Re: [9fans] interesting potential targets for plan 9 and/or inferno - Plan9

This is a discussion on Re: [9fans] interesting potential targets for plan 9 and/or inferno - Plan9 ; > Right. Maybe a major issue why I personally cannot really get much further > with Plan 9 (with all due respect to those people who did *something* about > it already) is the lack of a modern, fully capable ...

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Thread: Re: [9fans] interesting potential targets for plan 9 and/or inferno

  1. Re: [9fans] interesting potential targets for plan 9 and/or inferno

    > Right. Maybe a major issue why I personally cannot really get much further
    > with Plan 9 (with all due respect to those people who did *something* about
    > it already) is the lack of a modern, fully capable web browser.


    How *did* we get anything done in the 1970s ...

  2. Re: [9fans] interesting potential targets for plan 9 and/or inferno

    beer didn't exist until the invention of the tin can.
    the world was in black-and-white until 1965.
    computers didn't exist until the mid 90s when
    berners-lee invented them.

    - erik

    On Wed Mar 7 11:56:32 EST 2007, lyndon@orthanc.ca wrote:
    > > Right. Maybe a major issue why I personally cannot really get much further
    > > with Plan 9 (with all due respect to those people who did *something* about
    > > it already) is the lack of a modern, fully capable web browser.

    >
    > How *did* we get anything done in the 1970s ...


  3. Re: [9fans] interesting potential targets for plan 9 and/or inferno

    On 3/7/07, erik quanstrom wrote:
    > computers didn't exist until the mid 90s when
    > berners-lee invented them.


    When did electricity exist, versus when did electricity exist in the home?

    For most people in the previous generation, your last statement might
    as well be true. No one saw the tree fall until the squirrels were on
    the ground.

    Anyone in a computer science program currently? Did VMS exist?

    -Jack

  4. Re: [9fans] interesting potential targets for plan 9 and/or inferno

    > Anyone in a computer science program currently? Did VMS exist?

    for many CS programs' intents and purposes UNIX doesn't exist anymore either.

  5. Re: [9fans] interesting potential targets for plan 9 and/or inferno

    Hi, sympathetic outsider reporting here:

    For me personally, as a member of the volunteer focus group, the reasons
    that plan 9 is such a pain are the same reasons I'm drawn to it:


    1. Plan 9 is a network OS. The downside is that a single, disconnected
    plan 9 workstation is a pain in the ass to use, and is crippled by design (I
    think). Unfortunately, very few of the kind of tinkerers who would enjoy it
    have enough spare hardware to build something that really shows off the
    strengths of the system. I think the xen port work is the best fix for this,
    since it allows me to build a network using a minimal hardware footprint (I
    haven't tried).
    2. The interfaces are baffling. As Master Shake said, "It's too
    advanced to be compatible". Not just rio; I mean adding a user to a system,
    logging in under a different account by rebooting, mounting devices as
    filesystems, making configuration changes, everything is different. I don't
    think anything makes sense until you understand the entire system, top to
    bottom. It's a difficult investment to make. I appreciate that this is not
    your problem.

    I think that I understand the picture that the forefathers had in mind when
    developing the system, it's just that it's very difficult to implement an
    infrastructure that shows the benefits of the plan 9 approach. And when you
    finally do, It's not clear that you've got something better, because there's
    nothing you can do after building it that you couldn't do before. Of course,
    enthusiasts do not represent a significant source of government funding, and
    are thus unlikely to have significant input to the roadmap. I'm just sayin',
    is all.

    Rob


  6. Re: [9fans] interesting potential targets for plan 9 and/or inferno

    > When did electricity exist, versus when did electricity exist in the home?

    And we do not get a great deal of choice between AC and DC even though
    there are places where the one is superior to the other.

    It seems to me that many here want to have their cake and eat it: they
    want those features of Plan 9 that are not in Windows and/or Linux and
    are not likely to surface there any time soon, but they also want
    those features that have made Windows and Linux the popular choices.

    Thing is, the GUI, ease of installation, etc., are "populistic"
    features. Private namespaces, a consistent file interface, a powerful
    generic communication protocol, Venti, Factotum, Acme, even Rio, are
    all rough diamonds, you have to be able to visualise their value for
    yourself before you can figure out how to extract that value from
    them. And that is contrary to the "immediate gratification" approach
    that Windows and eventually Linux have adopted as their marketing
    slogan.

    If you try the same with Plan 9, you'll get at the end yet another
    Windows with many of the breakages that have always plagued Windows
    and are beginning to plague Linux. Good luck.

    ++L


  7. Re: [9fans] interesting potential targets for plan 9 and/or inferno

    >infrastructure that shows the benefits of the plan 9 approach. And when you
    >finally do, It's not clear that you've got something better, because there's
    >nothing you can do after building it that you couldn't do before. Of course,


    you can build resource sharing systems without spending years and years
    inventing yet more peculiar protocols and interfaces, and writing
    programs to implement them, to make each resource visible to others
    and never quite finishing (but nevertheless changing the protocols and interfaces often)

  8. Re: [9fans] interesting potential targets for plan 9 and/or inferno

    > 2. The interfaces are baffling. As Master Shake said, "It's too
    > advanced to be compatible". Not just rio; I mean adding a user to a system,
    > logging in under a different account by rebooting, mounting devices as
    > filesystems, making configuration changes, everything is different. I don't
    > think anything makes sense until you understand the entire system, top to
    > bottom. It's a difficult investment to make. I appreciate that this is not
    > your problem.


    A nice readable softcover book, in the style of the Nemeth-Snyder-Seebass
    "Unix System Administration Handbook", but for plan9 would be a huge
    honking help; it would make the epiphany one gets from installing a
    fileserver and a terminal and reading the papers and manpages a much more
    accessible moment.


    > I think that I understand the picture that the forefathers had in mind when
    > developing the system, it's just that it's very difficult to implement an
    > infrastructure that shows the benefits of the plan 9 approach.


    True. Systems today are homogenous x86en that consume power and desk
    space-there is no usual need to have more than one in your den.


    And when you
    > finally do, It's not clear that you've got something better, because there's
    > nothing you can do after building it that you couldn't do before.


    I beg to differ. My interest is less in clusters, and more in providing a
    homogenous reliable computing environment comprising desktops and servers
    across boundaries of hardware and Unix vendor. This takes enormous amounts
    of effort, more than it should, because of assumptions about how the
    system is to be used havn't changed at the most basic level in over two
    decades. You can approximate the same functionality with
    *nix+LDAP+AFS+krb5 or Windows with AD, but the effort to support that
    approximation does not increase linearly with size.

    -GBA

  9. Re: [9fans] interesting potential targets for plan 9 and/or inferno

    On 3/7/07, erik quanstrom wrote:
    > beer didn't exist until the invention of the tin can.
    > the world was in black-and-white until 1965.
    > computers didn't exist until the mid 90s when
    > berners-lee invented them.


    On NeXT systems to boot. So how did Windows get so huge? :-)

    >
    > - erik
    >
    > On Wed Mar 7 11:56:32 EST 2007, lyndon@orthanc.ca wrote:
    > > > Right. Maybe a major issue why I personally cannot really get much further
    > > > with Plan 9 (with all due respect to those people who did *something* about
    > > > it already) is the lack of a modern, fully capable web browser.

    > >
    > > How *did* we get anything done in the 1970s ...

    >



    --
    - Passage Matthew 5:37:
    But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever
    is more than these cometh of evil.

  10. Re: [9fans] interesting potential targets for plan 9 and/or inferno

    I'm really with Minnich on this one. The GUI is what *everyone*
    complains about and it's always the *first* thing they complain
    about. I deal with pretty intelligent people in the security
    community and they can't handle Rio and don't want to.

    It isn't out of ignorance or the residue of sub-intellectualism,
    it's just the simple fact that mobility is the last thing people
    want to relearn.

    Think about it, would you rather learn how your new ten-speed
    mountain bike works or would you rather relearn how to ride a
    bike?

    I love Rio and find it a great environment to work in, but I'm a
    pretty odd cat and I tend to think in very odd ways (not necessarily
    good ways). Most people want to ALT+TAB-and-friends their way into
    learning a system. That's not necessarily a bad thing.

    Once you can navigate around the resources you want to learn, you
    can start to learn. How can you get under the hood if you can't
    figure out how to pop it up?

    Don "north" Bailey



  11. Re: [9fans] interesting potential targets for plan 9 and/or inferno

    On Mar 7, 2007, at 10:41 AM, Robert Sherwood wrote:

    > The interfaces are baffling. As Master Shake said, "It's too
    > advanced to be compatible". Not just rio; I mean adding a user to a
    > system, logging in under a different account by rebooting, mounting
    > devices as filesystems, making configuration changes, everything is
    > different. I don't think anything makes sense until you understand
    > the entire system, top to bottom. It's a difficult investment to
    > make. I appreciate that this is not your problem.


    But this has nothing to do with Plan 9. It's a human-brain-firmware
    bug. You're most comfortable with what you learn learn.

    Put me in front of VMS and I start to hurl. To me, the interface is
    rebarbative.

    Put a VMS user in front of a UNIX terminal and they will hurl. To
    them, anything that lacks logicals is untenable.

    How many of you enjoy the music your kids listen to? Your parents
    listen to? I'm confidant the number of hands that go up in this
    crowd will be significantly higher than in a same-sized sample of
    general computer users. The Plan 9 community self-selects for a very
    open mind set. As much of the elegance of Plan 9 derives from its
    user community as derives from the code. Catering to the masses will
    drive away that community, ensuring the death of the code base.

    --lyndon

  12. Re: [9fans] interesting potential targets for plan 9 and/or inferno

    > How can you get under the hood if you can't figure out how to pop it up?

    Umm, read the documentation?


  13. Re: [9fans] interesting potential targets for plan 9 and/or inferno

    On 3/7/07, geoff@plan9.bell-labs.com wrote:
    > > How can you get under the hood if you can't figure out how to pop it up?

    >
    > Umm, read the documentation?


    Hahaha, I remember having this problem when I was first introduced to
    Plan 9, trying to figure out how to read the wiki in acme without
    being able to read the wiki in acme. I probably still have those
    first survival printouts of how to configure the network so I could
    get to the online documentation without rebooting between experiments.
    But as others have noted, that was my failing, or my blinders, not
    seeing or knowing how to (best) access the internal documentation
    immediately after installation.

    I remember in college I stumbled around VMS thanks to the help system.
    It was self-teaching, in that you could start with HELP and it would
    give you suggestions, and you could explore the whole command
    documentation tree from that starting point. Heck, I learned how to
    FTP from the VMS help system.

    My first introduction to UNIX, that was my first question, "How do I
    find out what commands I can use?"

    "You can use 'man', just type 'man commandname' and it will tell you
    what it does. Like this."

    "What if I don't know the names of any of the commands?"

    "Oh."

    Inferno's wm/man is great in this respect, in that it's very
    newbie-friendly, and the very first thing it does is explain itself.
    Of course, lookman is handy, too (especially in acme), but maybe
    either a simple wm/man-like port or just changing the default Glenda
    window layout to better jumpstart the newbie down the internal
    documentation path might help.

    What are the first four things you wanted to do back when you did your
    first installation?

    Mine were something like:

    1 - explore (8 1/2 then / rio now, private namespaces, etc.)
    2 - try to do something I was used to doing (checking email, which involved)
    3 - configure the network
    4 - read the online documentation (where's the browser?)

    -J

  14. Re: [9fans] interesting potential targets for plan 9 and/or inferno

    On 3/7/07, geoff@plan9.bell-labs.com wrote:
    > > How can you get under the hood if you can't figure out how to pop it up?

    >
    > Umm, read the documentation?


    8½ was brilliant for that. unless you read at least the introduction
    to the system, you were getting *nowhere*. fast. i learned that my
    first day with my own plan 9 terminal. it was a bit frustrating at
    first, but the "it's not unix" warnings were a good psychological
    preparation.

    i think jack's suggestion of modifying the default glenda setup to
    give the user a bit more insight into the documentation track is a
    good one.

  15. Re: [9fans] interesting potential targets for plan 9 and/or inferno


    On Mar 7, 2007, at 5:16 PM, Lyndon Nerenberg wrote:

    > You're most comfortable with what you learn learn.


    You're most comfortable with what you learn first :-P

  16. Re: [9fans] interesting potential targets for plan 9 and/or inferno


    > "How do I find out what commands I can use?"

    ls /bin



  17. Re: [9fans] interesting potential targets for plan 9 and/or inferno

    On 3/7/07, Lyndon Nerenberg wrote:
    >
    > On Mar 7, 2007, at 5:16 PM, Lyndon Nerenberg wrote:
    >
    > > You're most comfortable with what you learn learn.

    >
    > You're most comfortable with what you learn first :-P
    >


    If that were true, I'd still be able to remember how to use "Attrib" on DOS.

    Or worse, I'd be caught wanting to type in

    10 call clear

    from Texas Instruments BASIC for the TI-99/4a.

    No I think I can get more comfortable with "better" technology.

  18. Re: [9fans] interesting potential targets for plan 9 and/or inferno

    On 3/8/07, matt wrote:
    >
    > > "How do I find out what commands I can use?"

    > ls /bin
    >
    >
    >

    think about what you want to do and use apropos.

  19. Re: [9fans] interesting potential targets for plan 9 and/or inferno

    that's a unixism. plan 9 uses "lookman".

    - erik

    On Thu Mar 8 10:07:36 EST 2007, leimy2k@gmail.com wrote:
    > On 3/8/07, matt wrote:
    > >
    > > > "How do I find out what commands I can use?"

    > > ls /bin
    > >
    > >
    > >

    > think about what you want to do and use apropos.



  20. Re: [9fans] interesting potential targets for plan 9 and/or inferno

    in early unix days, someone added a short shell script `pip' to the unix system
    i used. the script amounted to

    echo pipes exist!

    i suppose it was intended to educate the former rsx-11 users.

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