[sf-lug] "Has Linux outgrown Unix?"[1]

Michael Paoli Michael.Paoli at cal.berkeley.edu
Sun Oct 26 15:58:59 PDT 2008

"Has Linux outgrown Unix?"[1]

Well, first of all, there's Rick Moen's excellent point:

Beyond that, to begin to even seriously examine
"Has Linux outgrown Unix?"[1]
or statement/supposition:
"Linux has become so strong and versatile that it has outgrown its
parent OS, Unix"[1]

One needs to define, in the context the statement/question is being
made, what is meant by:
A) Linux
B) outgrown
C) Unix

Rather generally speaking, sure, Linux, by most any reasonable
definition of "Linux" has grown lots, and that rate of growth has
certainly generally outpaced growth of UNIX(R)[3] (not to be confused
with Unix) for most of the past many years.  (I typically use UNIX to
refer to UNIX(R), and otherwise use Unix or *nix or the like ... but
not everyone follows the same conventions).

"Outgrown" gets rather interesting in this context, as it's not an
apples to apples comparison, so, how one measures size and growth can
make quite a difference in the results one reports - and there are
definitions of "outgrown" which aren't or aren't strictly a matter of
size (e.g. maturity, features/capabilities, functionality, efficiency,
speed, etc.), and even were it strictly a matter of size, larger isn't
necessarily better (obesity rates and software bloat come to mind).

"Unix" gets even more ambiguous - is that just UNIX, or does it also
include other *nix, such as BSD, Linux, etc.?  By many definitions,
Linux (a LINUX kernel based operating system, not to be confused with
the LINUX kernel), is a subset of Unix, thus the
question/statement/supposition is an odd one (as a subset which remains
wholly contained within its superset cannot outgrow its superset).

Even if we look at kernel, or operating system or operating system
standards, there's much overlap and intermingling (at least in
function, if not precise code implementation) among various *nix, which
can lead to significant ambiguity if one isn't rather to quite precise
about what one is referring to.

So, ... strictly speaking :-), I find the
question/statement/supposition to be sufficiently ambiguous as to be
illogical, and thus being illogical it has no logical truth, so it's
neither (logically) true, nor false.

"Of course" we don't have the *full* original source context here, ...
so, ... perhaps in such context, the original statement may be (more)
logical, and thus may have a logical truth (or falsity).

1. http://linuxmafia.com/pipermail/sf-lug/2008q4/005673.html
2. http://linuxmafia.com/pipermail/sf-lug/2008q4/005680.html
3. http://www.unix.org/

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