[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Unix philosophy under the gun?

From: Matthew Riechers
Subject: Re: Unix philosophy under the gun?
Date: Fri, 03 Aug 2001 14:10:07 -0400

David Fuller wrote:
> Matthew Riechers wrote:
> >
> > UNIX tends to blur users and developers together, which is a Good Thing
> > for developers :)
> Ah, but this is not necessarily a Good Thing for businesses.  A business
> may not be able to afford to let their developers take the time to build
> the glue they need.  Which is why "the whole package and a pickle too"
> is becoming more popular.  I've been looking at using CVS at my company,
> and have some projects working in it.  But to roll it out for our whole
> department isn't likely to happen because it would take our developers
> time to get all those 'glue' pieces in place.  We ran some sample
> numbers and it would likely cost us more in the long run to use CVS than
> some $1000/seat software because of all the glue we would need.

That problem is one of integration with projects that have *never had
revision control*. I've found integration to be a messy, difficult
process, but with modest planning it isn't impossible, and the benefits
are an order of magnitude better than the previous situation, therefore
it is worth it whether you pay $1k/seat for some product or just use
CVS. I think the 'glue' your talking about is really 'a decent build
system', and that's something that CVS won't help you with. You're
trying to compare apples and oranges.

> >
> > With it, you can approach problems very efficiently, but only if the
> > tools are interoperable, and that means they have to 'do one thing, and
> > do it well'.
> >
> Or, it means that the tools have to be built to be modular and easily
> extensible.  Look at Apache.  Check out the list of modules for Apache.
> Apache does HTTP well, but with all the modules available for it Apache
> has become much more.

True. However, the (only?) VC system that implements this model seems to
be subversion, which hasn't made it off the ground yet.

> > That glue is just pipes 90% of the time, and it allows for powerful
> > one-liners that take almost no time to write. Taking the time to learn
> > all these arcane tools that you can glue together will *increase*
> > productivity, but I agree that it takes serious interest and commitment,
> > and mostly time.
> >
> It takes serious interest and commitment to learn how to glue those
> things together.  Then you have the problem of maintainability.  If you
> have to build those glue pieces in house that also means you have to
> maintain them in house.

What 'glue' are you talking about? One-liners or entire build systems?
CVS is only one component of either of these, so it only contributes to
part of the maintainability. If you're using an all-in-one package, you
still have to maintain that system too...

> >
> > If your approach CVS with only a non-UNIX mindset, you are effectively
> > going against the grain, and that makes it very hard to learn and use.
> > Whether this is a strength or weakness depends on the user and their
> > environment. Most non-UNIX systems try too hard to cram everything into
> > a pretty package that is complete, but totally incompatible with the
> > environment around it, and that leaves little room for the UNIX
> > philosophy. I believe that is a weakness.
> >
> I will agree that incompatibility with the environment around you is a
> Bad Thing.  But the cost of 'gluing' CVS together with other things is
> prohibitive.  And the training costs of CVS are equally prohibitive.
> Many people who would like to use an Open Source version control tool
> come from the non UNIX mindset, and will have difficulty because, as you
> say, they are 'effectively going against the grain'.  For die-hard UNIX
> people this isn't such a bad thing.  But for the rest of the world...
> -- David F.

It's not that cut-and-dry. People that have no clue what 'version
control' means will have enough trouble grokking that concept, let alone
using a given VC system or utility. Integration of any tool is going to
cause some amount of ruckus, but that varies *greatly* on the existing
setup and the people using it. In that sense, starting to use a VC tool
like CVS is no different than switching compilers.


reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]