When I first was learning unix, I was far too impressed to criticize – after all, here was a operating system that made it possible for hundreds of users to share, mostly peacefully, a computer!

Now that I’ve been a unix administrator for a while – and administered a number of flavors of unix – I do have a few, um, questions about it.

The biggest one is WHY are all the configuration files in a directory called etc? Wouldn’t conf or config make more sense?

Actually, one can apply that criticism to /var – wouldn’t /data make more sense?

Of course, mine is not to reason why. At this point, changing would be painful – all of the directories are hardcoded in thousands of different applications.

If I were immortal, I would want to write a operating system at some point. Being limited to – at least on the surface of things – a 100,000 hour MTBF makes me inclined to just be grateful that other people have put together such nice ones.  (Even though I complain bitterly about them, I love Linux and am pretty fond of 2000 and even XP. Give me another ten years and I’ll probably like Vista. As usual, I’m not yet running it anywhere. I should get a workstation with vmware set up so I can play with five or six operating systems painlessly.. )

One Response to “…”

  1. ClintJCL Says:

    I have a slew of problems with unix, and this is just one example.

    There’s 2 sides of the coin, though.

    YOu have windows, which changes things all too often. (Hardcoded C:\WINDOWS\? Jokes on you! 2K is in C:\WINNT! MUAHAHAHAHA). And you have unix, which changes some things too rarely.

    (if windows can change the system folder in 1 iteration of the OS, why can’t unix change /etc in 40 yeras?)

    Basically, if you haven’t heard the song “Every OS Sucks” — it’s amazing. I’m positive you would like it, just for the lyrics. I could send it to you.

    Another analogy:

    Windows is capitalism.
    Unix is communism.
    Mac is fascism.

    tangentially but-not-really related to:

    communism = people pretend to work, the govt pretends to pay them
    capitalism = people pretend to enjoy working, the employer pretends to enjoy paying them
    fascism = people work or you get shot.

Leave a Reply