Posted Mar 17, 2009 18:19 UTC (Tue) by rsidd (subscriber, #2582)
Parent article: Better than POSIX?
Your characterisation of the Unix Haters Handbook as "childish" itself seems childish. First, it was written in the days when Unix itself was proprietary (Linux and BSD were around, but barely), so there wouldn't have been much harm in another proprietary system winning (and VMS is only one of many systems the authors seem to prefer; ITS and Lisp machines were others). Second, it is alarming how much of the book rings true even today. This quote from page 19 resonates in the present context: "Unix programmers have a criminally lax attitude toward error reporting and checking. Many programs dont bother to see if all of the bytes in their output file can be written to disk. Some dont even bother to see if their output file has been created. Nevertheless, these programs are sure to delete their input files when they are finished." (This is a problem because of the "worse is better" philosophy of Unix. By the way, Gabriel's article is a later appendix here, not part of the original handbook.) And most of the chapter on filesystems is very true even today; practically all of it is true on ext2, which was the de facto Linux filesystem until recently.