Why is inner-platform effect so strong?
Emacs, Eclipse, web browsers...
Why are we (programmers) so tempted to implement a whole operating system within our applications?
I was tempted to implement a whole operating system inside one of the applications I was working on, yet, at that time, I thought Unix is a great OS, and Linux is a great implementation of it, and I wanted to implement something very Unix-like within my application.
Also, the OS-within-application usually turns out worse than the outer OS, so not only it's not help solving the "lack of decent OSes" problem, it actually makes things worse.
@Shamar maybe it's people's natural instinct to mimick behaviours that they like?
Hi strangers. Hope its not rude to butt in w/some trivia / old-timers view:
The idea that there could be a different / better-UX user-space layer for unix goes waayy back. (And I think is still a good idea.)
The traditional user-space has an under-recognized virtue, though: bootstrapping.
The "software tools" architecture of traditional unix user-space recapitulates how unix was created in the first place, by a very small team.
Weird quirky stuff like (a simplified version of) "sed" is the kind of tool a clever person can build starting from next to nothing - and that is also useful for bootstrapping something like lex (aka flex) before there's even a self-hosting C compiler.
That that "easy"-to-rebootstrap architecture is the virtue alluded to in the famous "On trusting trust" Turing award paper.
@Wolf480pl @hirojin @Shamar Ask RMS for a definitive answer but basically, in the mid 1980s, there were some academically developed unix kernels that were either already libre or had a chance to become libre. RMS had (and has) a big orientation towards not-rewriting what is already available, if possible. Ironically, none of *those* kernels was ever fully ready when linux finally came.
@hirojin @Wolf480pl @feld @Shamar It's just my perspective, probably related to my anti-capitalism. I try to imagine a world with "human scale" software built for a society of free individuals who need to be able run/study/modify/share the whole system. I dislike programmer armies and huge surveillance&control-oriented computing systems.
@hirojin @Wolf480pl @feld @Shamar When I was younger I imagined the main uses for computers were free communication among people, computer-assisted math, games, and art projects. I like the computer on my washing machine because it's literally just a state machine w/about 30 states or so. etc. Damn kids these days.
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