[nycbug-talk] "The Unity of Unix" by Paul Murphy (ZDNet)

Hakim Singhji hzs202
Thu Aug 11 12:43:57 EDT 2005

Hello All,

Firstly, I must say that I have been feeling rather lonely with
respect to my interests in Information Technology. Most of my
acquaintances and family members involved in IT or application
development are focused on Microsoft products or a business oriented
aspect of information technology as opposed to technology development.
Today, I read an article on ZDNet
(http://news.zdnet.com/2100-9590_22-5806608.html) that inspired me...
and reminded me why I decided to devote my career to systems and
application development in Unix environments.

Paul Murphy wrote the article entitled "The Unity of Unix" and quite
frankly it was a long overdue publication of significance. As a
student of Information Technology it is important for me to remember
that the premise of my involvement was not for a paycheck but for the
academic significance associated with Unix. Paul reminds us (Unix
people) of this when he writes:

> "In this context, it's important to remember where Unix and open source came from:
> they're implementations of core academic traditions in the development of community and 
> the publication of results".

Also, the opinion that "Unix market is too fragmented" is discussed in
Murphy's article and approached from a position that is closely
related to my own conclusions. I have had this discussion with many
people and have even lost a few OS comparisons about the uniformity
and consistency of Unix as opposed to MS OS products. Murphy supports
the compatibility of Unix when he states:

> "Unix doesn't have Microsoft's surface consistency, but theory drives change to build a 
> record of continuity as ideas are tested, accepted, and implemented. As a result, the
> examples in Kernighan and Ritchie's 1978 The C Programming Language (which is still
> required reading at NYU) work today..."

The bottom line is that Unix is Unix and the benefits come from
openness,_the community_, and 50 years of tradition. In that respect
it does not matter whether your tool of choice is Red Hat, Solaris or
Darwin but it work and if it work is it working well (3).

> "Remember, a rising tide lifts all boats: the more Macs and Sun machines get installed,
> the more value your Red Hat certification will really have."

cross-posted: talk at lists.nycbug, canyu at forums.nyu.edu

Hakim Singhji
hzs202 at nyu.edu
"Great minds discuss ideas; 
Average minds discuss events; 
Weak minds discuss people".

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