[TUHS] Unix stories

Larry McVoy lm at mcvoy.com
Tue Jan 3 10:49:59 AEST 2017

It's simply a lack of craftsmen level thinking.  Managers think that people
are fungable, whatever that means, I think it means anyone can do this work.

That's simply not the case, some people get the big picture and the details
and some people don't.

There is also a culture of the cool kids vs the not cool kids.  For example,
at Sun, the kernel group was the top of the heap.  When I was doing nselite
which begat Teamware then BitKeeper then Git et al, I was in the kernel 
group.  They wanted me to go over to the tools group.  I looked over there
and saw people that weren't as good as the kernel people and passed.

Same thing with testing.  So many bad test harnesses.  Because testing
isn't respected so they get the crappy programmers.  One of the best
things I did at BitKeeper was to put testing on the same level as the 
code and the documentation.  As a result, we have a kick ass testing
harness.  Here's a sample t.file in our test harness:

    echo $N Check that component rename is blocked ......................$NL
    nested product
    cd "$HERE/product"
    bk mv gcc gccN 2>ERR && fail -f ERR
    cat <<EOF >WANT
    mvdir: gcc is a component
    Component renaming is unsupported in this release
    cmpfiles WANT ERR
    echo OK

The harness, which is all open source under the apache license at
bitkeeper.org, let's you write tiny shell scripts, they either echo
OK (pass), (bug) (pass but not really), or anything else and they 

The harness allows for parallel runs.  In the early days we ran the tests
in alpha order, later we got a huge speed up by running them in most recently
modified order (fastest time to failure).

All of that is the result of me (semi good, setting it up) and Wayne Scott
(crazy good, he made it work in parallel and bunch of other improvements)
being the guys who worked on it.  We're $250K/year people on average.

On Mon, Jan 02, 2017 at 11:23:47PM +0000, Tim Bradshaw wrote:
> If you think open source is bad you haven't seen much closed-source software, because a lot of it is deeply terrible.  I claim that all large software systems which are not designed to be used by naive users are shit (and most systems which are are also shit).
> > On 2 Jan 2017, at 02:03, Steve Johnson <scj at yaccman.com> wrote:
> > 
> > But how much longer can this go on?  What can we do to fight the exponential bloat of this and other open-souce projects.  All ideas cheerfully entertained...

Larry McVoy            	     lm at mcvoy.com             http://www.mcvoy.com/lm 

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