The Linux Philosophy — Oregon State University

Last Updated on 11/29/2019 by dboth

Oregon State University has their own take on the Linux Philosophy.

Edited for gender neutrality.

  • The user should know better… they must specify how things work.
  • Provide mechanisms, not policy
    • Mechanism: long life time
    • Policy: short life time
  • Its not friendly, but its efficient
  • Don’t confuse ease of use with efficiency
  • Pedestrian OS’es achieve glossiness by locking users into one interface policy.
    • Its narrow, rigid and works well for a fixed set of jobs.
    • Unanticipated tasks are often impossible or very painful.
  • Easy things are easy, hard things are possible
  • Linux provides a large set of simple tools…
    • which can be connected with well specified interfaces…
    • which are usually textual data streams.
  • No one big tool is smart enough to handle all cases or optimized for everything or can anticipate all the uses to which it may be put.
  • Its a big tool box, and a lumberyard full of lumber
    • We get a big say in what gets built and how its structured
    • Its a plus for us. We’re engineers. We build stuff.
    • Button pushers are easily replaced, craft your own tools
  • We are being groomed to be consumers
    • Resist and be creators of new things