wuthering thoughts
Another pleonastic blog. Diary of an insomniac. And I always lose my words beyond the second sentence.

The Perverted OS

Category: , , , , , By Suman Kar
I have had the (mis-?)fortune of dabbling in more than a single OS. Windows, Macintosh, Unix, Linux, Solaris -- you get the idea. At different points of time I have independently labeled each of the current OS to be the worst of the lot. Windows for lack of anything remotely resembling a workable shell and Visual Studio (think version 6 and earlier, yeah the 'Dark Ages'), Unix for no GUI and Printers Panel, Macintosh for its resource forks, .app files, bundles, frameworks (oh, hang on! they are just some glorified bundles aren't they?), Xcode, Safari (what else is there?), Linux for lack of Visual Studio, far too many shells of formidable power, and the long unending list of commands and so on. I'm left without a religion; though for what it is worth, I'd any day prefer a *nix one to anything else. It was this realization that also chugged the devil-in-my-empty-mind down perversion street.

Take any *nix system with the usual command set (and probably binutils on Windows) and see what you get. I have long had this feeling Ritchie and friends were upto something, just didn't realise they had a secret chauvinistic gay manifesto. The secret lies in the commands. Read on ...

Translation: you have to be a man to help and have to go to one to get any. The oh-so-obvious male chauvinism at play. How could the feminist comp-sci grads miss this? This command is particularly offending when paired with some other seemingly harmless ones. Take unzip for example. How could a self-respecting OS ever yield to the lusty demands of the bespectacled douche-bag typing in 'man unzip'? Or for, be so insesitive so as to let the clueless SysAdmins (who have, I'm sure, only gotten down and closer to hell since) for they commiteth the sin of 'finger'-ing man, woman and every antelope that ever had an account on their networks? And never, ever, and I mean ever in every sense, explain to your fiancee's dad that 'man man' is only a 'man entry on man'-ual. You'd probably end-up feeling very disappointed with yourself very soon. Things get really nasty if know how read the text that's put up. I'll show one such example. Excerpts from the man page of finger (1):
"the default output format [for the former] is the -l style," -- you're going in straight
"and the default output format [for the latter] is the -s style." -- oh, yeah, lets get dirty
"The -l option is the only option that may be passed to a remote machine." -- its like
you only know each other for about 4 hours
The library isn't without its blemishes either. Take for instance, the Holy Trinity of 'open', 'creat' and 'close'. I wonder how many unsuspecting junior programmers have cut their teeth on these without ever seeing the plot. It gets better, if you read the Rationale section over at opengroup's website you see it: "It has been included primarily for historical purposes since many existing applications depend on it." Yes, Dennis, we know.

So, now you know, you too can -- avoid or at least be a little less apparent when in front of a *nix. Just joking!

PS: If there's another command or two I can remember I'll post it here. Feel free to add to this list if you know of any.

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