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LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 16, 2013
A look at the PyPy 2.0 release
PostgreSQL 9.3 beta: Federated databases and more
LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 9, 2013
(Nearly) full tickless operation in 3.10
Kamp: A Generation Lost in the Bazaar
Posted Aug 21, 2012 18:54 UTC (Tue) by rgmoore (✭ supporter ✭, #75)
I'm not sure how well tar fits with the "do one thing and do it well" motto anymore. Source code for the latest version of GNU tar weighs in at 13.5 MB and 825 files. It has more than 40 single letter command line switches and over 100 full command line switches. It may have been a nice, simple program once, but we've kept asking it to do more and more things until it became a monster.
I think this kind of thing is more or less inevitable. We've been asking our computers to do more and more, and you can't do that without adding more complexity somewhere. It can either be at the level of adding more simple, single-purpose programs or at the level of adding complexity to existing programs, but one way or the other the system gets more complex. The only way we can keep the nice, simple, clean Unix that we had 30 years ago is to stop asking it to do more than we did with it 30 years ago.
Posted Aug 21, 2012 20:38 UTC (Tue) by raven667 (subscriber, #5198)
Its always an interesting thought experiment to see how much of what we do with modern systems can fundamentally be done with 30yr old tech. Instead of HTTP and the Web there was Telnet or 3270 which fulfilled much of the same goals as an application delivery platform. Graphics would be right out but the core functionality of apps like Twitter, Facebook, GMail, word processing and office apps etc. could be done on 30yr old systems. Maybe the biggest problem would not be functionality but scale, no system of the day could scale to the many millions of active users that current systems support, AFAIK.
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