Nixers Book Club - Book #2: The UNIX-HATERS Handbook - Community & Forums Related Discussions

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Three chapters that go into emails, the internet, and terminals. The idea that backward compatibility gets in the way is still inherently present.

That first chapter focuses a lot on sendmail and its drawbacks. The mail systems today on Unix aren't any better either. I've had my share of hell setting up postfix, dovecot, and anything in between.

The unicode standard wasn't that strong back then, fortunately we don't have as much problems with that today.

The metaphorical more or less non-sense rants go a long way about sendmail, that just shows how much there was frustration.

Based on an IRC convo with josuah there are some more alternatives today that are probably simpler. Like qmail, notqmail, and OpenSMTPD.

In the chapter after that we dive into something not so Unixy: the internet of the time. The rant is much like today's web rant, and they admit it's "not about tech but about sociology".
(06-02-2021, 10:58 AM)phillbush Wrote: This is still valid in the Web and its forums.
"news", "netnews", "Usenet", software that brought the advent blogging and the web. Which is all "Based on name-calling, harassment, and letter-bombs", "mob rule and public lynchings", "Free speech!", "insightful, obnoxious postings", "polarization of newsgroups", "smarty pants that want to reply to see their name in the light"... Yep! It isn't any better today. I guess people are just not nice in general. newsgroup are the ancestor of Reddit, and the "netizens" weren't any better either.

(06-02-2021, 10:19 AM)ylambda Wrote: How does a website or community become part of your daily/weekly routine?
Any of them you want to mention?
I've been limiting any community that is a "bubble" or driven by whatever I mentioned above such as the polarization and emotional rollercoaster. I have enough in my daily life then to go online and feel like everyone is shouting all the time 😂.

The chapter about terminals is the one that resonates the most with the backward compatibility issue theme.
Different terminals have different standards and libraries (termcap, curses, terminfo) are created to try to avoid the problem and use a less-efficient common denominator. Yet, we haven't moved from this legacy system and aren't able to use smarter terminal features. We're stuck on text-stream terminals even though we could have so much more. Terminals now equate with green-on-black text consoles in most people's mind even though that's not what it actually stands for. It was supposed to denote the controlling end of something connected to a machine.
I agree with both ylambda on that, we missed on new features.

Overall, the sentiment of the book is still present in these chapters: a resentment for not moving on but also feeling like somehow it was better before and the timeline could've gone another way. Seeing the rant about the internet of the time... Maybe the timeline doesn't change after all, and it's just wishful thinking.

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RE: Nixers Book Club - Book #2: The UNIX-HATERS Handbook - by venam - 06-02-2021, 11:10 AM