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Re: Something is very wrong with this group

From: Tyson Dowd <trd@stimpy.cs.mu.oz.au>
> And the big problem is, many hackers _love_ word games. Asking hackers
> to names something is probably both the best and worst thing you can do.

It's sure something I won't do again. The perception of Unix has been hurt
by these word-games. Perhaps some of the foreign-language speakers don't
understand the pun behind it, which refers to castration. No marketing
person was within a mile of the guys who picked that name. Names like
"cat" and "grep" are given as a classic example of poor design. They can
be understood in the context in which these decisions were made: Unix was
not intended to be used by anyone but computer science researchers. Had
those researchers expected its success, they would have done things

I can't over-stress how much this has hurt us. We would not have Microsoft
as the dominant force in computer operating systems but for the fact that
they have kept an eye toward marketing and have shown more sympathy for the
naive user than we have. The shoddyness of their design shows that we can
beat them at their own game, given the motivation.

Languages are sometimes generated to exclude outsiders. The body of Unix
nomenclature was constructed to entertain computer scientists, and baffle
anyone else. I think a lot of the people who participate in this find it
hard to concieve that there are worthwhile people in the world who do not
find self-reference to be an exciting idea. That attudide won't help us.



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