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norman at norman at
Wed Jan 27 13:28:33 AEST 1999

My two cents' worth on the latest fuss:

It seems premature to discuss splitting the list unless there is a concrete
proposal for how to split it, but I cannot think of a split that would solve
the present problem.  The real trouble right now is one or two people who
cannot resist waving their antlers around in public.  We could eliminate
them by declaring UNIX on anything but the PDP11 (and perhaps the PDP-7)
to be out of bounds, but unless we also refuse to talk about anything post-V7,
that is an artificial cutoff; there's a fair bit of shared code between
2.11BSD and 4BSD (wasn't that the point of 2.11 et al?).  There's also a
genuine link between PDP11 and VAX hardware (nearly all the pre-VAXBI
peripheral devices for a start).

More important than any of the above, I'd like to ask everyone to try to
keep their remarks civil and reasonably to-the-point (difficult though both
of those often are in e-mail), and to take conversations that are marginal
to the main purpose of the list to direct e-mail rather than broadcasting
everything to everyone no matter how peripheral.  (Which is not to say that
discussion of peripherals aren't relevant.)  For example, I had a handful
of comments both philosophical and technical on Michael Sokolov's recent
postings; they didn't strike me as of general interest, so I mailed them
directly to him.

To close with a reference nearer to ancient UNIX, I think it was Dennis who
once suggested that netnews would have had a much higher signal-to-noise ratio
if there had been no `followup' command, so it was easier to send e-mail
directly to the original poster than to make a fool of one's self in public.

Norman Wilson

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