BSD sleep

Paul Kraus paul at
Wed May 29 14:01:59 UTC 2013

On May 29, 2013, at 7:58 AM, Jason Birch <jbirch at> wrote:

>> Seriously, that explanation about different hours is not enough to prevent
>> at least useful option.
>> like
>> sleep -f 1h
>> (-f means force convert, without it you can see good explanation why sleep
>> for 1 hour will be not sleep for 1 hour, and etc, and not get sleep at
>> all.).
> Do one thing, and do it well. What you have proposed involves:
> * an additional force flag
> * interpolation of what follows the force flag (does m mean minutes, or
> months?)
> * expectations around time, time zones, and what an hours is.
> That fails the litmus test on complexity for me personally - it seems like
> a lot of complexity for not much gain.

Agreed. When I first started dealing with Unix professionally (1995, I started playing with Unix-like OSes almost 10 years earlier) I was taught that each Unix command does one thing and does it well. That simplicity is one of the core strengths of Unix (and Unix-like) OSes. With the popularization of Linux I see many movements towards a "dumbing down" of the OS, making it behave more like more common OSes, even if those changes make it less robust and flexible.

One of the reasons I choose FreeBSD over Linux in many cases is that FreeBSD is closer to the roots of Unix in terms of keeping things simple and reliability being more important than convenience.

Disclaimer: I spent most of my time between 1995 and 2012 managing Solaris systems. An occasional Linux system would crop up. When I started really looking at FreeBSD in 2012 (I wanted ZFS and OpenSolaris / OpenIndiana / NexentaCore / Illumos did not support my hardware) I was very happily surprised that it "felt" like a grown up OS and not the toy that many Linux distributions feel like to me.

Paul Kraus
Deputy Technical Director, LoneStarCon 3
Sound Coordinator, Schenectady Light Opera Company

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