I don’t know the counts of Unix and Linux servers. I do know that my heart sinks whenever I look under the hood in Linux. It is has been so overfed by loving hands. Over 240 system calls! Gigabytes of source! AC compiler with a 250-page user manual (not counting the language definition)! A simple page turner, ‘less,’ has over 40 options and 60 commands! It’s proof that open-source can breed monsters just like the commercial pros. Miraculously, though, this monster works.

Douglas McIlroy

The net result of all this is that we have data centres occupying many hectares, filled with computers that are architecturally identical to a Packard Bell 486 desktop running MS-DOS long enough to boot a crippled and amateurish clone of Unix circa 1987, and an endless array of complex, kludged-up hardware and software components intended to hide all of that.  I would ask for a show of hands from those who consider this progress …

We are here in part, because this is probably the best we can do with today’s technology and, in part, because of historical accident. The accident is that we have adapted a general-purpose technology to very specialized tasks while still using general tools.

Don Norman, “Why Interfaces Don’t Work”