OT: why tar is strange (was: The REALLY bad thing about Python lists ..)

Remco Gerlich scarblac-spamtrap at pino.selwerd.nl
Sun May 21 22:10:44 CEST 2000

Grant Griffin wrote in comp.lang.python:
> I've been teasing you guys a little on this, but in all seriousness, as
> I think about it more, it seems like the essential disconnect here is
> between the "command line" paradigm and the GUI paradigm.  The "compound
> functionality" approach of UNIX makes good sense in a command-line
> paradigm (because it allows a lot of flexibility at the cost of a lot of
> typing, or writing scripts: more typing), but in a GUI paradigm, it's a
> lot more practical simply to build all functionality the user requires
> into a single program.

Of course, in the Unix philosophy, the GUI is a third utility that does its
thing, namely calling tar and gzip with the options that the user has
checked, or something.

I have a utility for ripping audio off CDs, a utility for burning CDs, and a
utility that provides a GUI frontend to them. It's nice!

The GUI mail clients I have are just a frontend to a sendmail command. And
other mail servers like QMail provide there own command named 'sendmail'
with the same option set...

Little tools that can be combined is from a mixed-tool philosophy. I want
the GNU command line tools, this freeware mail client, that big mail server,
a commercial database, and glue them all together with some Python util...
et cetera.

Windows programs are mostly designed to glue their users to the app, it
seems. For commercial software, it's important that users can do everything
they need inside your program - and can't easily make the switch to other
programs that maybe do a little part of it better.

Of course, I'm teasing you a little too. The truth is probably somewhere in
the middle of these viewpoints, right?

Remco Gerlich,  scarblac at pino.selwerd.nl
"This gubblick contains many nonsklarkish English flutzpahs, but the
 overall pluggandisp can be glorked from context"  (David Moser)

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