Brain surgery: /usr/ccs tumor removed
By relling on Jun 25, 2007
Sometimes it just takes way too long to remove brain damage. Way back when Solaris 2.0 was forming, someone had the bright idea to move the C compilation system from /usr to /usr/ccs. I suppose the idea was that since you no longer had to compile the kernel, the C compiler no longer needed to be in the default user environment. I think the same gremlin also removed /usr/games entirely, another long-time staple. This move also coincided with the "planetization of Sun" idea, so the compilers were split off to become their own profit and loss center. IMHO, this is the single biggest reason gcc ever got any traction beyond VAXen. But I digress...
No matter what the real reasons were, and who was responsible (this was long before I started working at Sun), I am pleased to see that /usr/ccs is being removed. I've long been an advocate of the thought that useful applications should be in the default user environment. We should never expose our company organization structure in products, especially since we're apt to reorganize far more often than products change. IMHO, the /usr/ccs fiasco was exposing our customers to pain because of our organizational structure. Brain damage. Cancer. A bad thing.
I performed a study of field installed software a few years ago. It seems that Sun makes all sorts of software which nobody knows about because it is not installed by default, or is not installed into the default user environment. I'm very happy to see all of the positive activity in the OpenSolaris community to rectify this situation and make Solaris a better out of the box experience. We still have more work to do, but removing the cancerous brain damage that was /usr/ccs is a very good sign that we are moving in the right direction.