Chris Bitmead uid(x22068)
Mon, 05 May 1997 11:55:30 +1000

>Chris Bitmead uid(x22068) [] said:
>;; The true power of a LispOS will only come when pathnames are abandoned
>;; altogether.
>I say now:
>The true power of a LispOS will come only when make dramatic posturing
>statements and starting banging out the bloody, gory details. You've
>got to start somewhere. 
>I want something that works -- projects like this can easily be killed
>by lofty goals. Start simple. If you want to abandon pathnames
>completely, do so when you have something that will let you do so. 

An OOFS will save you 50% of coding applications. The investment up
front will pay off many times over. Not investing up front in this
area will mean re-writing everything later on.

Imagine the year is 1967 and you intend to write this new-beaut OS
which you will call "UNIX".

Only thing is you're not allowed to implement or use open(), read()
or write().

How far you gonna get? You can't implement sh, cp, ls, or anything
vaguely UNIX-like without a UNIX style FS. Oh, you're not allowed to
implement /etc/passwd, /etc/profile, /etc/inittab, /etc/fstab, because
you need the UNIX style small ascii files to do it. You have to invent
some binary format and put it in a raw partition.

Yes they could have done this, but the result wouldn't have been UNIX
it would have been something else, and it would have been resoundingly
ignored. The file system of an OS is probably the most important
aspect of all.

I can't emphasise this enough. Without a OOFS all you're going to have
is a real nice Lisp environment, which will buy you very little over
just getting Lisp and using it on UNIX or NT.

Have a think about about how much code you write either getting or
putting stuff into files, then think about what you'll save if you
never open another file again.