Rootless Root in Russian. Revelation Three.

    This revelation was difficult for me. Even in the English version, the moral of this revelation was hard for me to catch, so don't kick hard.
    In general, here:

    - Teacher Foo’s reasoning about the two Ways

    Teacher Foo told his students:

    “There is a direction in the Dharma teaching, an example of which is patriarch McIlroy's mantra“ Do one thing well. ” This direction teaches that the Unix spirit is in the program only when its behavior is simple and consistent, when its properties are readily perceived by the user's mind and can easily be used in other programs. ”

    “But there is another direction in the Dharma teaching, an example of which is the great mantra of the patriarch Thompson“ When in doubt, go ahead, ”and various sutras that speak of the benefits of getting 90% of the result right now than 100% later. The teaching is aimed at solidity and ease of implementation. "

    “Now tell me: which programs are

    inspired by the Unix spirit?” After a pause, Nubi remarked:

    “Mentor, both of these Ways are not entirely true.”

    "The ease of implementation entails a lack of logic for handling exceptions, such as a lack of resources, or when it is impossible to block each other, or can lead to a timeout for an incomplete transaction."

    “When these exceptions are thrown, the program will become unstable and complex. Isn't that the spirit of Unix? ”

    The teacher nodded in agreement.

    “On the other hand, it is well known that all fancy algorithms are unreliable. Each attempt to provide an exception entails changes in the basic algorithms of the program and in the code that handles other exceptions. "

    “Thus, the desire to provide all exceptions, guaranteeing“ simplicity of description ”, can actually turn into code that is too complex and fragile, and prone to errors - never reaches the release at all. Isn't that also the Unix spirit? ”

    Teacher Foo nodded again.

    “Which direction of the Dharma is more correct?” Asked Nubi.

    Teacher said:

    “The flying eagle does not forget that its paws touched the ground. The attacking tiger does not forget the feeling of flying in a jump. The most right direction is a kilogram of good architecture! ”

    And enlightenment descended on Nubi as soon as he heard it.

    Copyright 2003 Eric S. Raymond

    Revelation Four.

    Translation made with the participation of maniaque . Special thanks to him for translating the phrase “Three pounds of VAX”.

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