Rootless Root in Russian. Revelation One.

Published on April 09, 2008

Rootless Root in Russian. Revelation One.

    With this post, I am starting a series of translations of “Revelations of Unix Teacher Foo”.

    So, the first revelation.

    - Teacher Foo and Ten Thousand Lines

    One day, Teacher Foo told a passer-by programmer: “There is more Unix spirit in one line of the shell script than in Ten Thousand Lines of code in C.”

    The programmer, who was very proud of his C skills, said: “How so? C is the language in which the Unix kernel itself is implemented! ”

    Teacher Foo replied, “This is so. Despite this, there is more Unix spirit in one line of the shell script than in Ten Thousand Lines of code in C. ”

    The programmer was stunned. " But through C language, we feel the power of Patriarch Ritchie! We become one with the operating system and all devices, getting incomparable performance for it!"

    Teacher Foo replied, “All you say is true. But anyway - there is more Unix spirit in one line of the shell script than in Ten Thousand Lines of code in C. ”

    The programmer looked at Teacher with a mocking expression and was about to leave. But the teacher nodded to his student Nubi, and he wrote one line of the shell script on the board. The teacher said:“Oh, Able Programmer, it's a pipe. Implement it in pure C - will you have Ten Thousand Lines? ”

    The programmer grumbled something into his beard, looking at what Nubi wrote. Finally, he agreed that ten thousand would probably not be enough.

    “And how many hours will you need to implement and debug this program in C?” Asked Nubi.

    “A lot,” a passer-by programmer admitted. “But only a fool will do this at a time when he will be faced with much more worthy Tasks.”

    “Now tell me, who better understands the spirit of Unix?” Asked Master Foo. "The one who writes ten thousand lines - or the one who realizes the futility of the Task, nevertheless deserves a reward - without writing a single line of code?"

    And enlightenment descended on the programmer as soon as he heard this.

    Copyright 2003 Eric S. Raymond

    Revelation Two