Red Hat Nullifies Differences Between bash, csh

Fake News written by James Baughn on Wednesday, September 25, 2002

from the let-the-flame-wars-continue! dept.

In a move that has outraged some hard-core Linux users, Red Hat Software has revealed that future versions of the distribution will hide the differences between command-line user interfaces, creating a "more unified shell prompt experience".

"I don't mind if they rebrand and unify the GNOME and KDE interfaces," said one Linux longhair. "Frankly, I rarely use GUIs. But when they start messing with my CLI, then it's personal. I'm not going to sit here and let Red Hat infect my beloved tcsh with those annoying quirks from bash."

While a newbie Linux user might not be able to tell the difference between a csh and a sea shell, serious users don't want to relearn a whole new command-line interface. "I've memorized every nuance of bash," one old-timer said. "And here Red Hat comes along and combines features from bash, csh, ksh, and zsh and repackages it as 'rhash'. I'm not going to waste my time trying to figure out 'rhash' and get confused."

The nullified CLI isn't the only new feature that has upset some users. Red Hat has also rebranded vi and emacs to create two virtually identical text editors: "vimacs" and "emavics".

"We wanted to unify the text editing interface experience to help prevent confusion and solve maintenance headaches," Red Hat explained in a public statement. "Over the years, we've received nearly 1,000 technical support calls from people that have accidentally started vi and couldn't figure out how to do anything -- or even how to quit. By nullifying the differences between the two text editors, we were able to make vi more user friendly while trimming down the bloat from emacs. It's a win-win situation."

Typical users will be oblivious to this change unless they accidentally click on the emacs icons from their KDNOME desktop. Nevertheless, not everybody will accept this change without a fight. The head of the Emacs Flame War Re-enactment Society (a group that re-enacts the great Usenet emacs versus vi flames wars of the 20th Century) said, "Red Hat is destroying our cultural heritage! Emacs, vi, and bash are historical landmarks that should not be touched, rebranded, rewritten, or cleaned up for the benefit of lusers and PHBs too dense to understand the concept of 'insert mode'."

Industry observers don't expect that Red Hat will suffer any negative consequences from its controversial decisions. "Life-free geeks who care about this stuff all use Debian or Slackware anyway. This is yet another attempt to portray Red Hat as 'Redmond Hat' bent on the total Microsoftization of the Linux community, something that simply isn't going to happen -- at least not for a few more years..."

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