On Thu, Oct 04, 2012 at 09:01:14AM -0400, John Clark wrote:
> Yes, so a human can jump directly from the tangled mess of DOS to a clean
> streamlined operating system like LINUX, but Evolution can only add even
> more tangled bells and whistles to DOS.
> John K Clark

Actually, one could argue with this analogy. Linux bears no ancestral
relationship with DOS - rather it is descended (in some sense) from
Unix, so bears a lot of cruft from that OS (admittedly less than the
Windows camp, which descended from DOS).

Windows is arguably a lot of additional tangled bells and whistles on
top of DOS - anyone programming to the Win32 API sees this.

Linux had less of a requirement to be backward compatible, so is
relatively cleaner, but there is still a lot of cruft - take a look at
some of the obsoleted system calls that are still supported to allow
old software to compile.

Both are examples of evolutionary design than revolutionary design, as
it were. Another example is the design of x86_64 processors by
Intel. It is debatable whether anything _really_ complex could be
designed by means other than evolution. I have worked on 3 projects
now in the many 100K LOC size (approaching 1M LOC) class. All of these have
"stupid" design features that are now locked in because it is too
expensive to simply start over.

Now, back to the main programme.



Prof Russell Standish                  Phone 0425 253119 (mobile)
Principal, High Performance Coders
Visiting Professor of Mathematics      hpco...@hpcoders.com.au
University of New South Wales          http://www.hpcoders.com.au

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