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

John Elliot jj5 at progclub.org
Thu Oct 27 01:26:21 AEDT 2011

On 27/10/2011 12:55 AM, Asher Glynn wrote:
> Focusing on short(ish) posts
> http://asher-glynn.blogspot.com/2011/10/unix-on-hypervisors-what-have-you-done.html

I submitted you to reddit. Go vote yourself up!


> I agree - Unix is the correct default option, but why don't we have well
> known alternatives?

Well so far there doesn't seem any need for alternatives?

I mean, I take your point that some of the features and idioms of Unix 
aren't used very much these days, but I rarely use the back seat of my 
car, or my car's rear windshield wiper, or the spare tire. They're just 
there in case they're useful some time.

> Windows was based around the experiences of the VMS guys that came from
> Digital - very clever guys. MS benefited from them in the same way as a
> whole lot of pissed off Digital CPU designers benefited AMD for a bit,
> bringing specific skills in. Hangovers in Windows from OS/2 are based around
> some of IBM's mainframe experience and DOS being a variant on CP/M which
> actually hails in part back to CP/CMS in the mainframe. The "official"
> language for CP/M was PL/M which was a variant of PL/I, definitely a
> mainframe programming language. Windows NT is interesting because its
> actually a much more modern design than Linux, but I think it suffers
> because it is too much of a hodge podge of design concepts.

Sometimes I feel like I have power I shouldn't have when I'm programming 
on Linux. I.e. when I'm doing text-processing with regular expressions 
and piping results around. It's just such a sloppy hack. I used to have 
a code generator that would stream XML, XSLT and 'code' (i.e. text) 
around to get the codegen job done, and I thought that was fairly 
elegant and robust, although I was essentially applying the Unix 
philosophy under Windows.

Sometimes when I'm programming Windows I feel like I have the power I 
need to get what I want done. Other times I feel completely locked down.

Overall I'd say that Linux makes me feel more powerful than Windows.

> go find a mirror and try and tell yourself that C++ in
> any way is a well thought through language and watch the mirror crack itself
> up laughing.

I was blown away by how "unsafe" that language is on the number of 
occasions that I've encountered it. I mean, it had my jaw dropping: "You 
mean they made it work like *that*!?" But I really don't know much about 

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