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A capital 'i' - Printable Version
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RE: A capital 'i' - zge - 18-03-2019

(17-03-2019, 07:53 PM)Igrom Wrote: Online handles are, from my experience, for life*. Regrettably, mine was chosen before embarking on my computer adventures, and so it begins with a capital letter. I half expect to stick out like a sore thumb here.

I don't know, I've changed mine over the years a few times... But this-or-that-way welcome!

(18-03-2019, 01:04 PM)jkl Wrote: My favorite comparison is the true command: It had a size of 0 bytes on UNIX (it basically spawned a shell and returned a success doing so), it has 80 lines in today's GNU system and even includes the false command. And a --version parameter (if "true" ever will be changed to "quux" or something?). And a --help parameter (if you don't know how to use true ... sane operating systems have manpages for that, just saying).

Then again, do you really want to spawn a shell and everything it brings with it just to write 0 to a specific place in memory? Try it yourself, if you want to: amusing ./true is an empty file, how much longer does
Code:
time for x in {1..1000}; do ./true; done
need than
Code:
time for x in {1..1000}; do true; done
? On my system GNU's version is ~600 times faster? And considering that true is used a lot if shell scripts, I really can't complain.

Also, looking at false you see that the code has been written to be reused.

Regarding at the 80 lines accusation, one just has to accept that the GNU project values consistency (all coreutilities accept a minimum of flags) over strict minimalism. I respect and prefer that. If the GNU version was actually hard to read or understand, I'd maybe say something else, but I don't think that's the case. And if it still annoys you, just place some other version in your path before GNU's.

(18-03-2019, 01:04 PM)jkl Wrote: A computer is a tool. I haven't really studied the source code of any of my daily applications in years - because why would I want to?

Besides there being a lot to learn, it's not only study, but the ability to actively engage yourself (for personal as well as social sake) and improve or specialise existing tools. That's the funny thing with computers after all, they're "tools" with "tools". Being able to choose one requires the same freedom in the other.

I also wasn't convinced of this until I started spending time with Emacs, and experiencing first hand what software freedom can mean, under the right circumstances.


RE: A capital 'i' - jkl - 18-03-2019

(18-03-2019, 09:23 PM)zge Wrote: Then again, do you really want to spawn a shell and everything it brings with it just to write 0 to a specific place in memory? Try it yourself, if you want to: amusing ./true is an empty file, how much longer does
Code:
time for x in {1..1000}; do ./true; done
need than
Code:
time for x in {1..1000}; do true; done
? On my system GNU's version is ~600 times faster?

Even if that mattered (does it even on a PDP-11?), the GNU version is still the worst version of true you might want to use. The Busybox version behind one of your links is probably (technically) the best version of those, but running a pure Busybox/Linux distribution is an acquired taste as well, and you'd still need a good part of other userland utilities.

(18-03-2019, 09:23 PM)zge Wrote: Regarding at the 80 lines accusation, one just has to accept that the GNU project values consistency (all coreutilities accept a minimum of flags) over strict minimalism.

I both respect and avoid that wherever I can if there are better* alternatives available. Non-minimalist utilities are usually much more error-prone than their sane counterparts. I understand that nobody is perfect, but our new fellow explicitly preferred the UNIX way, so it might be a good idea to not start this journey with neglecting POSIX values.

* I have mentioned in the past that I consider GNU Emacs a rather good programming environment. I still think so.

(18-03-2019, 09:23 PM)zge Wrote: Besides there being a lot to learn, it's not only study, but the ability to actively engage yourself (for personal as well as social sake) and improve or specialise existing tools.

I rarely find existing tools sufficiently lacking, but most of the few tools which I wrote to solve my own problems were written from scratch instead of working around historically grown code weirdnesses. Of course, to each their own. If I ever find myself digging through my environment's source code to hunt for bugs or add any features desperately needed, I might as well replace it by better alternatives.


RE: A capital 'i' - venam - 19-03-2019

This thread has quickly moved to the Unix philosophy arguments.
Please post your replies to this topic in appropriate threads such as those:
https://nixers.net/showthread.php?tid=1985 or https://nixers.net/showthread.php?tid=1996


RE: A capital 'i' - z3bra - 19-03-2019

Welcome to nixers Igrom! And congratz on having jkl express and details his aversion about Linux rather than simply trolling "Linux is no unix tho" as the traditional welcome message :P
You'll certainly learn lot of things there, and it is always good to get new people with fresh ideas onboard!

Don't hesitate to dig out old threads and give your opinion ;)


RE: A capital 'i' - jkl - 20-03-2019

I'm constantly trying to improve myself. ;-)