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antibogon: Orison





Editor's Note:
This is part of the "lost antibogon" series, published here in 2003.





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A Prayer for
  the Adopted MacChildren of UNIX

Standing here before the eyes of the Internet, I beseech thee, oh Lord, and do humbly beg the lord of the Internet to forgive the Adopted MacChildren of UNIX. Lord, I beg of you, forgive these children, and all other anti-unix zealots of the world, for they know not of what they speak.

Even as they cry out to be saved from the rolling thunderous storm of the Satan NT, yet they would cast the seeds of their salvation on the parched and rocky ground, and leave them to wither, and blow away, even as the storm rolls in over the land.

Forgive them, oh lord, for they know not the pains of administering networks of ten thousand or fifty thousand computers, scattered about a dozen or even hundreds of locations, all over the globe, and yet even as they sing the praise of the Internet, they see only one computer, that on their own desk.

Even as your choir sings the praises of scalability, and yet in the eye of their minds, they cannot see the darkness that would fall upon the land, should there be no alternative for adding users, and other chores, and that the GUI were the only path.

They know not the pain of administering PC or Mac mail systems in large environments, nor do they know of your blessed sendmail users with mail that "just works." They know not of the half-day delays routine on GroupWise networks. They know not of seamless integration of rich text, graphics, and sound, sent years ago to the chosen ones from above first as NeXTmail, then, in a weaker-spirit, as MIME. They know not of mail which vanishes from the face of the earth from Lotus Notes Mail. They know not the horror (Oh! the horror!) of Microsoft Mail, and the proliferation of dedicated PC MS-mail gateways, which must be daily rebooted, and otherwise tended closely by those humble servants, enslaved by the darkness.

Even as they witness the light of your great glory, they see, and yet see not the light of the savior which bows down, humbly, before them.

Even with eyes that see the evil of the PC, they know not the evil of proprietary ROM support for OS and application functions, and see not the beauty of a proper workstation ROM which supports network booting, hardware inspection, and network OS installs -- which is yet ignored by the running OS and invisible to running applications.

Even with ears that hear the beauty of a multimedia workstation, they hear not the cries of the poor, teeming masses which cannot afford a $500 or $1000 premium and would like to hear Rhapsody played on a PC. Nor do they hear the plea of those who want Apple to succeed, as they sing the virtues of the cross-platform OS technology from the meek and blessed NeXT.

Even with lips that taste the sweetness of a well-designed Human Interface, they taste not the even sweeter milk from the smooth breast of the NeXT Human Interface, and cannot feel the warmth of herbosom as she provides sustenance to enable, and yet not distract with a multitude of superfluous nipples. They have fallen to the sweet temptation of scrollbar buttons separated by acres of screenspace, they toil beneath the wicked shackles of horizontal menus, and Satan's imp, global menu bars. It is with the innocence of the unwashed babe that they cling to the nearest breast, the Finder, though the bosom of the mother of Angels, Rhapsody, calls to them with a still, soft voice.

Even as they sing songs beseeching their lord above for a sleek, reliable, and modern OS, they cannot see the ArchAngel Tevanian, sent directly in answer to their prayers, standing before them with a current, proven, and portable MachOS in his left hand, and blessed Mach research in his right hand. Yet they still cry out for NuKernel, and refuse to see the truth laid out bare, before them.

And among them, the loudest voices hide under bushels, and cry out loudly for the ArchAngel Tevanian to cast out your tools, and yet deliver unto them a solution this year, based on the golden calf of the mythical Copeland OS parts, which are not complete, have not been ported to other hardware, and which do not work seamlessly together in the dynamic way that you have shown us to be the Truth, and the Light, of Objective-C. They cry out for the MacOS GUI, even still they deny that Copeland was not to be the MacOS GUI. And still they clamber in the streets for NuKernel, which would not even still the waters of their need, even as you sound your Rhapsody.

Even with heavy hearts, weary from a decade of Print and Pray, yet they cry out in fear of Display PostScript, and clamber in the streets for QuickDraw GX.

Even with your immaculate conception of Internet technologies on UNIX, and on NeXTSTEP, WAIS, the Web, and HTML, yet they do not believe the miracle of the birth, though they have been to the well,and tasted deeply the water. The taste of the water to them is the taste of nothing -- to your blessed priests it is the taste of life.

Even with spirits that weep for the heaven-on-earth which they see in JAVA, yet they do not see the grace which is now theirs in Objective-C, and begrudge the small tithe that you ask, in one hourof reading and one day of practice, over C.

Though they cry out for a system which cannot be destroyed by the random acts of a two-year-old, nor crippled by a cat sauntering across the keyboard, yet they tremble in fear as the Angels above sing the praises of your multi-user OS.

Even with hymns that sing the conquest of NT, and yet they hear not the rustle of the harvest of UNIX, and begrudge the priesthood who work your miracles for them daily sowing the seeds of your heaven-on-network, through your most humble and precious servant, the CLI.

They know not the power of the Satan NT, and would emasculate your humble servant, UNIX, before marching forward to Armageddon. Please,lord, forgive them. They have eyes, but they cannot see.

As it was in the beginning, is now, and shall ever be, UNIX WithoutEnd. For Thine is the Kingdom's API, and the PowerMac, and the MachOS Forever.

Amen.


Gary Longsine is CEO of illumineX, inc., a consulting firm specializing in Java & WebObjects development, and an irregular columnist for Stepwise. All of his opinions, substantiated and otherwise, are his own, and coincide with the opinions of others merely by coincidence.
© 1996-2003 - Gary W. Longsine. All rights reserved.