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The Bike Shed


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Originally published in Queue vol. 10, no. 8
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Displaying 10 most recent comments. Read the full list here

Don Hopkins | Sun, 03 Dec 2017 17:33:39 UTC

Gnu Autoconf is the epitome of FUBAR Bazaar.

ToneLoc | Wed, 28 Sep 2016 11:18:26 UTC

Andrew Punch comments " If the author doesn't like the FreeBSD way there are plenty of other Linux and FreeBSD distributions. "

Something tells me the author knows this, thanks for the laugh.

another good laugh from "whatever" "Oh, you wrote some crappy code to speed up Facebook?"

Great article, funny comments. Glad to be here.

Anton Gerasimov | Wed, 10 Aug 2016 13:09:21 UTC

Sound legit, but we've seen Plan9 and Inferno which were build in a cathederal fashion by first-class architects (some of them from Unix team also). I'm not discussing architectural decisions but generally, in terms of popularity both were failures. It seems that while designs of GNU/Linux and FreeBSD systems (taken as a whole) are somewhat suboptimal they're just "good enough", i.e. nobody has managed to build something so much better, that benefits of better architecture overweight benefits of bazaar organization.

peter | Tue, 09 Aug 2016 22:03:49 UTC

I think Poul was having a bad day choosing the colour of his bike shed and had a bit of rant.

Tim | Tue, 09 Aug 2016 02:24:17 UTC

Fred Brooks is that author that everybody says they read and look up to, but I have not anywhere in the world found a software team that's willing to put into practice what he preached, so many decades ago.

I think it would be a fantastic recruiting tool. It'd work on me. "Have you read Fred Brooks? Do you wish your software team were as well run as a surgical team? Come work with us! We actually do all that stuff that everybody else ignores."

Andrew Punch | Tue, 09 Aug 2016 00:42:10 UTC

If only there was some kind of software that would manage packages - we could call it a package manager!

If the author doesn't like the FreeBSD way there are plenty of other Linux and FreeBSD distributions.

sciolist | Wed, 10 Jun 2015 17:40:02 UTC

Democracy is based on the assumption that a million men are wiser than one man. Hows that again? I missed something.

Autocracy is based on the assumption that one man is wiser than a million men. Lets play that over again, too. Who decides?


So I guess it comes down to which side of this argument you take. Where your bias lies, in other words. I think the key through the horns of the dilemma is being able to communicate about the things you care about; being able to admit you might, possibly, have been wrong, or even worse, right about something; being able to make the singular contribution that only you can make in the context of what might be best for the group you are working for or with. The assumption here, of course, is that everyone is always striving to be the best person that they can be. Constantly striving and discerning how they can make the best out of the situation for everyone.

But we're lazy. And greedy. And willful. And deceitful. And noble. And brilliant. And humble. And industrious. Welcome to the Human Condition. We keep trying to define normative behaviors ("should" or "ought" things) in terms of an either/or model. Maybe we should re-think that. Maybe it should be an "and" model. In this case it doesn't matter much since this is basically a blog post. But at the very least, let's be civil about it, whatever the personal bias you have on the matter. Ad hominem attacks just don't help anyone and tend to move focus away from the point at hand and into the cults of personality and rhetoric. So STFU 'whatever'.

whatever | Mon, 12 Jan 2015 01:40:08 UTC

Igor: He's not going to write a line of code to address it, because he's just a bitch--not a problem solver.

Yet arrogant tight ass pretends that he's superior to others while lamenting that the world isn't perfect. There are few things worse than snobby coders, which is what you are. You're nothing special. You haven't contributed anything that matters. Oh, you wrote some crappy code to speed up Facebook? Wow, you're really important. You're as replaceable as the people you're criticizing, and you're just as much of a code monkey as they are.

Coding is just like anything else humans do. It's a big mess. You can't clean it up without tearing it down, and nobody wants to lose 20 years of functionality that's been built because some crybaby can't handle reality. People like you are a dime a dozen and tend not to be the people who actually get things done.

Deal with it."

Igor | Sat, 10 Jan 2015 00:50:35 UTC

The author might be completely right (I don't have as many years of experience, haven't seen the UNIX in the 80's or early 90's), but I think that the solution is to fix code instead of complaining. Hacks are not going anywhere. autoconf is bad? libtool is bad? Start a project to rewrite it, dedicate some FreeBSD resources to make it better, or hell - rewrite it yourself. I would love to help, but I am a hack at writing code (IT professional with scripting).

What is definitely right is that software in general is more and more bloated and eats more and more resources. The aforementioned elegance is gone. I attribute a lot of this however to using higher and higher languages, not caring about resources.

gbonehead | Wed, 31 Dec 2014 18:49:47 UTC

Ah, the UNIX-HATERS Handbook is being reincarned! :)


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