[TUHS] man Macro Package and pdfmark

Larry McVoy lm at mcvoy.com
Tue Feb 18 10:54:09 AEST 2020

On Mon, Feb 17, 2020 at 04:17:18PM -0800, Jon Steinhart wrote:
> Richard Salz writes:
> >
> > > 'The problem is that the ecosystem has been fragmented by people doing
> > their "documentation" in their preferred formats instead of in a common
> > (man) format.
> >
> > Damn those unauthorized developers.  How dare they write code that doesn't
> > meet standards.
> >
> > Get off my lawn.
> The relevant TUHS part of it that maybe some folks here can speak to is how
> did UNIX remain so cohesive for so long?  How were decisions made?  Of course,
> this started to fall apart with System III and such as things got more clunky.

I think that part of it was that machines were small, both in memory and in
disk.  I did a huge programming project because I wanted to compress the
pathalias output; I had 20 users on a 40MB disk.  So big == evil.

The other thing, if we're talking about kernels, uniprocessor kernels
were pretty simple to understand compared to SMP, and NUMA, and the PCI
devices tree and a million other things that modern computers had.

v6 was documented in the lion book, you could read it all and understand
it in maybe a week or two?  That's not a thing any more.

> I've probably said this before, but today I see way too much "string theory
> programming".  What I mean by that is the "I have an idea so I'll just start
> my own universe that doesn't play well with others rather than extending the
> existing ecosystem" model.  That's my beef with texinfo; there was already
> an existing functional system and rather than making some improvements a new
> incompatible universe was created.

Yeah, you need a dictator that says that's not OK.

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