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Art of Unix Programming, The by Eric Steven Raymond

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5. Textuality: Good Protocols Make Good Practice

It’s a well-known fact that computing devices such as the abacus were invented thousands of years ago. But it’s not well known that the first use of a common computer protocol occurred in the Old Testament. This, of course, was when Moses aborted the Egyptians’ process with a control-sea.

rec.arts.comics, February 1992 —Tom Galloway

In this chapter, we’ll look at what the Unix tradition has to tell us about two different kinds of design that are closely related: the design of file formats for retaining application data in permanent storage, and the design of application protocols for passing data and commands between cooperating programs, possibly over a network.

What unifies these two kinds ...

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