[TUHS] Gnu/Stallman (was Bugs in V6 'dcheck')

Brantley Coile brantley at coraid.com
Tue Jun 3 11:45:40 AEST 2014

On Jun 2, 2014, at 3:10 PM, arnold at skeeve.com wrote:

> Brantley can tell you that Plan 9 isn't dead, although the Labs aren't
> really providiing the "central control" that Steve mentioned and which
> is so valuable. 

Plan 9 will be my development system for the foreseeable future.  I built the PIX on BSDI using all the tools from the Labs that I could get my hands on, such as sam(1), rc(1) (from Byron), mk(1), and 9win.  I shifted the group to real Plan 9 in 1995, when it became available.  I used it to build Coraid and I’ll use it for any startups in the future.  I get more done faster using it than any other system I’ve tried.  

I have always kept an independent version running and pick and choose what goes into it.  For example, I still run a Ken Thompson file server, even after it was replaced with “better” technology.  Plan 9’s stability is one of the things I greatly value; some parts of our system have uptime’s longer than two years.  In the past few years, Erik Quanstrom has been Coraid's keeper of our version of Plan 9.  For me, he still is.  He has worked, with others, to keep the drivers current and adjust things to the changes in hardware.  We run a 64 version, for example, on the latest Intel hardware.

It might have a very tiny user base, but they will pry Plan 9 out of my cold dead fingers.  (That’s a Mike O’Dell reference.)  So it will remain alive.

Post script.  If you want a mindblowingly elegant and beautiful system, study the Oberon system from the 1980’s by Niklaus Wirth.  It inspired the Plan 9 editor acme(1).  I’ve seen nothing that compares to it’s clarity of thought.  Interestingly, Ken Thompson and Niklaus Wirth were both students at Berkeley at same time.  I wonder if Harry Huskey’s values are reflected in their work.


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