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This is a great piece, and it reminds how rare it is to have excellent expository systems writing. It's certainly fitting that Ryan cites the late Richard Stevens, who was the exemplar of such writing. Those who like Stevens and Ryan's piece should also look for work by Elliott Organick: he must be considered the pioneer of expository systems monographs, and while his books are very hard to find (and the systems they describe long-since powered off), they remain rewarding reads.

On a more personal note, it was fun to reminisce about code that I hadn't been in in a long time -- I had actually forgotten how much surgery I did on the message queue code back in 1997[1], and I had the opportunity to chuckle at some of the comments made by my 23-year-old self.[2] I also marveled at how little this software has changed in the nearly two decades since; I've written about this before[3], but it's always inspiring to be reminded that we in software have the luxury of creating useful things that do not wear out -- may we only have more writing like Ryan's to learn about them!

[1] https://github.com/illumos/illumos-gate/blob/a9e987e05eeb8cc...

[2] https://github.com/illumos/illumos-gate/blob/a9e987e05eeb8cc...

[3] http://dtrace.org/blogs/bmc/2004/08/28/the-economics-of-soft...




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