|Comments on Thursday 24 October 2002:|
|I have now switched my email over to using the new spam filter. It still does a white-list check, it still bounces messages it blocks, but now it should block non-spam messages from strangers a lot less, and quite possibly also block spam messages slightly more. A body of a little over a thousand messages has been used to form my statistical base (463 spams, 591 nonspams) at this point; the filter has been seeming fairly reliable since about the 500 mark. Most of my readers here are probably already whitelisted, so it shouldn't affect those people at all. I also sent $10 to D.J.Bernstein, because I was going to email him compliments, and realised that when people send me compliments on programming things, I'd generally prefer them in cash form. Thus, I avoid hypocrisy. I was particularly entertained, today, by his succinct rant on the subject of cross-platform compatibility.
|Aardvarks. Mr Bernstein again chooses his *nix versions carefully to ensure the greatest differences between them. (In support of his own completely non-standards-adhering tools?) Solaris, SuSE, OpenBSD - all have very different goals and different ways of achieving them. This isn't cross platform compatibilty so much as 'Do it my way or I will suck what blood you have left in your veins. Because I am the best!' Or something of the sort. I see it this way RMS == DJB. Both being watermelons who've decided to turn computing into a religion of some sort. It's just a matter of which values you choose to assign to either variable to unbalance the equation. Elephants will devour the world.|
|For future reference, would you prefer moneyless compliments or no compliments at all?|
|Depends whether they're good compliments with specific things to say, and whether they're from people I know. I'd rather no compliment than random "you rock!", but otherwise I'd rather have a compliment. Slightly.|
|DJB wasn't actually arguing in favour of his own tools, in that article, though - as a slight aside he did, but he was arguing against trans-package compatibility overwhelming cross-platform compatibility, ie. he was saying that letting Apache handle things its own way is better than having SuSE do it Bernstein-way and everyone else having it handle things its own way. Aside from which, Bernstein tools aren't non-standards-adhering, because they are a choice. If a distro installs everything under Bernstein tools as default, and every other distro does not, *that* would be non-standards-adhering. And, ironically, is the way I would like Grarh to be.|
Also, RMS's code sucks, and DJB's doesn't. This is 'sucks' defined as "is big, slow, and bug-filled".
|Mmm, I was really referring to personality rather than coding ability. As in, both are uncompromising in the belief that they are correct, both have a reputation of being somewhat nutty because of this, both have a reputation as poor communicators - ranting rather than discussing.|
I would say that Bernstein's tools aren't standards adhering because they generally ignore such things as the Linux Standards Base and do things the way Bernstein would prefer. Bernstein would seem to allow software to install config files in /banana/aardvark/... /config as an extreme example, so long as it was installed in the same directory on all platforms. Bernstein's demand table suggesting Apache config should be in /usr/local/apache/conf seems to indicate he doesn't understand what /usr/local is for. Or what /etc is for. Most of the locations he suggests in that table go completely against the LSB (OK, you could say that the LSB is wrong, but why? It's a reasonably sane set of standards, and actually aims to fix many of the problems Bernstein brings up.). Certainly his point is not that his locations are correct, simply that they should be the same on all platforms, but why not use the work that's already been done in this area to make his point? I would say that both trans-package and cross-platform compatibility are equally important. It would be nice if software behaved the same no matter which platform it was installed on, but it would be equally nice to know that all packages installed config files in /etc, user binaries in /bin, system binaries in /sbin and so on. I just don't see how leaving it entirely up to the software maintainers is going to lead to a more usable system.
As for Grarh, I agree with you to a point. I want Grarh to be a system that allows you to install Bernsteins tools as default. I think the thing is to make it possible to install as flexibly as possible, whether that is Bernstein, or GNU, or some tools your mate down the road hacked together. And if you want to have a single directory in / called
/tomato with everything under that, I want it to let you do that. Key point is flexibility, getting it to do what you want it to do, imposing as few rules as possible.