[ProgClub list] So, why aren't we using Unix as god intended?

Asher Glynn asher.glynn at gmail.com
Wed Oct 26 22:46:42 AEDT 2011

Was starting to write a blog post, but throwing an early discussion point
out, possibly relevant to John's courses at the moment

Looking at a list of key Unix features, and the way its actually used at the
moment, its kind of interesting how little is actually used:

Intent: Small processes chained together to do bigger things
What happened: Big programs with lots of options

Intent: Multiple users
What happened: Single user running a daemon process OR a single user

Intent: Multiple applications per machine managed by priority
What happened: Single application per machine, or even virtual machine with
the hypervisor sorting priority

Intent: Use process per new task
What happened: Use a single process with a new thread per task

Intent: Big machines managed efficiently
What happened: Lots of small machines managed by scale out

I know there's lots of reasons for this - the emergence of the Internet and
vastly different workloads to those anticipated. But even some of the no
brainer things like using nice and user levels for isolation we've decided
to user hypervisors for instead, which is interesting, because one of the
original selling features of unix was security.

Grenade lobbed.

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