:: [DNG] Different philosophies
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Author: Steve Litt
To: dng
Subject: [DNG] Different philosophies
Hi all,

I ran across this in the Dia mailing list:


Unfortunately, everyone top posted, so time sequence goes bottom to
top. But it's pretty clear what happened. One guy sees no email,
questions or announcements, and pronounces the project dead. Another
guy sees the same thing and pronounces it stable. Sound familiar?

Every day of my life, 480 times per day, I use fetchmail. Penned by
Eric Raymond (yes, he's a real programmer) in the 20th century, it does
one thing and does it well, exactly like it did in the 20th century, so
unless Unix changes radically or someone discovers a vulnerability
other than the theoretical ones postulated by its detractors, it will
work forever. I don't care if fetchmail is still "maintained." It's
probably simple enough that if things go south, *I* could maintain it.

I have the "if it works, don't fix it" mentality. Others wait in line
for hours to spend $600 replacing their perfectly functioning phones
with a phone 1 year newer and a couple features more encumbered. If
Apple failed to market a new phone for 2 years, these people would
probably figure Apple's dead and go with a more technology-churning

There's a divergence of philosophies here. One side asks "is it fit for
the purpose", while the other side exudes "wow, look at all these new
features I can have fun with."

Even when the current thing arguably is no longer fit for the purpose,
these philosophies diverge in their actions. The fit for purpose crowd
finds the simplest, easiest solution fit for the purpose (runit or s6,
for instance), while the "cool new features" crowd picks up the
shiniest alternative most bejewelled with irrelevant features, and if
this shiny alternative isn't fit for the purpose, they argue that it is.


Steve Litt
October 2017 featured book: Rapid Learning for the 21st Century