Concrete examples of the insanity of Unix might by now be largely
obsolete (none of the csh- or symlink-related showcases work anymore),
but the basic, deep annoyance of the Haters seems to me ever-valid:
"Unix evolved; it was not designed".
No one who ever saw a Genera machine at work or appreciated fully the
depth of Smalltalk's world view, will be able to dive into Unix and come
back with the same deep sense of enlightenment.
Unix' only redeeming, rather: defining, feature is this: relentless
adaptability. Unix, as an ideology and an ever-changing set of tools,
works precisely because it refuses to be held to any standard of aesthetics.
If SmallTalk or Genera grew popular enough to satisfy the needs of billions of people and hardware devices, then they would be infested with evolved cruft as well. Systems may feel more "coherent" or "designed" with tight coupling. I'm certain that such systems systems would not have made the jump from servers to desktops to mobile phones like Unix did. They would have been replaced with something more loosely coupled.
The core principles of Unix are still there. It's just layered under a lot of cruft. It's true that much of it is caused by incomplete understanding. I've been hacking on Debian internals and this has become very clear to me.
People say FreeBSD is more coherent... it's been tempting to me to switch. But it's more coherent because it does less (has less features than) Linux or OS X.
I'm not sure that FreeBSD does less than Linux or OS X. There's certainly some divergence (FreeBSD has an active Linux compatibility layer, but I don't know if iCBS is still active in Linux; FreeBSD has jails, Linux has containers, etc), and FreeBSD tends to have less of the try 7 ways to move forward and then standardize on an 8th way (although, how many firewall apis do we need?), but I think that's mostly driven by lack of contributions than anything else.
Another example: FreeBSD has had jails for a long time, but I believe it didn't acquire the equivalent of cgroups until very recently. Linux has a LOT of stuff that only a few people use.
I think there are space for both (evolutionary and design-lead approaches). They just will be playing in different markets.
Or are you saying there's no widespread, well-designed system in IT?
Or are you saying there could not be a widespread, well-designed system to fill Unix's niche? And if so, what's so delicately special about Unix's niche that it evades and/or resists a well-designed substitute?
I'm genuinely curious, as I often wonder why no one is in the business of coming up with a better, simpler server OS. (I'm oversimplifying Unix here since that's the only role I care about, plus I believe, as Unix does, in "do one thing and do it well", which is ironic coming from a system that tries to be all things for all people.)
It is impossible to have one system spanning several industries/markets/niches/etc and still be consistent.
Yeah freebsd is widely used in it. But it doesn't have to support webcams, input tablets, printers (oh god, printers), games, etc...
I don't think I follow. There are very few things that you can do in Linux that you can't in FreeBSD. If you SSH'd into a FreeBSD system, you might not even notice that it's not Linux until you tried to do something system-level like install some software or change your IP address. To your examples, I have used a webcam and printer and played games on FreeBSD.
But to that end, FreeBSD still has the whole mess of tools that Linux has (do we really need sed and awk and perl and...). It's much more accurate to call FreeBSD "unix" than it is Linux. In fact, this Unix Haters Handbook is dated before widespread popularity of Linux.
So while FreeSBD may be better "designed" as a cohesive system than Linux, it's still guilty of every single criticism in this article, and is even more likely to be the intended target of that criticism.
I know it's tempting to say "everything would be better if we all used this thing over there", but that thing over there that you think solves all of your problems probably doesn't exist.
I don't think that _every_ criticism in this book is still valid, far from it. Besides, Linux and *BSD ecosystems share a lot, actually only the kernel/libc points (if any) could be relevant for one system and not the others.
I agree with your impossibility statement; that's why I said it's ironic that Unix tries to be all things for all people, despite its philosophy.
And why is FreeBSD it? Is there a quick, convincing pamphlet that can help answer this question? I keep hearing it but have never seen the reasons distilled, other than "it's more secure".
Here is my metaphor: your book is a pudding stuffed with apposite
observations, many well-conceived. Like excrement, it contains
enough undigested nuggets of nutrition to sustain life for some. But
it is not a tasty pie: it reeks too much of contempt and of envy.
One of the authors (Daniel Weise) wrote a post mortem ten years later. 
Back in the heyday of /. there was a funny discussion going on. 
 http://homes.cs.washington.edu/~weise/uhh-download.html (link inside broken, book PDF is now linked from the HN title).
> But I didn’t come here today to talk about why 2 emacses and a window system should take five times the total memory of the late AIKS-10. No, today I came to talk about the virtual memory system.
> Why is it that when I walk away from my trusty jerkstation for a while and come back, I touch the mouse and all of a sudden, whirr, rattle, rattle, whirr, all my processes get swapped back into memory?
> I mean, why did they get paged out in the first place? It’s not like the system needed that memory—for chrissake, it still has 3 or 4 MB free!
That's another quoted email in the Handbook, from a Robert E. Seastrom, dated 1993! I was wondering the same thoughts myself — fifteen years later — about Windows Vista, and it later became one of the wonderful things about switching to Linux, which does not page unless is must (though this behavior is configurable).
(That said, when Linux runs out of memory, it can go on a Sisyphus-esque page-a-thon and die thrashing the disk about the interior of the machine casing. For all people complain about the OOM killer, sometimes, it's handy!)
BWAHAHA, Poor Don has to eat his shoe.
> The Macintosh on which I type this has 64MB: Unix was not designed for the Mac. What kind of challenge is there when you have that much RAM?
My Macintosh running UNIX-compliant OS X on a system with 8GB of RAM laughs at this statement, as I wrote code for my slightly less powerful Apple-made UNIX machine with 1GB of RAM that sits in my pocket.
Having a bash like CLI is meaningless in terms of means to be a UNIX compatible OS.
And the check engine light which is the only one a driver with half a brain may still get... Is akin to a "?".
In order to qualify for UNIX-HATERS, you had to send in a sufficiently vitriolic rant about Unix, or be recommended by a member notorious for their vitriolic rants about Unix:
Subject: i help maintain unix-haters
Date: July 23, 1991 11:22:13 PM GMT+02:00
Cc: email@example.com, don.hopkins@Eng.Sun.COM
Date: Wed, 15 May 91 11:54:30 PDT
From: Gumby Vinayak Wallace <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: do you maintain unix-haters?
Don.Hopkins@Eng.Sun.COM should definately be on the list -- a much better
ranter than many who DO send to it.
done. i hope he enoys it.
DH>>>> Don Hopkins wrote:
DH>>>> I've collected some of my favorite Motif code and comments (from Netscape, courtesy of Jamie Zawinski), on my "Motif Angst Page": http://www.donhopkins.com/home/catalog/unix-haters/x-windows...
DH>>>> Jamie put it this way: It's like trying to build a shelf of out mashed potatoes!
JG>>>> Jim Gettys wrote:
JG>>> Good analogy.... I didn't realize you were the author of the "The X-Windows Disaster".
DH>> I hope you founds it more entertaining than offensive!
JG> At the time, I remember it hurting; now I find it entertaining. Time cures such things. And Motif was definitely a vendor perpetrated unmitigated disaster: the worst of it was that it "succeeded" in unifying the UNIX gui, which means it succeeded at stopping all reasonable work on gui's on UNIX until the young Linux turks took over.
JG> And by '93 or so, the UNIX vendors actively wanted no change, as they had given up on the desktop and any innovation would cost them money.
DH>> The whole "Unix-Haters Handbook" thing was intended to shake up the status quo and inspire people to improve the situation instead of blindly accepting the received view. (And that's what's finally happened, although I can't take the credit, because it largely belongs to Linux -- and now that's the OLPC's mission!)
DH>> The unix-haters mailing list was a spin-off of its-lovers@mit-ai: in order to qualify for the mailing list you had to post a truly vitriolic no-holds-barred eyeball-popping flame.
DH>> I hope that helps to explain the tone of "The X-Windows Disaster", which I wrote to blow off steam while I was developing the X11 version of SimCity.
JG> Yup. I won't hold it against you ;-). Though any operating system with ddt as its shell is downright user hostile...
JG>>> The day I thought X was dead was the day I installed CDE on my Alpha.
DH>> And then Linux came along and changed all the rules and assumptions!
JG>>> It was years later I realized the young turks were ignoring the disaster perpetrated by the UNIX vendors in the name of "standardization"; since then, Keith Packard and I have tried to pay for our design mistakes in X by things like the new font model, X Render extension, Composite, and Cairo, while putting stakes in the heart of disasters like XIE, LBX, PEX, the old X core font model, and similar design by committee mistakes (though the broken core 2D graphics and font stuff must be considered "original sin" committed by people who didn't know any better at the
DH>> Cairo looks wonderful! I'm looking forward to using it from Python, which should be lots of fun.
JG> Yup. Cairo is really good stuff. This time we had the benefit of Lyle Ramshaw to get us unstuck. Would that I'd known Lyle in 1986; but it was too late 3 years later when I got to know him.
DH>> A lot of that old X11 stuff was thrown in by big companies to shill existing products (like using PEX to sell 3d graphics hardware, by drawing rotating 3-d cubes in an attempt to hypnotize people).
DH>> Remember UIL? I heard that was written by the VMS trolls at DEC, who naturally designed it with an 132 column line length limitation and no pre-processor of course. The word on the street was that DEC threw down the gauntlet and insisted on UIL being included in the standard, even though the rest of the committee hated it for sucking so bad. But DEC threatened to hold their breath until they got their way.
DH>> And there were a lot of weird dynamics around commercial extensions like Display PostScript, which (as I remember it) was used as an excuse for not fixing the font problems a lot earlier: "If you want to do readable text, then you should be using Display PostScript."
The problem was that Linux doesn't have a vendor to pay the Display PostScript licensing fee to Adobe, so Linux drove a lot of "urban renewal" of problems that had been sidelined by the big blundering companies originally involved with X.
JG> Yup. Though I don't know the exact history there.
JG> I was really burned out after X11, and had an undiagnosed medical problem. So I wasn't in the fight for sanity when most of that junk happened; and Bob Scheifler's personality is such that he didn't either, and was at that point still very focused on the base system. And SGI saw OpenGL as a competitive advantage, so PEX took a slow death.
JG>>> So we've mostly succeeded at dragging the old whale off the beach and getting it to live again.
DH>> Hey, that's a lot better than dynamiting the whale, which seemed like a such good idea at the time! (Oh the humanity!)
DH>> <strikeout>http://www.perp.com/whale/</strikeout> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exploding_whale
JG> Have you seen the whale video on the web? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtVSzU20ZGk
JG> One is amazed at how stupid some people can be.
JG> Jim Gettys, One Laptop Per Child
Here's some more modern footage of what it's like to work on X-Windows server internals:
I can't remember if I actually did get SimCity for News/HyperNeWS working...
I did spend a few years in the early 90s hacking around with PostScript in HyperNeWS and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Cool to see that you still have a page with some HyperNeWS related stuff!
I love discussion between knowledgable people that happens some time after the event.
A website or podcast that was a tech version of "The Reunion" would probably be popular.
Here's some of his sagely advice, which I'll quote from his wikipedia page: "He has pointed out a common fallacy among programmers today: that storing computed values in memory is preferable to recomputing those values later. This, he claims, is often false on current hardware, given fast CPUs and the long time it takes to recover from a potential cache miss."
But it's a totally different story about that flaming political loony who desecrated the Jargon file, misrepresented hacker culture (and himself as a hacker), flat out lied about not misrepresenting anyone, and always used to sign himself off as "the mad mastermind of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Netnews" but never delivered on any of the hype he promised. But at least he was honest about being "mad": he still says and stands by things like "In the U.S., blacks are 12% of the population but commit 50% of violent crimes; can anyone honestly think this is unconnected to the fact that they average 15 points of IQ lower than the general population?"
I would love to see a retrospective discussion of the people who blew up that whale!
 Yes, I still call it X-Windows in the hopes of annoying X fanatics.
I wonder if anyone still has the real archives (there are partial, sanitized archives).
I strongly urge everyone who reads Unix-Haters to drop a
note to email@example.com expressing your concern that
he may be violating the spirit of the original jargon file.
Recall that we have not actually -seen- what he has
proposed to do, so don't jump down the man's throat, but I
think he could use some reinforcement on the idea that part
of the ITS culture was a healthy disrespect for Unix, and
that for many of us this is still the case. Be reasonable,
calm and brief. Don't antagonize him. just make your
It would probably help if you can impress him with your
ITS credentials. Like if you ever helped maintained ITS, or
some ITS system program, be sure to mention that.
Subject: message to ER
Date: Wed, 19 Dec 90 13:35:25 -0800
I've heard you are working on ai:gls;jargon >, to which
I contributed several entries (which appear also in the
published version). It seems to me that the file documented
a culture that no longer exists, because it was tied to a
particular period, particular long-dead machines and
networks, and particular institutions that have changed
unrecognizably. It doesn't, therefore, seem meaningful to
It is a spendid idea to document (for instance) current
unix culture, but such a document should be clearly distinct
from The Hackers' Dictionary, not a revision. It should
have a new title, and perhaps a different format. It should
not include words from jargon > that are not current (as,
I think, relatively few are).
Making a new book a ``revision'' of jargon > would imply
a kind of continuity between late-70s ARPANet culture and
early-90s unix culture that simply doesn't exist. To do so
would confuse members of the latter culture and annoy
members of the former. Contemporary unix culture contains
many more people than the group jargon > was written for and
about. They would be best served by an entirely new book
that documents their own jokes and terminology in a way that
reflects the contemporary style.
Here's the body of my message to him. I seem to have
misplaced the headers:
I've seen forwardings of your postings on
alt.computers.folklore about the jargon file and understand
that some ITS hackers are less than thrilled by some of your
modifications of the file. It may be that your intentions
have been misrepresented to me, but if not, I have a few
things to say.
I was barely an ITS hacker (although I had an account on
AI for a while), but instead went through RSTS, NOS, and
Genera before getting stuck with Unix, so I don't quite have
the same purist attitude that some of them may have.
However, if it is indeed true that you're altering insults
about Unix to be about MSDOS instead, this does bother me.
It bothers me because it sounds like you're revising
history. New insults about MSDOS are fine (as well as
insults about RSTS, NOS, or Genera), but you aren't
reporting on a culture if you make these changes. To remove
the anti-Unix slurs in a documentation of computer culture
would be like rewriting history to say that Ronald Reagan
was elected unanimously and that nobody opposed any of his
A documentation of the computer culture as it exists on Unix
hosts today could be interesting, but I respectfully request
that you not modify the ITS era entries as you add new ones.
You should, however, document what part of the culture they
came from. As I recall, the original jargon file spoke of
Stanfordisms and MITisms.
Most of the original jargon file should be listed as
ITSisms. Note that it would be worth doing the reseach to
find out what other cultures they might exist in such as
Multics, Genera, VMS, etc. The computer culture is not a
single culture, but is a number of different cultures. In
fact, proper research should document phrases as saying that
they developed in the ITS user community as such-and-such,
and then migrated into the Unix community as so-and-so.
Certainly, if a phrase or piece of terminology was only
used in the ITS community, it shouldn't be rewritten so that
it could be used in the Unix community. Your purpose should
not be to provide people with a collection of cute things to
say, but instead to document what people do say.
I find that it's interesting that none of the registered
unix-haters had anything to do with your version of the
file. You'd probably not be getting jumped on if you'd
contacted us and asked if we'd like to review what you were
doing. This file really shouldn't be made Unix-centric, and
to allow non-Unix-philiacs a review might help to keep you
Besides, the phrase "MSDOS weenie" doesn't have the same
ring to it as "Unix weenie", and "Weenix" can't be
translated into anti-MSDOS-speak at all. "MSWeenos"?
Subject: ER's reply to me
[ Apparently he found my message less compelling than some of you did.]
Are GLS, RMS, et al. being wedged, is this guy's project
being misrepresented to us, or is he misrepresenting
their support? Or what? (Sigh.) (What can you expect
from someone who signs himself ``the mad mastermind of
TMN-Netnews?'' We used to throw highschool students off
AI for lesser infractions...)]
Subject: Re: your mail
Date: Wed, 19 Dec 90 18:14:12 EST
> Making a new book a ``revision'' of jargon would imply a
kind of continuity between late-70s ARPANet culture and
early-90s unix culture that simply doesn't exist.
I disagree, and so do GS and RS and the other four major
authors of the original Jargon File.
> To do so would confuse members of the latter culture and
annoy members of the former.
So far, the only people who have seemed either confused or
annoyed are a couple of rather troglodytic ex-ITSers. The
UNIX culture loves what I'm doing, I'm swamped with new
entries and supportive email. And I've gotten more help than
criticism from ITS alumni.
Quite frankly, I've concluded that the only people offended
by the idea of jargon 2.x.x are people I don't mind
offending. I hope and trust you are not among them.
Would you like to enter changes or additions to your
previous entries, or submit any new ones?
In article <1YqWpR#1YnZJF2ktJM020ODXT8YVbVGfirstname.lastname@example.org> ER writes:
> On the evidence available to me, [CS] speak[s] for a
minority which includes none of the principal authors of
> I am doing my very damnedest not to misrepresent anybody;
the First Edition authors (with whom I regularly discuss
my editorial choices) can testify to this.
These statements are out-and-out lies.
ER has never communicated any of his editorial
choices to me until I took him to task for it on
alt.folklore.computers. Then all he did was send me a
message saying, in effect, "tough shit, ITS and the PDP-10
are dead and it's too bad if you don't like it."
From what Guy Steele sent me in private, I doubt that he is
correctly representing Guy either.
The issue was never one of PDP-10/ITS vs. Unix. The
PDP-10/Unix war was settled years ago. The issue is whether
or not you brand an entire culture "extinct" just because
the environment which birthed that culture has died. That
culture is alive and well today, having successfully
transplanted itself to Unix and reimplementing the beloved
features of the old environment on top of Unix.
Perhaps someone should package this stuff up and send it to
GLS and RMS (I never had much of a chance to hack ITS so I
don't think I should do it) and ask if they are being
accurately portrayed. If not, one might consider sending a
note to this guy's publisher just to let them know what's
Date: Thu, 20 Dec 90 19:03:08 EST
Subject: jaron file redux
hey quux, we have been hearing rumors about some guy out in
east overshoe who intends to publish a revision of the
jargon file (as previously lifted by you off the ITS
machines, where it had been a communal construct, and
published in some random fashion). it sounds like what he
intends to do is RE-WRITE a bunch of the entries to change
their intent from denigration of unix to denigration of some
pc system (msdos?). that, of course, would be a significant
alteration from the original aim of the file, and a lot of
ITS lovers are objecting. this fellow has been contacted
online, and he claims he is working with you, RMS, and "most
of the other original authors", which he claims to number
about 4 more. what is the story?
The project started out as an expansion and slight revision
of the file, with a view toward eventual distillation into
another book. By "the other original authors" he is
referring to the set of names on the first book:
Anyway, Eric cut loose and published several updated
versions of the file to today's hacker community, which, for
better or for worse, is much more UNIX-oriented than that of
ten years ago. He has gathered tremendous amounts of new
material, much of it interesting. To the extent that we
augment the file, I think it's great. Historical
revisionism is, however, highly inappropriate, and there is
some debate over the designation and treatment of "obsolete"
Date: Fri, 14 Dec 90 10:54:45 PST
Subject: MC:HUMOR;JARGON >
The JARGON file is being updated. The guy doing so has
changed the nasty references to Unix to refer to MS-DOS
because "all the ITS partisans have now become Unix
partisans, since the Unix philosophy is the same as the ITS
philosophy." as he says.
Why don't we write a complaintive group letter to the
Isn't there some pending federal law against colorizing
things that were originally black and white? Perhaps we
should each call our congresspeople and lobby for its
immediate passage of that so we can go after this vandal in
If you would be gracious enough to identify this, um, I
believe the proper term is "loser", then we might have the
opportunity to clarify our philosophical differences.
This guy is also a flaming political loony, so make sure to
mention that you're an agent of the international communist
conspiracy if you write to him (unless you're trying to be
persuasive, in which case you should claim to be a sworn
enemy of the ICC).
Subject: Re: the jargon file
Date: 18 Dec 90 17:30:13 GMT
> ER asserts that "all the ITS partisans have
> now become Unix partisans, since the Unix philosophy is
> the same as the ITS philosophy", and discusses his new
> edition of our old jargon file.
I never claimed that the UNIX philosophy is "the same" as
> In fact, most of the "ITS partisans" are really unhappy,
> discouraged, and severely disapproving of this effort to
> re-write the jargon file.
I've received critical email from two ex-ITS people. I've
also received entries, help, and encouragement from at least
six others. Not to mention five of the six First Edition
authors. The sixth, mrc, is unhappy about some editing
decisions I've made but hasn't questioned that the job needs
On the evidence available to me, you speak for a minority
which includes none of the principal authors of the file.
> Also, we are definitely not "Unix partisans".
I have been corrected on this in email. I naively thought
that because MIT had gone with UNIX and most of the
ex-ITSers I know are hacking UNIX these days the ex-ITS
crowd could be fairly said to `prefer' UNIX. As it turns
out, a lot of ex-ITSers would rather worship the ghosts of
departed operating systems and bitch about UNIX rather than
implement something they like.
I think this is very sad.
> It's unfortunate that one of the side-effects of not
> taking steps to protect this material is that people can
> steal it and use it misrepresent us, but who would have
I am doing my very damnedest not to misrepresent anybody;
the First Edition authors (with whom I regularly discuss my
editorial choices) can testify to this.
Any ITSer who thinks he's being `misrepresented' by anything
in the file is welcome to submit *specific changes* to
correct the errors. Bellyaching at me about `philosophy'
doesn't help any party unless you're willing to get specific
about what you don't like.
I am not an autocratic editor, as any number of people
who've sent me changes can testify. I'll either merge in the
change or explain why I didn't. If after that you still
disagree, I'm willing to debate matters in the open.
As for `stealing', this is unfair and insulting. You don't
own JARGON.TXT and I don't claim to. If anyone has
proprietary rights on any of this material it's Guy Steele
via the 1983 paper addition, and he emailed the ms of that
book to *me* to use as I saw fit.
> ER probably isn't doing this out of malice; I'm
> sure he just doesn't understand what the jargon file was
> really all about.
I'm sure I don't understand *your* theory of what it was all
about. Your implied claim to authority on the subject is
shaky at best.
> The rest of us are a little baffled at GS's
> cooperation with him.
Why don't you *ask* him, then?
Here's a clue, closed-captioned for the thinking-impaired:
Maybe Guy Steele and I agree that the ITS culture had
something valuable to transmit to latter-day hackerdom.
Maybe we agree that it's worthwhile that that tradition not
be lost, that it add its own flavor to the UNIX-dominated
hackerdom of today. Maybe I still believe that.
Maybe I'm beginning to doubt it now...
Followups to alt.folklore.computers ONLY.
Apparently you've misconstrued my complaints. I
certainly never claimed to have personal ownership over the
jargon file; I was relaying the feelings of a large number
(probably most, despite whatever you wish to believe) of the
members of the community which the original JARGON file
documents (or, used to, anyway). I don't know what the
legal copyright status of the material is, or what it was
when it was published commercially. At least the ethics of
commercially usurping community property were and are
I don't really have time or inclination to argue with
you about your notions. But imagine if someone took a book
that you and your playmates had written about your
childhoods, "updated it" to coincide with their very
different attitudes (which you, for the most part disagreed
with), and then published it under its original title. I
think that's part of how a number of us feel. Most of the
other MIT-AI people I've talked to seem to feel this way.
I don't read this newsgroup, so if anyone wants to
correspond about this, you'll have to send me email. But
mostly, I'm not very interested. I'm certainly not
interested in debating your confused interpretations of what
our culture was about, whether myself or my associates
represent that culture, nor am I interested in debating the
technical merits of random operating systems. My intentions
in my previous posting were mostly to clear up various
strange assertions regarding the old ITS crowd, and relay my
sense of violation. Sometimes I think there's no hope of
people ever understanding what was going on back then. Oh,
well. I think I've said all I wanted to.
OK. It's time to write The Book.
You know what I'm talking about: The Unix Haters Handbook.
Publishing is not a problem. If TLA Press won't touch it, my
family owns a honest-to-god publishing company. Really.
I'm willing to edit it, and anyone else is welcome to join in.
The rules are identical to the rules for this mailing list.
You can use technical jargon and not bother to explain
it. Apologies or pragmatic suggestions (other than the
canonical choice of avoiding unix or committing suicide)
will not be tolerated.
The chapters will be:
1) The Unix Epidemic
The Abortion that Lived
2) The Shell
Playing Russian Roulette With 6 Bullets In The Chamber
3) The File System
Sure It Corrupts Your Files, But Look How Fast It Is!
Don't Talk To Me, I'm Not A Typewriter
Oh, I'm Sorry Sir, Go Ahead, I Didn't Realize You Were Root
Like Performing Rectal Surgery With a Rusty Spoon
7) Unix weenies
It Can't Be a Bug, My Makefile Depends on It
8) The Future of Open Systems
Terminal Cancer Patients Have Choices Too, You Know
Date: Thu, 5 Mar 92 18:53:19 PST
Subject: The Story That Must Be Told
I've thought a lot about such a book. It should have an
introduction by Dvorak and a forward by Pournelle. I have
lots of other ideas, let's talk offline.
Date: Thu, 05 Mar 92 19:18:07 -0800
Subject: Re: The Story That Must Be Told
9) UNIX Standards
One standard is not enough
I had been planning to spend a month in the very near future
solely working on some sort of unix-haters book. I've been
collecting "best of" for a while now, with the creation of a
book in mind. My goal is not money, I had been thinking on
insisting that it appear in paperback for less than $10. I
was going to get permission from everyone cited. My ideas
for format differ from Silens's. It cannot be amateurishly
done, nor be merely a book of rants. It should not contain
words of the sort that get music records "warning: offensive
lyrics" labels put on them.
My goal was to produce something that would make a minor
media splash, at least in the popular technical literature.
If Cliff Stoll can get lots of press, so can this.
That was the only legitimately justifiable use of the <BLINK> tag that I've ever made:
<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 3.2//EN">
<TITLE>UNIXUX: Click on the cursor.</TITLE>
<META NAME="Author" CONTENT="Don Hopkins">
<META NAME="GENERATOR" CONTENT="User-Agent: Mozilla/3.0Gold (Macintosh; I; PPC)">
<BODY TEXT="#7CFE5A" BGCOLOR="#191919" LINK="#FF0000" VLINK="#FF3333" ALINK="#00FEFA">
<P><B><TT><FONT SIZE=+1>UNIX HATERS Release 2.0 (unixux)</FONT></TT></B></P>
<P><B><TT><FONT SIZE=+1>login: <BLINK><A HREF="password.html">_</A></BLINK></FONT></TT></B></P>
The content of that notorious discussion went on and off and on and off for weeks, giving all the netizens of the RSS community blogosphere terrible headaches, with people's entire blogs disappearing and reappearing every second, until it finally reached a flashing point, when Dave Winer humbly conceded that it wasn't the user's fault for being an idiot, and maybe just maybe there was tiny teeny little design flaw in RSS, and it wasn't actually such a great idea to allow HTML tags in RSS titles.
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