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Unixtree in text mode

Posted By: john hrdo <>
Date: Nov-25-2001 10:50 a.m.

Hello XFP,

Unixtree differs from Xtree in a couple of points
but then unfortunately in a nasty way.

Well known is the fact that it uses F3/F4 instead
of ctrl/alt. This is, however, settled in the last
graphic version under X. It persists for the text
console. Here I refer only to the console.

Why is the problem there? Because Unix programmers
used to cater for the minimum common denominator
and made a fetish of portability. An embarrassing
example of this tendency is the Unixtree version
for win32: try it out and you will not understand
how a top programmer would degrade himself to such
a shamble.

Can Unixtree get closer to Xtree even in the text
console? Yes, it can.

First, note that the millions of Unix users are
actually Linux users and they are running a x86
machine (as single users, not a network with a

Second, the major Unix flavours (Solaris, Caldera-
SCO, IBM-AIX and HP-UX) have now or are about to
get a Linux compatibility layer. As soon as HP and
Compaq merge you can add Compaq (i.e. DEC) Ultrix
to the list.

Third, the remaining Unix variants (other
processor, other kernel) are not significant in
terms of users. And anyway, these are advanced
users who can help themselves. They are likely to
be running on a network and can ask for support
from professionals.

My conclusion is that text mode Unixtree should
focus on the Linux console for x86 machines. At
that moment, it would be easy to introduce platform
specific features (like testing for the shift
status of Shft/Ctr/Alt) and achieve Xtree comfort.

I'll save for a future post the other major
Unixtree oddity: logging and tree.

For the moment being I am appealing to Rob for a
re-orientation: be so kind, move future version of
Unixtree to x86-Linux and take advantage of
specific features on this platform. Forget the
fetish of universal portability: you would be
porting to 90% of Unix users, more than enough.

Also please, if you dislike GNU configure/makefile
please document your compile scripts or introduce
options. Why does the last version of Unixtree not
compile if X is not installed? I do not want to
install X, I am happy with the console and I only
need Unixtree for the console. But no, it does not
compile if it does not find X.



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