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SubjectRe: UNIX Compatibility
On Wed, May 25, 2011 at 03:17:35PM +0000, Michael Witten wrote:
> The winner is not the one who smashes the competition; the winner is the
> one who best eases the lives of as many people as possible.
>
> The point of such a specification is to provide a single, relatively stable
> source of documentation for how a complex system works.

I've been to ISO standards meetings, and it is filled with people who
use standards for the purposes of gaining a competitive advantage.
Most of them were paid to do standards work by companies who funded it
precisely because it would net them a competitive advantage.

I've represented the United States at official ISO meetings, and I saw
a lot more personality issues, corporate politics (i.e., a
representative from Sun who trying to torpedo ISO/IEC 23360-1:2006
because it would help Solaris and hurt Linux), than you would expect.
In fact, all of the technical work was done outside of the ISO
standards process; what we did inside ISO was all paper pushing,
because there were still so misguided government types in Europe who
cared about ISO at that time.

(As another example, I point you to the fireworks of OOXML and ISO/IEC
29500, and the blatent influcing of national standards bodies by
Microsoft.)

So if you want a specification of how **Linux** works, I don't think
going through ISO and national standards bodies is the most efficient
way to work.

>
> What needs to die is the tyranny of the hackers.
>
> Humans are capable of organizing themselves better than just acquiscing to
> whomever is capable of imposing himself fastest.

You know, biologists have a term for a static, stable system. It's
called "dead". If you want something that doesn't change, feel free
to use AT&T System V Release 4. It doesn't change. And it's well
documented.

Oh, you wanted the new features that's in Linux? The new hardware
support? That's all brought to you by the hackers that you seem to
hate so much.

- Ted


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