Kent Borg <kentb...@borg.org> writes:

> [Warning, philosophical tangent.]
>
> The thing that strikes me is that it feels like we are doing something
> fundamentally wrong if a sensible way to write "Hello, World!" (or
> "Hello, I'm a GUI widget!") could possibly be: "Fire up a Linux
> VM.". (Or a Docker container...)
>
> I'm not saying the answers in this thread are wrong (I appreciate
> them, I have learned a lot, and I think I even have npm
> installed--though an unrelated regression stalled my node.js playing
> today). I am saying the so-called "full stack" that is trendy these
> days smells bad and feels wrong headed.
>
> The binary for a modern-day IRC-type program (Slack) is over
> 80MB. Sure, the original IRC didn't have pictures. But 80MB!? I have
> an internet radio program (Tunein Radio) that has an install of 65MB.
>
> The Linux kernel--arguably festooned with too many features--is only a
> 4MB binary on my notebook. And can be trimmed down to about half that
> (last I looked) yet still do powerful stuff. It is crazy that Slack is
> twenty-times the size of the big version of the kernel.
>
> You might ask: "What's the harm? Storage is cheap!"
>
> I'm not sure, but it feels like this is an infinite supply of security
> vulnerabilities, plus a lot of regular feature bugs and much of the
> general "computerized things don't work very well".

For the specific issue of the bloatification of Unix software there's
suckless: https://suckless.org/

Not sure they have a substitute for node.js, though. And I've found for
some of what they offer they're a bit too reductionist. My sense is that
what OpenBSD packages sucks less than suckless. Better sense of balance.

There are people still trying to make some new start out of plan 9. And
then there are still some people, I guess, making Smalltalk systems
(Pharo?) and probably some people somewhere trying something with
Lisp. I wonder if Linux today is ripe to be supplanted by something
old but new that catches people's imaginations the way Linux did when it
was a hobby and Windows was the job.

Or we could, for therapy, try to get Oberon running in a vm when we're
feeling down. Actually, I'm not even sure it necessarily even still
needs a vm. There are enthusiasts playing with that too.

-- 
Mike Small
sma...@sdf.org
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