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History of Unix

2001-02-07 21:06:03+00 by Dan Lyke 3 comments

I've been wanting to comment on the Doc Searles exchange with Jay on Linus owning Linux but haven't known if I'm just pissy 'cause I'm sick. Yes, Doc, we like it that way. As a counter-example, the lack of a similar guiding vision and personality is probably strongly related to why I don't run Gnome, nobody's saying "why do we need that? Throw it out!". Jay also linked a history of Unix that I think puts in perspective some of my tiffs with Dave Winer, the Unix guys were clear from the very beginning that they wanted to build individual programs that operated on generic open data, not better ways to control large applications that only understood their own data. The difference between the data as data and the data as the application seems, in my cold and cough induced haze, to be at the heart of the differences between the GUI and the Un*x ways of thinking.

[ related topics: Free Software Interactive Drama Web development Psychology, Psychiatry and Personality Weblogs Dave Winer ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:31:05+00 by: baylink

You're not just pissy because you're sick, but I think you're missing the same point that Doc and Craig assert that everyone else is missing: that architectural control is not the same as ownership, but that business-inclined people are conflating these things, and that (in our humble) opinion, that is bad. Linus controls it -- but not as much as they assume based on the word "own", and it's their assumptions that worry them.

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:31:05+00 by: Dan Lyke

Actually I think you and I are in violent agreement. Linus "owns" Linux because the consensus amongst a large group of smart people is that he's still doing an awesome job of stewardship and guidance, and because he's also smart enough to not lay down rules that the believers aren't willing to follow. There's another group of really smart people with conflicting ideas about how kernels should be implemented. They've built FreeBSD. That a lot of code is binary compatible between FreeBSD and Linux shows clearly that you're right. When Linus isn't doing a good job, the kernel will fork and most likely good stuff will happen with both sides of the fork. At some point RMS owned Emacs, too. Doc's kinda tiresome 'cause he has to build fake fights to keep his readership up, one of the reasons that I'm probably gonna let my Linux Journal subscription lapse.

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:31:05+00 by: baylink

You think so?

I'm of the opinion that anyone who lives in a world with Dave Winer doesn't have to synthesize argument, but maybe that's just me. So many things are just me.

He's just a journalist, and there *is* dissent out there. It's just not informed dissent. I like him, actually, because he's honest enough to admit what he doesn't know.

I was unhappy with the unevenness and thinness of LJ the last year, but the last couple issues seem to be picking up. All the writers went to LM, because that was where the art direction and editing was, but their editory seems to be dropping off a bit.

And thanks to whomever followed the link to me; I spotted it in my referrer log, which is what reminded me to get back over here. ;-)