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

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Long time nixers
I have a little catching up to do, but I have to say, this is a very strange book.

The authors really hate Unix. Yeah. So much that I have a little bit of trouble understanding what they’re talking about. It’s rant after rant, so many metaphors. It reminds me a lot of a certain toxic german subculture, where people just complain for the fun of it (how … how is that fun?). Honestly, this makes it a little hard for me to read. :)

They hardly pinpoint exactly what’s wrong. Most of it is just vague rambling. Or I’m simply too blind or too biased to understand.

It’s also, obviously, really dated. Most of the stuff doesn’t really resonate with me – except for this one:

Quote:[John Rose’s e-mail:] Suns ALWAYS know how to proceed. They dump a core file and kill the offending process. … If there’s a window involved, it closes right up. … This simplicity greatly decreases debugging time because you immediately give up all hope of finding the problem, just restart …

Modern software takes this to the extreme. Crashing app on a smartphone? Not even intended to be debuggable. Normal users don’t want that. Just kill it, the user can restart it.

Lots of desktop software isn’t better, either.

It’s funny how my “base line” is programs that write log lines. This is what I usually consider good software, because thanks to the log lines you have a rough idea why it crashed. It didn’t even cross my mind that something like putting the user in a debugger, where you can inspect the program’s internal state, might be a better idea. Oof. Then again, we have long lost that battle – what would I do in a debugger for, say, a PDF viewer? Vim? My VTE-based terminal? Way too complex.

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RE: Nixers Book Club - Book #2: The UNIX-HATERS Handbook - by movq - 09-02-2021, 12:14 PM