Torvalds cries about Solaris, IBM cries about UNIX, etc.

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by deusexaethera, Oct 10, 2007.

  1. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    I realize I'm way behind the times on this one, but I have to ask anyway.

    Way back in the day UNIX got forked between SCO and Bell Labs and IBM and...who else?...and each developed their own versions, and apparently this is the *nix version of the tale of the Serpent and the Forbidden Fruit, or some bullshit like that. Then Torvalds came along and requisitioned key parts of the now-disputed UNIX kernel, and he and his comrade programmers made a "lite" UNIX for normal people to use for free. Robin Hood stuff, and all that.

    And so now there's still UNIX, which has been split into AIX and HPUX and IRIX and Solaris, and there's Linux, which has pretty much always had Redhat and SuSE and Gentoo on one side of its own Great Schism and a half a billion Debian variants on the other side (it's so easy to make a distro when all the packages are centralized, isn't it? Just add a splash screen and some icons and call it new!).

    And Solaris is supposedly trying to make Linux obsolete because it's open-source now and anyone can use it for free, and Torvalds thinks Solaris has always been obsolete, and all the huddled masses of the world are despairing that they'll never escape Microsoft Windows if *nix developers can't unite in a great, shining utopia of source code and shell scripts...

    (yawn, stretch)

    ...what I want to know is, do I really give a shit about all that, so long as they all stay POSIX compliant and can run on the same hardware?
     
  2. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    linux is getting just a bloody mess. I'm starting to think the more controlled forks of BSD are going to be better long-term.
     
  3. bpfx

    bpfx .

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    Torvalds didn't write a "lite" Unix, he wrote a version of Minix for his machine and distributed it. Linux was not designed as a Unix competitor, it was designed as a easy to use Minix.

    From wiki:

    "In 1991, Linus Torvalds began to work on a non-commercial replacement for MINIX while he was attending the University of Helsinki.[7] This eventually became the Linux kernel."
     
  4. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Whatever, I wasn't writing the definitive history of UNIX. Answer the question I asked.
     
  5. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    We don't fucking know. Do you care? Only you can answer such a stupid question -- for reasons obvious to the rest of us, but not so obvious to you.
     
  6. bpfx

    bpfx .

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    My answer:

    I could care less what OS is running as long as the damned thing works. As long as it doesn't crash, performs upto expectations set, and doesn't make me have to perform extra work, then so be it, I don't care.

    With that said, I hate linux. I think it is way to immature to be in production, it does not follow any standard, instead they write their own.

    Personally I use FreeBSD on most everything I have. Why? Because it suits my purposes fine. I don't play games, I don't like GUI's, and yes, I like typing my commands.

    At work, we have a mixture of Solaris 7,8,9 and 10, Red Hat 7.2, 2.1, 3 and 4, HP/UX 11i v1 and v2, AIX 4.3 and 5.1, as well as NT 4, 2k and 2k3.

    A lot of people do not like working on HP/UX or AIX since they are so different from the others. HP/UX is BSD based, so it has some uncommon styling, e.g. a /stand directory.

    The really fun part is when I have to write a script that is expected to run on HP/UX, Solaris 10 and RHEL 4, not the best of times.
     
  7. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

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    Its not hard to write cross-platform apps, so who cares? I develop on OS X, deploy on Linux and Solaris. Unless you fuck it up, *nix is *nix.

    Not many people have a problem who's solution needs to be cross platform that needs to be statically compiled anymore.
     
  8. bpfx

    bpfx .

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    Never said it was hard. I don't write compiled code, I stick mainly with shell scripts, and when you can't control the commands that will be present, and the environment that it will run it, it makes for a pretty interesting day.
     
  9. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

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    Shell stuff is going to be quite painful, just like compiled code. Hard.
     
  10. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Somebody forgot to take their fiber this morning.

    Sorry I wasn't clear enough before, I was looking for info from people who've been using *nix for long enough to have an informed opinion about whether it really matters that there are all these different versions of what is essentially the same product, give or take a few DLLs (or whatever the hell *nix calls them).
     
  11. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Fair enough. How hard is it, though, to write a native app that can tell which distro it's being installed on, and to reconfigure itself accordingly?

    I'm not looking for a specific how-to, just more of a feel as to -- if someone writes an app for FreeBSD, for example, and it's good enough to be ported to other distros -- how involved is the process to port it? Install and go? Run a shell script that will recompile it with the appropriate libraries for the target distro? Manually hack the code for a month until it's willing to cooperate?

    The basic problem is that I have no sense of just how different Redhat is from Slackware, or Kubuntu, or Solaris, and so on.
     
  12. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

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    Grab a GNU utility, or any project off sourceforge. Check out ./configure and the resulting Makefile. Its pretty complex. To the point that you see positions advertised for 'build engineer' and even 'make engineer' who's only job is to manage the makefile for a cross-platform project. There are toolsets that make cross-platform C/C++ possible: autoconf, etc. But you still run into issues and have to be vigilant to get an app to compile across *nices.

    Make isn't too hard of a language to learn - but it is its own declarative language. Same goes for ant.

    That being said, you don't want to be writing cross-platform C/C++ unless there is a VERY good reason to be doing so. Same goes for shell scripts. Use the dynamic languages whenever possible, as they lack these problems.

    Then again, woe is you if they don't have your fucking CPAN shit installed and some of it fails to build.
     
  13. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown Don't make me make you my hobby

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    I'm thinking that the Ogremeister has been skipping the fiber for a bit longer than this morning...
     

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