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Some people like to workship whatever the UNIX founders have done, yet they miss that for Plan 9 and Inferno, they also decided to go with automatic memory management languages.

While Alef failed, Limbo's design with GC was considered a revisit from what was missing from Alef.

They also miss that lint was considered a must have tool for safer C code, introduced in 1979, and that Dennis actually proposed fat pointers to ISO, which weren't accepted.






> yet they miss that for Plan 9 and Inferno, they also decided to go with automatic memory management languages

And which of these three operating systems won?

Operating systems don't "win" because they make the best technical choices ... or even because they are best for their users.

Maybe, but when all the winning OSes share a common characteristic then you cannot simply dismiss that characteristic as irrelevant to winning without some evidence that it is not relevant.

The winning characteristic in this case is "it was already there, and it was good enough". This is a recurring theme in the industry.

"Plan 9 failed simply because it fell short of being a compelling enough improvement on Unix to displace its ancestor.

Compared to Plan 9, Unix creaks and clanks and has obvious rust spots, but it gets the job done well enough to hold its position.

There is a lesson here for ambitious system architects: the most dangerous enemy of a better solution is an existing codebase that is just good enough."

Source: https://www.catb.org/esr/writings/taoup/html/plan9.html

The free beer one, because everyone likes to get source tapes for free, regardless of the quality, free usually wins out.

This doesn't seem to hold in the general case. Windows and Macos are not free in any sense, but vastly outnumber linux on the desktop.

The desktop is not the general case.

By install count, Linux runs on far more platforms than anything else: smartphones, tablets, servers, virtual machines, embedded devices, supercomputers, and spacecraft.

They may not technically be free, but they typically come bundled with the computer you buy. Linux has yet to be shipping with free comparable computers, so the cost of Windows/MacOS is invisible to the end consumer.

Because Linux folks cannot get their act together in what means a full stack desktop experience.

Not even Android games get ported in any significant number to GNU/Linux.

The war of Linux Distributions is ten fold worse as the UNIX wars.

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