Subject: Re: UNIX Weenies Are Generally Bad Guys
To: None <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: der Mouse <mouse@Rodents.Montreal.QC.CA>
Date: 06/18/1999 01:27:57
(Is there any email@example.com list? This is getting pretty far
off-topic for tech-kern.)
> Why do I say all UNIX weenies are bad guys? For one, they don't
> support what they need to survive, which is users, applications and
> so on.
What makes you think they (we, I suppose I should say) need those to
survive? Are you perhaps confusing "survive" with "be a commercial
success"? Personal computers existed long before IBM made them
widespread, and at worst the hobbyist world will return to that state.
> But UNIX is UNIX, and it's still pretty useless. In fact, TCP/IP is
> the ONLY reason it endures at all.
It endures because there are people who like it enough to continue to
use it. Many of those people don't give a damn about UNIX qua UNIX,
it's true, but there are a few who - like me - like it for its own sake
regardless of whether it's a "success".
And the principal reason it's not a commercial success, in my opinion,
is that the main forces driving its evolution are OS-hacker types like
me who don't give a damn about commercial success; they just want an OS
that's comfortable for them to use. Indeed, I see the friction between
that camp and the camp that says "we need a large user base" as one of
the biggest problems NetBSD has right now; I suspect most of the BSDs
share it, though that's admittedly just a guess.
> [T]his is the third resuscitation of Unix from a near-death coma. I
> don't know how many lives this poor, old, somewhat (now) threadbare
> OS can have but it's not looking good.
Huh? It's stronger than ever. Everything else from Windows to VMS is
converging on POSIX, which is little more than a codification of UNIX.
(More SysV than BSD, to be sure, but it's still basically UNIX.)
> The same BS that waxed Unix in its last two incarnations is still
> very much alive and well in yet another generation of
> developers-turned-weenies. I got news for you. X sucks rocks. The
> apps don't work very well.
"It's the worst window system in the world, except for all the others."
Sure works fine for *me*. X has its problems, but it has plenty of
> Bellevue. Gates' headquarters. THERE is the enemy. It's not Linux,
> FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD or Solaris.
> BSD coulda been a contender and not just now but in 1983. It coulda
> had world domination in 1985, or 1986, or 1987 or....
"a contender" for what? "world domination"? Yeah, if world domination
is what you're after, NetBSD is the wrong place to be. Your point is?
> Bill Gates [...] would dearly love to see BSD die yet again.
"yet again"? If it's died before, how come it's still kicking?
> The hell of it is, some of you are doing it all for him!
> Someone will no doubt respond that users are not the point, not the
> answer, that having a place on desktops and having people actually
> use the OS is not the point.
As this sounds a whole lot like what I said above, I'll respond to it.
> All I can tell those folks is that you and whatever skills you have
> are already obsolete and pointless. An OS without users is like a
> light shining in an empty house with the blinds shut. If you don't
> want users, what, pray, is the point?
I play chess. I play go. I play the piano. I read SF. What is the
point of any of those?
I enjoy them.
And I enjoy using and hacking on NetBSD. If other people enjoy using
it and/or hacking on it, well, cool. Insofar as it's not incompatible
with having a neat system to play with, I'd like to see it have users -
but I am *not* interested in desktop share at the cost of making it a
system I no longer enjoy playing with, or I'd be off using Windows. If
the Project chooses to go that way someday, that's the day it and I
will part ways.
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