20. Futures: Dangers and Opportunities

The best way to predict the future is to invent it.

Uttered during a 1971 meeting at XEROX PARC —Alan Kay

History is not over. Unix will continue to grow and change. The community and the tradition around Unix will continue to evolve. Trying to forecast the future is a chancy business, but we can perhaps anticipate it in two ways: first, by looking at how Unix has coped with design challenges in the past; second, by identifying problems that are looking for solutions and opportunities waiting to be exploited.

20.1 Essence and Accident in Unix Tradition

To understand how Unix’s design might change in the future, we can start by looking at how Unix programming style has changed over time in the past. ...

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