[Ffmpeg-devel] One fascinating read

Måns Rullgård mru
Thu Apr 27 01:49:04 CEST 2006

Roman Shaposhnick <rvs at sun.com> writes:

> And to think some of us dared to call glibc bloated:
>     http://udrepper.livejournal.com/7326.html

He has some good technical points, but they are unfortunately, as
usual, largely obscured by political statements.  The points he makes
are, however, mostly valid for system level programming, i.e. OS, C
runtime library and the like.  At the application level, things get a
bit different.  There are many situations where you may be tied to
some particular operating system (not necessarily a bad one, just a
non-Linux one), and being able to run some specific application is
very useful.  Indeed, one of the purposes of operating systems is to
hide the specifics of the hardware, presenting a uniform interface for
applications to be built on top of.  In the Unix world, a tradition
has evolved of defining system interfaces separately from their
implementations (even if the history is all but tidy).  It would be
foolish to abandon this now.

When he talks about configuration, Drepper is again mostly focused on
low-level things.  A good operating system or C library will cope with
diverse situations, in each case performing (close to) optimally,
without need for manual configuration.  This is only possible because,
at this level, optimal performance is very well defined, typically as
getting the job done as fast as possible.  This is not the case for
most applications, especially not interactive ones.  One cannot say
that blue borders around windows are better than red It is simply a
matter of personal preference.  In this case letting the user choose
is the right thing to do.  The risk of something breaking, if a
particular shade of green is chosen, appears to be negligible.

I completely agree with Drepper that there is no reason whatsoever for
going out of one's way to support inferior systems like mswindows.

M?ns Rullg?rd
mru at inprovide.com

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