Mon Oct 20 17:56:11 GMT 2003 Eric S. Raymond The Art of Unix Programming
This isn't a review. I don't know if I'm even going to review this; it looks to me to be similar to Linux and Unix Philosophy, perhaps better or worse but pretty much nothing new.
However, I did notice his listing of design principles:
I certainly don't disagree that these are excellent principles; I would however insist that damn few Unix programs follow them well, particularly with regard to numbers 2, 7, 8, 12, 16 and 17. Probably the most violated of these is the rule of Clarity: very little source I have looked at meets that criteria; instead cleverness is all through it. Programmers can't resist showing off, and that leads to violations of Clarity and Transparency. Robustness? Hardly. Certainly I'm not singling out Unix programmers here, but very few programs really do much in the area of forgiving error, or dealing with unexpected events intelligently. The Rule of Repair is ignored almost always, and Unix is full of One True Way zealots. Finally, Unix programmers haven't done any better at designing for the future than anyone else has.
So, it all sounds good from the pulpit, but come Monday morning all the sinners are back to business as usual.
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More Articles by Tony Lawrence © 2009-11-07 Tony Lawrence
Basic happened to be on a GE timesharing system that was done by Dartmouth, and when GE decided to franchise that, it started spreading Basic around just because it was there, not because it had any intrinsic merits whatsoever. (Alan Kay)