[TUHS] Charles Forsyth on putting Unix on a diet.

Larry McVoy lm at mcvoy.com
Sat Oct 28 09:04:10 AEST 2017

On Fri, Oct 27, 2017 at 11:51:12PM +0200, Andy Kosela wrote:
> It seems that it is very hard to avoid bloat in the software world in the
> long run.  Most people don't care, but the original UNIX and C, Plan 9 and
> Go projects could be one of the few I can think of that really cared about
> minimalism.  

We cared.  We being the BitKeeper guys.  

BK as of 2002 (bk-2.0.5):
33 documented commands
wc *.c
  67633  225563 1565556 total

BK as of 15 years later (bk-7.3.2)
165 documented commands
wc *.c
 125812  444197 3017977 total

So we doubled in size for all the built in commands but we had 5x as many
commands.  A huge amount of functionality over the bk-2.x era.

The only way we did that was by encouraging and rewarding commits that took
out as much as they put in.

It's possible but you have to be disciplined.


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