[TUHS] Windows roots and Unix influence (was Re: Happy birthday, Ken Thompson!)

Robert Brockway robert at timetraveller.org
Mon Feb 5 16:57:52 AEST 2018

On Sun, 4 Feb 2018, Steve Johnson wrote:

> Now things are a million times bigger and it feels like chaos has
> become the accepted model for how we live...  I see it particularly

Absolutely.  It seems like no regard is given to reducing complexity 
anymore.  I think the current path is unsustainable.  Increased complexity 
results in diminishing returns in development work eventually stifling 

Time and time again I see people choosing overly-complicated solutions 
when, in many cases, a small shell script would suffice.

A few years ago I was left to manage (as head of the operations team) a 
monstrosity of an application that seemed to have been designed with the 
express purpose of using all available components of AWS.  I was able to 
show that there was no deterministic manner in which the application could 
be cold booted.  In the event that it needed to be restarted the 
operations team was left to bring the entire system up, watch for errors 
and cycle components in random order until the errors stopped.  I'm not 
kidding.  Fortunately that application has been sent to the bit bucket, 
never to bother anyone again.

Here's my prediction:

In a few years some people (most likely sales droids) will start talking 
about simplicity in IT and presenting it as an amazing new concept which 
no one has thought of before.  This will be very similar to the way that 
"the cloud" is sold today.



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