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    SubjectRe: Coding style - a non-issue
    On Fri, Nov 30, 2001 at 09:15:50PM -0800, Linus Torvalds wrote:
    >
    > On Fri, 30 Nov 2001, Victor Yodaiken wrote:
    > >
    > > Ok. There was no design, just "less than random mutations".
    > > Deep.
    >
    > I'm not claiming to be deep, I'm claiming to do it for fun.
    >
    > I _am_ claiming that the people who think you "design" software are
    > seriously simplifying the issue, and don't actually realize how they
    > themselves work.

    Just to make sure we are speaking the same language, here is what the
    Oxford English Dictionary sez
    Design: (1) a plan or scheme conceived in the mind; a project.
    ...
    (2) a purpose, an intention, an aim
    ...
    (3) an end in view, a goal
    ...
    (4) A preliminary sketch, a plan or pattern

    For the verb we get things like: "draw, sketch, outline, delineate"

    >
    > > There was a overall architecture, from Dennis and Ken.
    >
    > Ask them. I'll bet you five bucks they'll agree with me, not with you.
    > I've talked to both, but not really about this particular issue, so I
    > might lose, but I think I've got the much better odds.

    You're on. Send me the $5.
    Here's what Dennis Ritchie wrote in his preface to the re-issued Lions
    book:
    "you will see in the code an underlying structure that has
    lasted a long time and has managed to accomodate vast changes
    in the computing environment"


    > If you want to see a system that was more thoroughly _designed_, you
    > should probably point not to Dennis and Ken, but to systems like L4 and
    > Plan-9, and people like Jochen Liedtk and Rob Pike.

    You appear to be using "design" to mean "complete specification".
    See above.

    >
    > And notice how they aren't all that popular or well known? "Design" is
    > like a religion - too much of it makes you inflexibly and unpopular.

    Memory fades with age, as I know from sad experience, but try to
    remember who wrote things like:

    |
    |However, I still would not call "pthreads" designed.
    |
    |Engineered. Even well done for what it tried to do. But not "Designed".
    |
    |This is like VMS. It was good, solid, engineering. Design? Who needs
    |design? It _worked_.
    |
    |But that's not how UNIX is or should be. There was more than just
    |engineering in UNIX. There was Design with a capital "D". Notions of
    |"process" vs "file", and things that transcend pure engineering.
    |Minimalism.
    |
    |In the end, it comes down to aesthetics. pthreads is "let's solve a
    |problem". But it's not answering the big questions in the universe.
    |It's not asking itself "what is the underlying _meaning_ of threads?".
    |"What is the big picture?".

    Some academic twit, no doubt, with no understanding or experience in
    actually making a blue collar OS really work.
    The same fool once wrote:

    > Think about WHY our system call latency beats everybody else on the
    > planet. Think about WHY Linux is fast. It's because it's designed
    > right.


    Please send the $5 soon.

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