back to article Remember those holy tech wars we used to have? Heh, good times

2018 has barely begun, and it already feels like we'll be nibbling techwar milquetoast all year long. If 2018 ends up being at all like 2017, that is. We used to get our collective undies in a bunch over whether Linux or Windows was best, until smartphones rendered the debate somewhat moot. Still, we carried on a version of …


  1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge


    Wot's HN?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: HN?

      Hacker News...

    2. whatevs...

      Re: HN?

      “Hacker” News. A place to complain about Apple’s latest hardware, remind the world that Microsoft are still evil, and Google are the most altruistic and perfect organisation that ever did exist and everything they do is pure and perfect. It’s overrun with the FOSS Stasi.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: HN?

      HN or HackerNews ( overtook /. or as the go to place for insightful tech discussions. For some time it was the FightClub of forums. But it's time to move on. HN is nowadays heavily moderated and censored, when the original creator PG left the boat it went downhill. YCombinator related companies are supported a lot like CoinBase and other news are censored without any info. They are also sponsored by big co. Nowadays M$ shills flood the comments with PR and many insightful comments get flagged and the accounts rated limited (allowed to only post 3 comments per day) and shadow banned (only visible to one himself). HN is nowadays also very MSSQL, Postgres and Redis leaning, everything else gets downvoted, so mention MySQL and you get banned. It grew recently to a toxic community and bad behaving moderators, while the nice creator left and never seen again.

      @TheRegister: The best way to browse HackerNews nowadays is to use: shows also all flagged and censored news stories.

      Anyway lot's of The Register news get censored on HackerNews lately. And the whole Meltdown fiasco got downplayed on HN, while enjoying great coverage on The Reg. I am switching over to The Reg now - seems like a superb website that still objectively reports about tech without being just a PR channel of big co like HN (no hack news or startup news inside anymore) is nowadays.

  2. samuri

    Stop being silly, the only hill worth dying on in tech is Vi over Emacs

    1. IHateWearingATie


      Clearly VIM is the champion we should support in the war against the hated Emacs

      1. Daytona955

        When I was a lad, VIM was something you threw down the toilet. Nothing's changed...

        1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          And VMS is still better than Unix.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Curse you, DEC..

            And TOPS-20 is still better than VMS..

            (I now hear the rattling of even dustier bones, could it be the stirrings of the long dead TENEX brigade brought once again to unholy life by the blasphemous mention of TWENEX?)

            1. Chris King Silver badge

              Re: Curse you, DEC..

              Steady there, son. If you start babbling on about TECO, I shall have to call the police.

              1. PhilBuk

                Re: Curse you, DEC..

                TECO was the best! What other text editor allows you to read the front-panel switches! Someone also created the EDT full screen editor as a macro in TECO.


          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            VMS was great for coding

            The versioning was great. We used to update scripts and have the ease to roll back if things didn't work. As it versioned everything, we could snapshot a particular release.

        2. anothercynic Silver badge


          Especially in the vi vs vim debate.

          VI FOR THE WIN! Always! And forever!

          1. slimshady76

            Re: @Daytona955

            This. These younglings fixing Mac these days would die in less than 10 seconds what faced with AIX or Solaris.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @Daytona955

            Who downvoted this? Bring. Me. Their. Head!

      2. Stuart Castle


        You know the best option is nano..

        1. jelabarre59 Silver badge


          You know the best option is nano..


          1. Alan Brown Silver badge

            > Edlin?

            Real (MS) programmers use COPY CON

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Vi and Emacs...

      ...are both shitholes to live in.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Vi and Emacs...

        > ...are both shitholes to live in.

        but at least we have shitholes!

        users of other editors have a rubble pile at most!

        <Yorkshireman sketch.mkv/>

    3. phuzz Silver badge

      nano forever :)

      1. Anonymous C0ward
    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      vi vs emacs is (virtually) over though right? I mean there are few more greybeards that have to die off to permanently eradicate the emacs users (remember when Eight Megs And Constantly Swapping was an insult)

      AC because those Lisp brackets hurt when thrown

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        I remember trying to open up a binary file to change some hard coded developer parameters that someone accidentally left in whilst trying to install said software on customer site.

        Emacs tried it's best to open the file , before crashing.

        vi, opened the file and did a global search and replace. Whole thing was sorted in 5 minutes. My appreciation of vi grew from that point.

    5. Oh Homer Silver badge

      "Religion gave way to pragmatism"?

      Not really. It's more a case of everything sucks equally now.

      Take Linux, for example. It's hard for me to advocate, as I used to, something that has now fully embraced the Windows mentality via systemd.

      As for Windows, first Vista then Windows 10 eradicated whatever little was left of the Windows fanboi community.

      And Jobs pretty much took the Cult of Mac with him to the grave, along with whatever little was ever actually good about Apple products.

      Turns out that Google really is evil, and damned proud of it too, and Android is frankly an even bigger headache than Windows, in my now long term experience of it.

      So what's left to advocate?

      Here's my new vendor of choice: none of the above. They all suck. Let's face it, everything in tech. sucks, and is getting exponentially suckier by the day.

      The only thing left to advocate is chucking the whole lot of it into the shredder, and going outside for some fresh air ... before heading off down the pub - the only thing left in life that is guaranteed to never, ever suck.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: "Religion gave way to pragmatism"?

        "Take Linux, for example. It's hard for me to advocate, as I used to, something that has now fully embraced the Windows mentality via systemd."

        Contrary to popular belief, Linux does not have to use systemd. There are plenty of distributions out there who have not drunk the coolaid. Do be a nice chap and try not to spread FUD.

        And then there are the BSDs, which I note you haven't even mentioned in your learned treatise ...

        1. CheesyTheClown

          Re: "Religion gave way to pragmatism"?

          Is it bad that I like systemd?

          I actually left Linux a long time ago because of the impressive amount of stupid involved with /etc and others. It was a flaming shithole and still is.

          systemd is a massive improvement and I am slowly moving back to Linux. In fact, I’m replacing a few dozen Cisco servers running VMware and Windows with a few hundred custom Raspberry PIs. I feel very strongly the move would have been feasibly impossible without systemd.

          But I guess I’m not part of the masses. Oh well.

          1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

            Re: "Religion gave way to pragmatism"?

            Odd that OSX is user friendly and works just fine with configuration files. No systemd, and no registry.

            1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

              Re: "Religion gave way to pragmatism"?

              Odd that OSX is user friendly and works just fine with configuration files. No systemd, and no registry.

              It's probably truer to say that they don't have those precise names on MacOS X...

              MacOS X's "launchd" (since OSX 10.4) is basically the same approach to process management as Linux's "systemd", and MacOS configuration is more like the Windows Registry than it is like Linux /etc files.

              If you're configuring all of your "Mac OS" by changing text in the files under /etc, you are not using MacOS features at all, but rather BSD Unix (or tools you've installed that were ported from Linux).

              At the disk level, the bulk of OSX configuration is via property-list files, a proprietary (but very simple) binary data format. These are the *.plist files in /Library/Preferences (global settings) and /Users/____/Library/Preferences (your settings). You can edit them with a graphical tool, or use the "defaults" tool to do it in the Terminal, but you can't just open [text editor of your choice] and type new values in. In that sense, it's pretty much the same as the Windows Registry. (There's an XML representation for plists that's also supported, but OSX and most apps ship with, and use, the binary format)

              There's really not much difference between the properties collection on MacOS X and the Registry on Windows except that the Windows Registry is much less granular in its on-disk format than the former. That lack of file-level partition is the only thing that makes the Registry a "bad" thing from a technical standpoint compared to plists; and the big problem with Registry isn't corruption, it's application software stomping on settings during install, and then not restoring them after uninstallation (which is why Microsoft's "Store" packaging and deployment system gives converted Win32 applications a virtual, sandboxed Registry that they can shit in to their heart's content without damaging the user's system). Nothing in the design of the OS X system would prevent this problem, but OS X developers tend to not change system settings during install, and when they do, they use the official, Apple, installer, which does manage this properly.

              1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

                Re: "Religion gave way to pragmatism"?

                Although I have used OSX, I'm far from an expert on its inner workings.

                But regarding things like plist, at least you can delete them individually. Far preferable to the registry, I'd thought?

                Even if launchd is comparable to systemd (I don't know), I'd say that having some monolithic thing like that that is owned by and maintained by a large corporation like Apple, whose existence depends on it working correctly, is not comparable to having systemd in Linux. I just don't like large monolithic and hard to grasp systems in the FOSS world. They tend to ossify and eventually need to be completely replaced.

                They sure don't adhere to the original Unix idea.

                Have an upvote for your thorough response!

    6. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Browser wars

    Just recently, say in the past year or so, I have noticed an increasing number of sites that do not work as intended in Firefox (my browser of choice for a long time), and instead I have to open these in IE.

    You used to see this a lot many years ago, but I thought those days were supposed to be over (standards, anyone?) At least back then, you got a message saying "this site is optimised for IE 6.0' (!!!!), but now you don't even get that - sometimes the input boxes and other controls simply just don't display. We're going backwards.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Browser wars

      "Just try it in a different browser" I would tell a friend of mine who was keen on computers but would always create problems for himself. It was just easier than wasting time and tears in trying to work out why wasn't behaving on X browser.

      "FFS, why have you unistalled all but browsers but X?" I would inevitably have to say. Oh well.

      1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

        Re: Browser wars

        Just try a different web site.

        I get messages like "Our webmaster does not understand the <noscript> tag" and "Enable javascript or fuck off". The same information is always available somewhere else. The only time this bothers me is I would like a choice about where to shop because amazon is the only shop I know that works without javascript.

      2. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: Browser wars

        Yep....I have the 3 biggies.... IE, Firefox, and Chrome. Seems many sites are targeted to one browser so I use the browsers as needed. To me it's like having a tool box with different tools for different jobs. Not a big deal.

    2. kain preacher Silver badge

      Re: Browser wars

      and instead I have to open these in IE

      I've noticed that cites like that also work in chrome but not in FF. So are they coding in such a way that shits on FF or is FF not standard compliant .

    3. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: and instead I have to open these in IE.

      They're targetting Chrome. No one give a fuck about IE anymore.

  4. ptribble

    I don't think the divergence has gone away, but I do see the emergence of Cults (the Cult of Cloud, the Cult of Containers, lots of Cargo Cults) where people live in an echo chamber and largely interact with other cult members who share the same views, and who believe that there isn't a world outside the cult. Which mirrors trends in society overall.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Facebook, Twitter et al is NOT Society !!!

      The trends are not 'Society' but Facebook & Twitter et al changing the way large groups/demographics of people now interact to the point that it appears to be a societal change.

      They are not a life necessity, they are something that is useful but not essential.

      Living in these closed off worlds that are purely an echo chamber to bolster your own views is harmful in the longterm to 'Society' as the percentage of the populace 'tied/living' though their phones/tablets/etc increase.

      There are large demographics that only perceive the world though the filtered version seen hourly/daily ..... [including one well known POTUS, if press is to be believed :) ].

      Awareness of History, Truth, Common Sense and visibility of a world beyond oneself all lost !!!

      People still do not realise that these services are not being provided for 'Free' out of some altruistic impulse but to generate money ... lots of it, out of the huge amount of 'Freely' given data and discarded privacy that membership entails.

      I do wonder where the world will be in 20 years at this rate. !!!

  5. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Redstone

      Re: No mention of systemd?

      Yes, but to have an argument you need at least two sides. When it comes to systemd, everyone hates it.

      1. CheesyTheClown

        Re: No mention of systemd?

        I like it :) But I have a use case for it.

        I honestly don’t mind either way. I prefer using and developing for systemd. But that makes me special it seems.

    2. Walter Bishop Silver badge

      Re: No mention of systemd?

      > It's worse than NetworkManager and PulseAudio put together.

      What f*****g genius decided that Firefox won't play audio unless pulseaudio is present.

      What f*****g genius decided to include a DNS resolver in Systemd that includes embedded IP addresses pointing to Googles DNS servers?

      1. P. Lee Silver badge

        Re: No mention of systemd?

        My bsd firewall dnats dns. It’s the right way to do it.

      2. Lord_Beavis

        Re: No mention of systemd?

        "What f*****g genius decided to include a DNS resolver in Systemd that includes embedded IP addresses pointing to Googles DNS servers?"

        Goddamn if that right there doesn't just piss me off. I run my own DNS server and I don't want systemd trying to second guess me.

        Isn't the monolithicness of systemd the very thing penguinistas hate M$ for?

  6. Lars Johansson

    "Did we grow up? Or are we just old and tired?"

    Is there a difference? Isn't old and tired what you become growing up?

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      So, you reinvented callback hell in a dynamically typed language? Top.Job.

      When it comes to the point where you actually find telling yourself "The West had a good run, but at least there's still some hope that China will go on carrying the flame", it puts things into perspective.

      Use tabs in your shitty indentation, what do I care.

      Paranoia Agent Opening

  7. TonyJ Silver badge

    Um.... you read your own comments section Reg?

    Seems like those same tired ol' holy wars are alive and kicking :)

    1. Valeyard

      Re: Um....


      1. TonyJ Silver badge

        Re: Um....

        "...OH NO THEY'RE NOT!.."

        They're behind y...oh hang on...I mean have an upvote ;-)


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