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Re: CVS Update Behaviour

From: Paul Sander
Subject: Re: CVS Update Behaviour
Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2002 10:46:14 -0800

>--- Forwarded mail from address@hidden

>In article <address@hidden>, Paul Sander wrote:
>>>"patch" has been a "standard" tool in unix development for nearly two
>>>decades now.  Prior to that the commonly used tool that can do the exact
>>>same job with only slightly less success and using the exact same tool
>>>to create the diff, was called 'ed'.  It's been around for over three
>>>decades now.  Time to crawl out from under your rock and get with the
>>>program Paul!
>>Just because a tool is "standard" does not mean it's well-known or
>>well-supported.  40% of the Unix platforms I use regularly (Solaris and
>>NetBSD) don't even supply the tool, and I admit that this is a much lower
>>number than I expected.  (AIX, HP-UX, and MacOS X do supply it.)

>Free software development depends critically on patch. Just about anyone
>involved in it must know how to produce and apply patches.

Most of the people I work with don't produce free software, or at least
they don't collaborate in producing it.  I do produce free software, and
I still use patch only once in 2-3 years.  The free software community
remains a surprisingly small one, compared to the total size of the
industry, and it's my job to support people who are not part of that
small community.

>>When's the last time anyone's used tsort(1), join(1) or fmt(1), or even
>>cut(1), paste(1) or fold(1), and Greg's favorite ed(1), even on this list
>>that's full of toolsmiths?

>I used fmt a second ago, because the machine I post from has a really bad
>vi clone that I haven't bother to replace.  So to reformat a paragraph
>I use !}fmt. Sad!  I used cut not too long ago. Let's see, tsort a few
>years ago, for something completely unrelated to sorting archive
>order for a braindead linker.  I just needed to topologically sort some
>some strings for some reason. I *can* use ed, but haven't practiced in
>a few years. Never used paste or fold. I know what join is, and maybe
>played with it a decade ago.

In other words, you don't use many of the "standard" tools.

>> ls, diff, ln, cc, ld, vi, more, make, dbx, nm,
>>ar, tar, cp, chmod, ftp, cd, pwd, compress, sort, gzip (despite its non
>>standard status), telnet, xterm, id, mailx, echo, test, date, and perhaps
>>a dozen or so other standard tools plus another dozen or so shop-specific
>>tools make up the world as far as my developers are concerned.  Virtually
>>everything else to them is as obscure and unknown to them as the tools I
>>listed in the first sentence of this paragraph.  Because the developers
>>are doing the merging and they don't know about "patch", chances are they
>>won't choose to use it.

>A programmer that doesn't know patch is quite likely ignorant of
>free software in general. This in turn suggests that the programmer,
>by choice, has seen very little code other than his or her own, and that
>of a few immediate colleagues.

I would say that that pretty much describes most of the people I've ever
worked with.  They're very focussed on what they do very well and at the
end of the day they'd rather spend time with their families than hack
with the rest of us.

>--- End of forwarded message from address@hidden

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