> Bleah, this page is a mess, the perfect example of a wiki gone wrong.
The argument here is: Plan9 is NOT a refactoring of Unix because, in the words of Martin Fowler, "Refactoring is the process of changing a software system in such a way that it does not alter the external behavior of the code yet improves its internal structure."
The original phrase from bronson was: "It was a rewrite suffering serious second system syndrome." (referring, obviously, to Plan9). Going by stages:
it IS a rewrite of Unix, and if you define second-system syndrome as "the tendency of small, elegant, and successful systems to have elephantine, feature-laden monstrosities as their successors", then Plan9 /could/ be construed as having this, altough I think it was more of an hyperbole than a factual statement.
IMHO Plan9 is quite elegant itself (but I *do* think Limbo is a monstrosity /per se/), and I agree with you that it did not lose momentum because of featuritis or other stuff, but because it stayed close where other unixen opened up.