[TUHS] Unix taste (Re: terminal - just for fun)

Steve Nickolas usotsuki at buric.co
Sun Aug 3 22:14:49 AEST 2014

On Sun, 3 Aug 2014, Noel Chiappa wrote:

>    > From: "A. P. Garcia" <a.phillip.garcia at gmail.com>
>    > the spirit of emacs without the bloat :-)
> Exactly. I've often wondered what the heck exactly it is that GNU Emacs, GCC,
> etc are all doing with those megabytes of code. (In part, probably all those
> options: "Options. We've got lots of them. So many in fact, that you need two
> strong people to carry the documentation around.", as that classic hack says.
> But there's no way the options alone can explain it all.)

GNU is, and always has been, a waste of space.  I use it, but I think 
BSD's lean and mean approach is superior.

> The thing is that it's not just aesthetics that makes large programs bad;
> there are very good practical reasons why they are bad, too. The 'takes more
> resources' isn't such a big deal today, because memory is massive, and
> there's a ton of computing power to be thrown at things. (Although I'm always
> amazed at how the active content in Web pages seems to run incredibly slowly
> on all but the very latest and greatest machines. WTF are they doing?)

EVERYTHING runs incredibly slow.  Gates' law - the apparent speed of 
software halves every 18 months. :P

> But more code = more material that someone new has to understand before they
> can make some change (and long-lived code is always being changed/upgraded by
> new people). And when people understand a system poorly, their changes tend
> to be 'a bag on the side', and that's the kind of 'code cancer' that tends to
> kill systems in the long run. More code also is also more places where there
> can be bugs (especially when it's changed by someone who understands it
> poorly, repeat previous comment).
> Etc, etc. And those will never go away - human brain power is finite, and
> unlike hardware, not expanding.
> There's just no reason to have N megabytes of code when .N will do. (I've
> often thought we ought to make new programmers serve an apprenticeship of a
> year of two on a PDP-11 - to teach them to 'think small', and to realize you
> _can_ do a lot in a small space.)


I actually do a lot of programming in an even tighter space: 64K Apple //e 
target.  Horrible machine for C, but it's a relatively simple machine to 
grok except for the disk controller =P


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