OS to replace FreeBSD

Bob Melson melson.r at att.net
Sat Mar 20 03:35:50 UTC 2021

On 3/19/21 6:53 PM, Steve O'Hara-Smith wrote:
> On Fri, 19 Mar 2021 19:41:09 -0400
> Aryeh Friedman <aryeh.friedman at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Unix was not designed for end users, it was designed by technical people
>> for other technical people doing technical work (development and other
>> infrastructure related tasks).
> 	The first major role for Unix was a document preparation system at
> AT&T which is the reason for troff, eqn et al which are what remains of
> "Documenter's Workbench". So you are incorrect, unix was originally
> designed for end users - it's just that end users have become less
> sophisticated over the decades.
I've forgotten the guy's name, but one of the researchers at AT&T wrote 
a couple of books about "tiny" languages/tools and made the point that 
Unix was designed to make use of them, usually in a pipeline - the 
output of one tool feeds into the input of the next, whose output feeds 
the input of next+1, etc., each tool in the pipeline being designed to 
do one thing well

Still, granted that the technology of the time was limited to black and 
white character only terminals, it's unsurprising that Unix began as a 
command-line oriented OS - it was the only game in town until  DEC, 
Xerox and Silicon Graphics introduced (independently?) usable GUIs and 
the X Consortium was formed - I want to say this occurred in the late 
70s/early 80s, but won't bet the farm.  But a funny thing happened on 
the way to today:  the GUIs matured and spawned imitators and 
competitors and X11/X86 matured to the the point that there's scarcely 
an OS out there that doesn't sport a GUI of greater or lesser 
sophistication. As well, from within the graphical desktop, you can call 
a terminal emulator that provides access to the command line without 
requiring that you leave the graphical environment and while also 
running graphics heavy applications like LibreOffice or cad/cam software 
or a web-browser in separate windows/workspaces.

So, just because Unix began as a command-line oriented OS, with a 
plethora of useful single task tools, doesn't mean it has remained 
static or mired in its command-line beginnings.  This whole conversation 
has become a big-endian vs little-endian contest that serves no useful 
purpose beyond the airing of personal animosities.  Neither side is 
absolutely correct or absolutely wrong.  The OP - Jerry - is concerned 
about a possibly fatal bug in FBSD12 that has gone uncorrected for - 
maybe - too long and is considering dumping FreeBSD for something else 
that may or may not solve his problem.  Personally, I think his 
reasoning is suspect but it's his decision to make.  Others, not 
unreasonably, have suggested that he attempt to work around the problem, 
though I find their language condescending and abrasive in the extreme.

Robert G. Melson | Dept of Paleocomputing, Whatsamatta U | El Paso, TX
Minds are like parachutes.  They only function when they
are open.  Sir James Dewar

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