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Re: Linux Future

Adam Borowski <kilobyte@angband.pl> writes:

> There are two ways to design a system:
> * a monolithic well-integrated system, granting features and efficiency at
>   the cost of portability and hackability
> * the traditional Unix way, with a stress on replaceable tools that do only
>   one thing, granting freedom to tinker, using the system in a way not
>   envisioned by its creators

...at the cost of occasional complex, difficult-to-debug interactions
between the separate components, and a larger total code base to support
fallbacks and alternatives to provide loose coupling between the

Just to complete both sides of the picture.  (I'm more of a second camp
person myself, but they both have drawbacks.)

The traditional UNIX way is great if everyone can agree on a clean and
minimal API between the components that enables thorough independent
testing of the components and minimizes complex multi-component
interactions.  Were that this were always the case....  Most of the places
where people reach for other strategies are places where it's not clear
those conditions hold.

Whenever you have a complex programming problem, break it into a client
and a server.  Now you have two complex programming problems, a protocol
design problem, and a security vulnerability.

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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