Posix, and so I
suppose it technically isn't allowed to use the Unix trademark anyway.

I'm sure the Plan 9 folks could come up with other Unix shortcomings.  :-)

	   	       	     	     	    - Ted


More information about the TUHS mailing list