Unix philosophy

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I link to this so much it'd actually be good to have my own version. This is taken from the OLD wiki page here which I STILL link to! Eric S. Raymond was/is one of my heroes but I did loose a tiny bit of awe/respect when I saw him trolling on the GCC mailing list once!

Eric S. Raymond

  1. Rule of Modularity[1] - write simple parts connected by clean interfaces
  2. Rule of Clarity[1] - Clarity is better than cleverness
  3. Rule of Composition[1] - Design programs to be connected to other programs
  4. Rule of Separation[1] - Separate policy from mechanism, separate interface from engines
  5. Rule of Simplicity[1] - Design for simplicity; add complexity only when you must
  6. Rule of Parsimony[1] - Write a big program only when it is clear by demonstration that nothing else will do
  7. Rule of Transparency[1] - Design for visibility to make inspection and debugging easier
  8. Rule of Robustness[1] - Robustness is the child of transparency and simplicity
  9. Rule of Representation[1] - Fold knowledge into data so program logic can be stupid and robust
  10. Rule of Least Surprise[1] - In interface design, always do the least surprising thing
  11. Rule of Silence[1] - When a program has nothing surprising to say it should say nothing
  12. Rule of Repair[1] - When you must fail, do so noisily and as soon as possible
  13. Rule of Economy[1] - Programmer time is expensive, conserve it in preference to machine time
  14. Rule of Generation[1] - Avoid hand-hacking; write programs to write programs when you can
  15. Rule of Optimisation[1] - Prototype before polishing. Get it working before you optimise it
  16. Rule of Diversity[1] - Distrust all claims for "one true way"
  17. Rule of Extensibility[1] - Design for the future, because it will be here sooner than you think



  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 The Art of Unix Programming - Eric S. Raymond