[TUHS] Happy birthday, Dennis Ritchie! [ really Pottering vs UNIX ]

Jon Steinhart jon at fourwinds.com
Fri Sep 15 06:09:55 AEST 2017


Kurt H Maier writes:
> On Thu, Sep 14, 2017 at 12:15:32PM -0400, Steve Nickolas wrote:
> > 
> > Isn't that pretty much just Lennart Poettering and his fan club?
> > 
> 
> It's right there in the name "GNU" as well.  There's a whole generation
> of computer people out here for whom bash and gawk are fossilized in
> their substrata, and they get mad when someone suggests maybe other
> tools exist.
> 
> khm

Well, I'd suggest that a lot of this has to do with people who have vision
and people who don't.  When you look at UNIX, you see something created by
a bunch of very talented people who had a reasonably shared vision of what
they were trying to achieve.

I happen to be good friends with John Gilmore, and early Sun employee and
one of the founders of Cygnus Solutions which one can argue did more for
the acceptance of open source than anything else.

Whenever we get into an argument (which is really easy to do with John) over
how to do something he falls back onto "When I was a Cygnus and wrote GNU
tar..."  I always point out that implementing something that was already
defined was way easier than defining something new, and a completely different
skill set.

So I would make the claim that Pottering et. al. are not good definers, and
their model for definition comes from Microsoft which is also not a good
definer.

Along these lines, I think that the demise of UNIX began with AT&T/USL for
the reasons above.  I would much rather use UNIX Version III than UNIX
System III.

Jon


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