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Ghosts of Unix past, part 4: High-maintenance designs
Posted Nov 23, 2010 21:09 UTC (Tue) by stijn (subscriber, #570)
Posted Nov 23, 2010 21:18 UTC (Tue) by ironiridis (guest, #60586)
I suggested the commenter bring up Automake during the next sermon that his or her pastor delivers because it bares the same relevancy. One could discuss the fact that Automake is archaic, filled with ancient lore, long-dead language, and even relates to Creation itself. That doesn't make it appropriate to bring up in church (where the audience to such a discussion wouldn't care for it), just as bringing up the bible in a technical article about technical topics is jarring and bewildering.
I have no ire for Christians, or their beliefs. I simply don't care to be reminded of that particular spectrum of humanity when I am reading about Linux.
Posted Nov 23, 2010 21:33 UTC (Tue) by stijn (subscriber, #570)
Posted Nov 23, 2010 22:09 UTC (Tue) by Simetrical (guest, #53439)
Posted Nov 23, 2010 22:31 UTC (Tue) by ironiridis (guest, #60586)
What I reacted to was referencing material that was simultaneously irrelevant and offensive to some (I'd wager many, in fact, but "some" is irrefutable)... while adding essentially no value to the article itself.
As an example, I don't understand why a piece of work that glorifies the genital mutilation of infants would be chosen to "clarify" why the setuid bit is a high-maintenance design. In fact, I can see clearly and totally without the biblical reference why it is a design that is difficult to maintain and develop around. I can understand the motivation behind its original design, and the frustration and confusion it causes today. All without being reminded that approximately 6,000 boys born each day in the US have their penis mutilated due mainly to a precedent set 4,000 years ago and perpetuated today mostly out of family indoctrination and brainwashing.
It's largely irrelevant, I suppose; my comment won't make any difference in the mind of the editor or author. Clearly my bias clashes with theirs. I simply wanted to make it known that, contrary to popular opinion, a biblical reference is not universally accepted as relevant, friendly, or innocent.
Posted Nov 24, 2010 6:37 UTC (Wed) by nicooo (guest, #69134)
Posted Nov 24, 2010 13:11 UTC (Wed) by jackb (subscriber, #41909)
Posted Nov 24, 2010 21:18 UTC (Wed) by jordanb (guest, #45668)
Posted Nov 23, 2010 22:58 UTC (Tue) by neilbrown (subscriber, #359)
I would certainly be interested in any you could suggest. I tried to think of others and the closest I came was Douglas Adams' quip about underestimating the ingenuity of fools - it is in the right sort of direction but has entirely the wrong emphasis.
(Not that I think the bible is either more or less appropriate in a technical article than Dickens or Adams, but I'm keen to broaden my horizons and would love to hear any references you have in mind).
Posted Nov 23, 2010 21:26 UTC (Tue) by JamesErik (subscriber, #17417)
Neil makes a good case that this fundamental truth is applicable to the domain of Operating System design. A pat on the back to Neil. And yes I did want to make clear to Our Editor, in light of your post, that indeed someone from the readership liked and appreciated the reference.
Posted Nov 23, 2010 21:31 UTC (Tue) by ironiridis (guest, #60586)
Posted Nov 24, 2010 0:15 UTC (Wed) by ikm (subscriber, #493)
participate on lwn.net flames...
> It's often a long time before one figures out that the easy road was the road to destruction.
Indeed it is!
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