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Plan 9

Plan 9 (from Bell Labs, reference to the movie Plan 9 from Outer Space) is a research operating system, now FOSS, that was started by many of the original Unix developers as the next project of this kind, i.e. kind of a "new and updated Unix". It works with Unix philosophy (minimalist software philosophy) but tries to expand and modify it so as to fit "new/evolved" computers -- though Plan 9 developers claim the system is "more Unix than Unix itself", the validity of such claim is questionable as Plan 9 brings in a more complicated paradigm of distributed computing, dependencies (such as requiring GUI and mouse) and therefore bloat (though still being super minimal compared to mainstream operating systems). Besides the original Plan 9, which is apparently dead now, there exist active forks such as 9front.

On one hand Plan 9 sounds good and its idealism is admirable, nevertheless Plan 9 is SHIT due to the following fact: it requires what isn't necessary, for example GUI, mouse, file system and networking and forces computers and users to be certain way. This is absolutely unforgivable and violates the basic premise of good, freedom offering, minimalist nondiscriminatory software; in fact it violates the Unix philosophy which it is supposed to be building on top of -- an operating system should do one thing well: that of offering and environment for programs and their resources, user interface is a nontrivial extra task that should be separated. If you ask how to use Plan 9 without a mouse, the fans respond with telling you how stupid you are for not wanting to use mouse ("here is a study that says mice are better than keyboards: checkmate!") and that using mouse is actually what you want (hey bro, everyone's using a mouse, just accept it) -- they try to force a specific way of how computers should be and how they should be operated, just as Microsoft and Apple, without taking into account that computers can (and should be allowed to) be wildly different, very small, with tiny displays (or no displays at all), with no pointing devices (game consoles, voice operated computers, ...) etc. Sure, it may be possible to make the system work without a mouse or GUI, but these concepts form the very basis of the code and its philosophy, they will be carried as a dead weight if you're not using them and you will probably encounter great issues such as many programs simply relying on the existence of GUI and mouse and not working without them. The philosophy is similar to that of "smart" devices which assume that "Internet is everywhere" and so "let's put Internet into everything", even things that don't need any Internet at all (like hammers and teaspoons), and by the way they will no longer work without Internet (let's hope it doesn't go down lol). In this way Plan 9 is a dictatorship and we don't approve of it.

{ To plan 9 fans: please let me know if I misunderstand the concepts somehow, but this is how I understand the system. Beware however that trying to convince me to simply conform with your way of computing will lead nowhere. ~drummyfish }

Plan9's mascot, Glenda, is proprietary (as of february 2023), despite it having been uploaded to Wikimedia Commons lol. No license to be seen on its website.

TODO: some more shite like history and the actual basic concepts?

All content available under CC0 1.0 (public domain). Send comments and corrections to drummyfish at disroot dot org.