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    I feel like the whole “Unix minimalist reactionary” scene is getting less detached from things that matter. Does anyone actually have any real qualms with D-Bus beyond aesthetics? It feels throwing stones from glass houses in the wake of horrible but fundamental like the POSIX shell that they enshrine as right. Suffering without working infrastructure like audio just seems like a self-own to prove a point.

    Side note: Using VMS makes me realize how crazy this all is: here is an OS with a far better help system that has interactive drill-down and - get this - examples! All while POSIX is stuck with 1970’s roff infodump hell (and they like it!) and GNU’s only improvement to this is a degenerate clone of ITS’ help system. It makes me really think so many of the people who think this is a good idea haven’t been exposed to anything else - and with how dominant Unix has been, why would they?

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      I have some big issues with this kind of philosophy. The argument that software is getting too complex might hold some water, but a lot of that complexity is actually (imo) due to the complexity of the world we live in, and the fact that the software is solving complex problems.

      If this “minimalist” philosophy offered simpler ways to model the world, and simpler solutions to the aforementioned problems then I might buy the argument. However the actual tactic seems to be just refusing to solve any problem beyond a certain level of complexity. (See KISS’ refusal to support internationalisation).

      It’s all well and good for making certain desktop users feel happy about the aesthetics of their system, but I don’t see it really has much to offer the world as a set of ideas beyond that. (In fairness, I don’t think anyone has ever claimed that it does have anything further to offer, but if this is the case then I don’t see there’s much to actually say or discuss about it).

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        Suffering without working infrastructure like audio just seems like a self-own to prove a point.

        I’m not “suffering” though? I thought I made that clear in the post.

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          My love of {Open,}VMS is well known. For a while my vanity domain was hosted on a web server running on VMS with a DEC hobbyist license on an old VAXstation under my desk at home (back when I was willing to spend whatever it was to get a static IP from…whatever that DSL provider was in the US that catered to that. Speakeasy I think?)

          That machine died and my VMS host moved to being VMS on an emulated VAX running under SimH on Linux. The Linux box acted as nothing more than a bootloader to get VMS up and running.

          I’m waiting with bated breath to see what VMSI does with the x86-64 port of VMS. If they have a hobbyist program or just reasonably priced single-user commercial licensing…that’ll be fun.

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            I’d love to play around with a reasonably priced/licensed VMS.

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              Check to see if DEC…I mean Compaq…I mean HP…still has their hobbyist program going (it was through DECUS, the DEC User Society). If so, you can get a license to run VMS on Alpha or VAX hardware. SimH on modern hardware can easily run a classic VAX running VMS and better-than-full speed. It’s fun.

              EDIT: Yep, looks to be going strong: http://www.openvmshobbyist.com/news.php

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                It was actually recently announced that HPE is ending the hobbyist program:

                Dear HPE OpenVMS hobbyist,

                This is to inform you that HPE is concluding the HPE OpenVMS Hobbyist license program in alignment with the HPE >OpenVMS support roadmap. If you wish to understand more details, please reach out to us at the earliest through the usual license renewal webpage.

                Thank you.

                HPE OpenVMS team

                See here: https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=de#!topic/comp.os.vms/_yh0_u7Vtj8%5B1-25%5D

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                  Well crap.

                  I hope VSI either restores the hobbyist program or has a relatively cheap hobbyist license. I’d be willing to pay, say, $100 for a copy of OpenVMS that runs in VirtualBox or something.

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                    VSI seems like the kind of people who would continue it. To me it looks like they actually want VMS to succeed, rather than just milk its legacy users.

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            Suffering without working infrastructure like audio just seems like a self-own to prove a point.

            In my experience, and when I had more time to play with these things, one might get the audio to work, or usb devices to be detected, but everything seems unstable. Considering how complicated and dependent everything from the operating system to the hardware has become, the attitude seems to ends up not reducing complexity, but ignoring it.

            Using VMS makes me realize how crazy this all is: here is an OS with a far better help system that has interactive drill-down and - get this - examples!

            Is there any place where one could still find these documents?

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              Is there any place where one could still find these documents?

              The WASD web server has a bunch of scripts out of the box, including a help viewer, which is conveniently hosted online for you. There’s also other manuals too, usually in the book format (which WASD also has a reader for) or HTML (they didn’t ship a VAX/VMS version of Netscape for nothing!)

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              As someone who had a stab at creating a minimal musl based distro some years ago I’ve now settled on a pragmatic approach that works for me: Debian Stable with a few packages rebuilt to strip away dependencies/features that I do not use. Some examples:

              • vim-nox without Ruby/TCL/Lua (but with Python for :Black).
              • ffmpeg/mpv with fewer dependencies.
              • —no-install-recommends as default.

              With the package splitting done in Debian this leads to a fairly minimal system. Far less bytes on disk compared to similar Arch setups. You still have to pay the Glibc tax on binary size, but I have given up on getting a musl system that supported all my use cases.

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                I’ve found Arch’s mpv package to be particularly bad with needless dependencies. A while back I was able to shave off 72 MB (!!!) of dependencies and 60% size reduction in mpv itself.

                I also remember trying to take a stab at a leaner ffmpeg, but wasn’t able to get things working. I forget why though. How’d you slim down your ffmpeg?

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              nscd is such a pain, and has caused me more trouble than it’s solved over the years. As well as caching hosts lookups, it also caches passwd and group lookups. That helped a bit back when I was running slow old NIS servers, but these days nscd mostly causes weird user login issues when I forget to turn it off.

              IIRC it’s originally part of the whole Sun-style stack for multi-user networks along with NIS, NFS, etc. There are still enough shops using these technologies that I don’t think we can remove them from modern distros, but I’d love to make them something you have to explicitly enable with red warning flags, rather than being on by default or easy to configure by mistake.

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                caches passwd and group lookups.

                ???????!?!?

                Yes, I agree and think that software has a huge cruft problem. What’s dissappointing is that for a lot of it that exists, usually even the first step towards deprecation isn’t adopted (make it non-default behavior but retain as optional/toggleable with a warning)

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                  And you can cache sudo with it too.

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                zig is now a cc and ships with a bunch of linux libcs? This is truly the gift that keeps on giving, thanks andrewrk + contributors for the fantastic release. I’ve been watching zig more closely lately and getting quite excited about it.

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                  The guy’s actual CSS is a lot more than 58 bytes though :(

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                    (author here) True. By looking great nearly everywhere, I mean the layout of the elements on most devices/viewports.

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                      I was about to post this as a positive thing! It’s still tiny, understandable, and looks great.

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                      You could do away with most of the markup by applying this to the body tag instead, like I’m doing on tilde.town… might lose some semantics, but you can cut down on total bytes…

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                        Relevant discussion here!