Category talk:Operating Systems

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Latest comment: 14 years ago by Short Circuit in topic Unix-Like Subcategory?

Unix-Like Subcategory?

Might it be worthwhile to add a "Unix-like" subcategory? The majority of OSs in use today (counting the number of systems available, not the number actually in use) are Unix-like to some degree:

...while the non-*nix systems (notably Windows) are in the minority (though with a majority of users).

Such a subcategory could be either a Good Thing or a Bad Thing. One Good Thing could be more precise grouping, allowing readers to see that some systems are more similar than others. Some Bad Things would be increased complexity, the need to edit all *nix pages to reflect the new cat, and perhaps a general "WTF?" from people that are truly unfamiliar with *nix systems. (The fact that I thought of 3x more Bad Things than Good Things in ten seconds is one of the reasons why I hesitate.)

Alternately, perhaps just a "Unix-like" page that explains what it is to be Unix-like, with appropriate links here-n-there (i.e. some of the more common *nix systems, POSIX, a few wp links for seasoning...) -- Eriksiers 22:51, 30 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Not that big of a problem, really. First, categories aren't mutually exclusive. You could move all of the members into "Operating Systems/All" and then tag them with additional categories like "Operating Systems/UNIX-like", "Operating Systems/VMS-like", "Operating Systems/DOS-like" as desired. Though if you wanted to do that, I'd suggest a requirement that a rationale or explanation be included in-page for, e.g. Windows 95. --Michael Mol 01:19, 31 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The thing is, "Unix-like" covers a pretty wide variety of systems, many (most?) of which don't actually call themselves *nix systems (e.g. I don't remember Be Inc. ever actually referring to BeOS as Unix-like), while, for example, with DOS, there's not really such a thing as "DOS-like" -- if it's like DOS, it generally is DOS. (FreeDOS doesn't call itself "DOS-like", it's just another DOS.)
Probably this isn't worth doing as I first thought of it, but perhaps the various *nix pages could have some reference to their being Unix-like. (For example, the Linux page already says it's "similar to UNIX".)
Or maybe I just didn't think this one all the way through... [shrug] -- Eriksiers 03:37, 1 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That's why requiring the rationale on-page is important. Given enough samples, the issue of what makes something "UNIX-like" in contributors' minds could be broken out into the individual or combinations of feature; A sort of iterative analysis that leads to better organization and categorization. --Michael Mol 17:30, 1 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You would have to treat POSIX compliance carefully, as some versions of Windows add POSIX features, and the idea might be to separate Unix-like, from Windows. --Paddy3118 04:36, 31 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You can add POSIX features to any version of Windows you want, but I don't think anyone's gonna call Windows "Unix-like". ;-)
If my suggestion is carried out -- and it might not be a Good Thing, dunno -- there would have to be some clarifying text explaining the diff between "Unix-like" and "POSIX-compliant". -- Eriksiers 03:37, 1 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
And the difference between "POSIX-compliant" and "implements POSIX component X". A system might support rules related to filesystems, but not to threads, for example.
As for whether or not it's a good idea, the only way to know for certain is to try. --Michael Mol 17:30, 1 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]