Wednesday, 18 April, 2001

The Unix Haters Handbook

Written in 1994, The Unix Haters Handbook looks at the darker side of Unix:  security problems, sendmail problems, file system problems, The X Windows Disaster, and many other parts of Unix that give people no end of problems.  The authors are all Unix users who have come to loathe the operating system (a term they believe doesn't apply to Unix).  The book contains much commentary and is interspersed with mail messages that were sent to the UNIX-HATERS mailing list.

My understanding is that many of the problems discussed in the book have been fixed since the book was published, but others still exist in all flavors of Unix (including Linux and the BSDs).  After reading the book, I wonder if I really want anything to do with Linux or any other Unix knock-off.  But then I ask myself if Windows is any better.  I honestly don't know the answer to either question.

But the book is an entertaining read, and mostly informative.  Sure, the authors go on rants now and then but they do have valid points.  People working on Linux, BSDs, and any other flavor of Unix would be well served to ensure that the problems outlined in this book are solved.  I borrowed the copy that I read, but will probably end up buying the book.