Links from 2024-01-16

The Command Line In 2004

In July 2004 I found myself sitting alone in the dark, on the enclosed deck of a ferry boat oozing between fog-shrouded islands of the Alaskan coast. The scenery was haunting, but after the first three hours, I decided to occupy myself by finally reading Neal Stephenson’s essay about the command-line. Halfway through it I began crossing things out, and scribbling comments in the margin. The essay was five years old, and in dire need of a fresh perspective.

Months later, I learned that Stephenson himself was dissatisfied with the essay. He wrote that it, "is now badly obsolete and probably needs a thorough revision." An "Ask Slashdot" poll quoted him as saying, "I keep meaning to update it, but if I’m honest with myself, I have to say this is unlikely."

Though I have fleshed out my original comments into longer, more structured pieces, it is not my intention to replace or revise Neal Stephenson’s original writing. His original essay is a much more cohesive and entertaining read than my notes are. (He is a Writer, after all. I consider myself a code-monkey by comparison.) In fact, my notes do not hold together unless they use the original essay as a framework, and that’s why his entire essay is reproduced here, with my comments color-coded. And yes, I have sought and obtained permission from Neal to do this.

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„Leyrers Online Pamphlet“ ist die persönliche Website von mir, Martin Leyrer. Die hier veröffentlichten Beiträge spiegeln meine Ideen, Interessen, meinen Humor und fallweise auch mein Leben wider.
The postings on this site are my own and do not represent the positions, strategies or opinions of any former, current or future employer of mine.

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