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Re: Standardization, large scale changes, innovations

On Wed, Mar 31, 2010 at 09:48:56PM +0200, Frank Lin PIAT wrote:
> Doesn't the Unix philosophy implies that I should reuse tools and code,
> rather than re-writing my's own?


The Unix philosophy is "do one thing, and do it well". It implies that
there's a useful toolbox from which you can use things.

But you don't have to.

My father, for instance, often drives a screw into a piece of wood with
a chisel when he doesn't have a screwdriver around. And I've also seen
him chop off bits of wood with a screwdriver, on occasion.

Of course doing so is not at all the most efficient way of performing
the task at hand; and if you're not careful, using a chisel as a
screwdriver or a screwdriver as a chisel is a very good way to break
either tool. And then you get to keep the pieces -- literally.

When I was a bit younger, I used to think that my dad was a bit silly
for doing this. It's not the most efficient way, and when (not if) he
breaks something again, he'll have to go buy new stuff. A waste of

But eventually, I realized that it just doesn't matter. What really
matters is the result, not the way in which you get to that result. If
he doesn't mind paying for extra tools when he broke them again, that's
his problem, not mine. If he doesn't mind having to spend more time in
getting to the result, that too is his problem, not mine. I'm not his
boss, I don't pay him, so I don't get to order him around; and if he
rather walks to the shop because he broke his tools again rather than
spend some more time trying to find the right tool for the job, that's
his problem. As long as the result is good -- and it usually is -- how
he gets that result is not my business.

The same is true with Manoj. You may think debhelper is the best thing
since sliced bread (it might be), but Manoj just disagrees. And as long
as Policy does not specify that debhelper is to be used, it's perfectly
within his right to not use it. As long as the result is good -- a
working, policy-compliant package -- how he gets that result is not your

If you think otherwise, you should first get Policy changed, and then
complain to Manoj.

The biometric identification system at the gates of the CIA headquarters
works because there's a guard with a large gun making sure no one is
trying to fool the system.

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