jon postel

bzs at bzs at
Sun Oct 16 23:31:21 UTC 2022

On October 16, 2022 at 14:18 randy at (Randy Bush) wrote:
 > my favorite is
 > It's perfectly appropriate to be upset.  I thought of it in a slightly
 > different way--like a space that we were exploring and, in the early days,
 > we figured out this consistent path through the space: IP, TCP, and so on.
 > What's been happening over the last few years is that the IETF is filling
 > the rest of the space with every alternative approach, not necessarily any
 > better.  Every possible alternative is now being written down.  And it's not
 > useful.  -- Jon Postel

Early unix had a similar philosophical debate. Everything is a simple
file (including most devices), make commands which do one thing and do
it well so they can be connected together in new ways (an almost
prescient view on the ubiquity of multi-cpu/core systems), when in
doubt generalize and let the user specialize for their needs, don't
try to guess everything your program will be used for.

Then we got: POP-QUIZ! Name which letters a-z which aren't options to

Granted computing was more data processing than UI back then, but even
desktop apps like word processing had this style (e.g., a separate
program to format math equations or tables which could be piped into
from the general word processing program in a pipeline, and another to
do final formatting for the printing device.)

        -Barry Shein

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