[RndTbl] Linux "write"

Trevor Cordes trevor at tecnopolis.ca
Mon Jul 3 02:29:42 CDT 2017

On 2017-07-03 Adam Thompson wrote:
> Sorry, I have to agree with them.  Your use case is... pretty much
> obsolete, at least in my opinion.

Getting philosophical: one of the virtues of *NIX I always extol to
outsiders and insiders alike is how *NIX always builds on the past, and
rarely (until recently) destroys it.  This was its strength.  It didn't
break %#!@.  It didn't revamp itself into something new we hate every 5
years (ehem, Micro$oft).  It just kept adding features.

I would say that was true from when I started on *NIX in 1992 through
to about 2010.  During that heyday, almost nothing I cared about or used
ever broke.  Since then it's changed drastically. I used to look
forward to the new RH (later Fedora) version release, now I dread every
latest Fedora, because I know it will break 2-4 things that will cost
me 2-4 days (or more, sometimes weeks) debugging or working around.

Somewhere along the way the dev mindset changed from respecting the past
to actively destroying it for destruction's sake.  In 1992 I respected
what the guys in 1970 did, so why can't the 2017 devs respect what we
did in 1995?

If you change this aspect of *NIX, then you knock down one of its key
pillars.  It becomes another Windows where you throw away your mastery
and tools every 5-10 years; never really getting ahead, just keeping up.

> real world example of https://xkcd.com/1172/ from my perspective.

Ha, well, not quite... wall and write and utmp are documented things
that are supposed to work as intended (and have for, 40 years?).  But
good cartoon anyhow :-)

> Anyway, I don't have a neat solution wrapped up for you, sorry.  I
> finally gave up on Linux as a desktop last year, and I was using
> gnome terminal to the bitter end (and not caring whether it wrote to

Shame, as I think Linux as a desktop is finally "here".  When I can
convert my wife, mom and dad to Linux without any pushback or non-stop
support calls, you know Linux has arrived.  In fact, I deal with far
less "support" with them on Linux than I ever did with Windows!  And I
can fix it all with ssh instead of vnc.  (A funny aside: I tried some
on stock Fedora GNOME 3/shell and they couldn't figure anything out;
but switching to XFCE solved that problem.  Heck, I can barely figure
out GNOME 3, so I'm not sure who their target market is.)

Personally, I can't see how anyone could use Windows for serious
multitasking desktop work these days... but that's a whole other

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