The Magic Garden Explained: The Internals of Unix System V Release 4 : An Open Systems Design

Category: Operating Systems
Author: Berny Goodheart, James Cox


by 205guy   2018-03-04
On the one hand, I admire the search for knowledge, taking things apart and seeing how they work. On the other hand, this seems a bit cargo-cultish. It's as if I took apart a record player, trying to see how it plays music, and I told you it works because the motor turns the the record.

In this case, the author got tangled in the shell script and code, and totally missed the whole subtlety and complexity of the Unix architecture. I expected to see something about the processes, file system, and directory entries. Even after the author added key information that was emailed to him by a reader, he didn't really follow up or try to understand more. I understand that not all coders have or need a degree in computer science, but it really surprises me what this author doesn't know (and doesn't know he doesn't know).

Another example from his next blog about 'ls': "I’ll admit, scrolling through all this C-code can be a little tiresome. Oh, how I miss the days when all I had to do was read JavaScript source! Because C gives you so little out of the box, a lot of the code that you end up reading is not that interesting. It’s largely the kind of stuff that higher level languages implement in their standard library." [