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SubjectRe: Not a typewriter


On 05/11/2001 at 04:43:13 PM Hacksaw <hacksaw@hacksaw.org> wrote:

<snip>

>Well, I can't disagree. Unix's biggest turn off was the stupid command names.
>It's a big reason why Unixoid systems aren't more commonplace. I only learned
>it because I was stuck at a desk with a Wyse terminal. Otherwise I probably
>would have played with the Autocad machines more. Once I understood the
>basics, I understood the power of the system.

My first exposure to Unix came in 1987 when I was assigned to write a datacomm
package in C on a Unix (AIX) workstation the company had just bought. I was the
only one in our shop who knew C, and no one else there had ever dealt with Unix
either. (I had heard of Unix, but didn't know anything about it.) My training
consisted of my boss handing me the manuals and saying, "Figure it out." For
the first two weeks I absolutely HATED that system; nothing made sense, vi
seemed insane, and I was stumbling blindly through the documentation (I'd never
seen a permuted index before). Then suddenly something clicked, it all started
to make sense, and I fell in love with it. That's why I think it's so important
for people to learn the Unix mindset before trying to deal with Unix systems.
It's also why I have so little patience with people who don't have the patience
to work through the learning curve.

<snip>

>But first we need a better help system. The absolute most stupid convention of
>Unix is the man command. The fact that SCCS before, and now Bash usurp the
>keyword "help" is beyond the pale.

I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree, because we have exactly opposite
opinions on all this. I love the short, cryptic command names, and I think man
is the best help system ever devised. (The GNU Info system, however, is the
spawn of Satan. :-) In case you haven't guessed, I love vi, too, and use it
whenever possible. If Unix (or Linux) ever gets to the point of losing things
like this, I'll have no desire to use it.

Wayne


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