venam
(This is part of the podcast discussion extension)


5 years from now, you open your Unix box, what do you see, what do you do? Any resentment, nostalgic feelings?


This podcast was full of assumptions, it was about assumptions.
We had to imagine how the world of Unix would be after some years and what we
would think of it.


#Changes are changes


Whatever changes are gonna happen.
Someday, we'll have to face them otherwise we'll be outdated old folks.
As developers and system administrators knowing whatever tech is in trend is a must.


# How the trends might move


For some, the usage of a system is heavily dependent on its adoption on a whole
scale.
Thus, let's think this through...


Will Unix still be heavily used in 5 years, it's very probable.
Unix is here to stay.

However the way in which it's going to be used isn't gonna be the same.
The environment will differ.

With the adoption of cloud based solutions we'll have more and more of automatic
boxes. Boxes that are deployed automatically to scale.

The new dev kids won't care much about what is Unix and more about deploying their
apps trough cloud online services.


For sys admins it'll be a question of learning the new tech.

We mentioned systemd a lot and how we'll have to cope with it if it continues
it's current integration.

Quote:> There'll something like systemd2 or something
> 5 years runing in front of my systemd box running my systemd kernel.


As far as the end user is concerned, everyone will want a desktop that just works, like always (duh).


Design wise, the look will be inspired from other OSs.
Designs go by trends and the flock follows it.
For example, at the moment "material design" and flat designs are widely used.

Quote:> I think we'll go to a phase where retro stuffs are cool again.
(We all wish that)


For the end user computing will greatly differ.
People are moving away from desktop computers and more towards wearable devices
and thin clients. So Unix might find its new purpose amongst those.

Quote:> Thin clients
> Steam OS
> systemd
> I guess


What about software development in the Unix world?
Will things move towards better ways of open source?
Will we finally have stable versions of softwares we've been following for the
last few years?

Quote:> Will we drop X11?
< For Wayland?
< It'll be as usable as X11 if everything works natively
< But it takes too much time for developers to adapt
< ...and the documentation is really not good.
> I guess the people that are deep into coding are more into solving problems than writing documentation

Quote:> You'll sound like the new evangelist
> RMS of the future
> "Hey kids wanna hear about Plan9 for the cloud"
> "That's the only real thing you should be using"
< What do you think plan9 is gonna be in 5 years?
> It'll be in the same position that it is now
> ..Still pretty bad!


# The idea of having a group of outsiders, our cabal, our cult

There'll always be people who don't like some particular stuffs.
There'll always be people that create groups based on small details they agree about.

Unix is a niche, we tend to drift away in our own world.
Are we still affected by the huge trends? Probably not as much as other niche.

The usage won't diverge that much, if you look back in history it haven't changed.
It's the same philosophy and it is scalable through time.

Quote:> K.I.S.S.
> Having a program that does one thing and does it well
> etc..
< I was watching a video the other day of a guy using a Unix box 20 years ago (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tc4ROCJYbm0)
< He was explaining how to use the shell
< It felt pretty weird because the same still applies to today
< It's exactly what we do here everyday!

Quote:> Nixers stick to the terminal
> Once you reach that state where you are using the terminal for all your work you don't go back
> It's minimalism all the way!

Quote:> There'll be all those new design trends but I'll stick to my terminal and minimalism

Obviously, we'll also get the extremist who want to differ.

Quote:> I'll be using something really obscure.
< Linux from scratch?
> No, something super scary!
> Something like no systemd or something else...


#Time builds you up


In 5 years we'll all have gained more experience, we'll turn into specialists
in what we work with.

We might feel like a grey beards having been through a long history, seeing all
those changes before our eyes.


We'll have the hang of the tech, we'll think we know better than new kids.
We'll cry a bit thinking about how they now think Unix work and about how Unix philosophy is dying due to heavy corporations.

However we need to accept that the past is the past.
Our predecessors did the same, we'll do the same.

We'll have accepted the past...Nostalgic about the time when we used to run our old system.
We might have kept it in the closest and boot it from time to time as a reminder.

Someone played this song in the podcast I think it's appropriate for
the ending of this summary.
jkl
Unix has always been one of the trendsetters, just much too early. NetBSD is the best OS for the hyped Raspberry devices, NetBSD also features large parts of Android. Why wouldn't we talk about its future then?


With Plan9 being the evolution of v10 Unix, it's not entirely impossible that it won't have its heyday either.
pranomostro
I am not sure, but maybe stuff like suckless will rise. They seem to have some serious growth right now.

I hope they will cope well with that if it happens.

Also, about Plan 9: It will stay where it is, maybe with moderate growth.

Maybe something totally unexpected will happen, like urbit taking off like a rocket. That would be ultimately cool: a totally new
development in computing, different from everything known yet.
pranomostro
Thinking about it for a while, I think not much will change for us. We as unix users will probably try to have a system that is as familiar as possible, because we know it, we are powerusers of that system and so on. And I don't feel like it's likely that the bigger corporations will adopt the unix way (not for usual computer users, that said) so we will have to make workarounds for services that are taken granted on other systems.

Linux is moving towards (systemd|freedesktop|redhat) style software, increasing the complexity and decreasing the (I can't find the word right now, the fact that the system is divided into different parts that are working together in accord), having more monoliths. Wayland will only work with some X layer installed as well, for at least the next 10 years. X dying off is not something we can hope for in the near future.

Linux will not explode in usage, but will grow steadily as it has the last two and a half decades. There will be no 'Year of the Linux desktop', maybe there will be a 'Decade of the Linux desktop' where the usage will rise a little bit faster than before and after.




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