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The Art of Unix Programming
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Unix Programming - What Unix Gets Right - Cross-Platform Portability and Open Standards

Cross-Platform Portability and Open Standards

Unix is still the only operating system that can present a consistent, documented application programming interface (API) across a heterogeneous mix of computers, vendors, and special-purpose hardware. It is the only operating system that can scale from embedded chips and handhelds, up through desktop machines, through servers, and all the way to special-purpose number-crunching behemoths and database back ends.

The Unix API is the closest thing to a hardware-independent standard for writing truly portable software that exists. It is no accident that what the IEEE originally called the Portable Operating System Standard quickly got a suffix added to its acronym and became POSIX. A Unix-equivalent API was the only credible model for such a standard.

Binary-only applications for other operating systems die with their birth environments, but Unix sources are forever. Forever, at least, given a Unix technical culture that polishes and maintains them across decades.


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The Art of Unix Programming
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