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Re: Something is very wrong with this group

On 2 Mar 1998 bruce@va.debian.org wrote:

> 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
> differently.
> 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.

hey! lets save the goose by wringing it's neck!


craig sanders

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