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SubjectRe: Availability of kdb
>>>>> "H" == Horst von Brand <> writes:

H> In the end, this is Linus' game. If you want to play, you'll
H> have to pay the admission price he sets.

Is it fair to ask about the purpose of Linux?

The purpose I most often hear talks about world domination and about
having the best O/S on the maximum number of platforms, with appeals
to "open source" to ensure quality control and technical progress.
That goal says nothing about the grain of the wood or the vanity of
the carpenter. It is all about being of service to a greater social
good. Maybe I misunderstood.

The analogy to typing hex codes or toggling code at the console is
also apt. Unix ascended over Multix in no small part because of C,
which drew sneers from the trad programmer of the day. Personally, I
tend to debug intuitively based on my knowledge of code, but not
exclusively. In my 25 years in this business, I have seen amazing
things done with debuggers, things that had stumped whole teams of
very good programmers. Intuition still plays a vital role, but gdb in
the right hands can prove things that would take months of code
tweaking to do by hand.

I'll risk yet another metaphor ;) ...

While composing music, I can use a pen and staff paper and work out
harmonic and melogic lines at a piano, but I limit myself. With much
respect to the pre-digital composers, this work is prohibitively
tedious and demands a vibrant imagination when you must produce 102
parts for an orchestra, and this method severely restricted the
harmonic sense of pre-electronic composition as they grafted the
wave-form harmonics of the piano to all other instruments. Harry Partch
took us one step towards a different sense of harmony, but had to
rest on ideal and imaginary instruments because he could not manage
the complexity of instrument timbres using manual methods.

Also, if I want to be modern, if I need to step outside the
euro-centric equal-tempered scale and classical rhythm, notation
quickly becomes a handicap (see John Cage's "Notations"). Using
software tools, I gain fine control, I can more rapidly experiment
with scenarios, and I can manage many orders of magnitude more
complexity. I find the same is true with software tools.

Tools should serve and extend the body, not enslave the mind. Yes, I
can walk to my nearest village and yes I will see more fine detail of
nature if I walk and will excercise my heart, but my bicycle makes it
practical to do this 20km trek as a day trip, and a car makes it
possible to go shopping.

It all depends on my purpose.

Gary Lawrence Murphy <>: office voice/fax: 01 519 4222723
T(!c)Inc Business Innovation through Open Source
M:I-3 - Documenting the Linux kernel:
"You don't play what you know; you play what you hear." --- Miles Davis
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