Rootless Root: The Unix Koans of Master Foo
While working on The Art of Unix Programming, I became aware of a fascinating archeological discovery — the recovery of the lost teachings of an ancient Unix master…
The discovery of the collection of koans known as the Rootless Root, apparently preserved for decades in the dry upper air of the Western Mountains, has ignited great controversy in scholarly circles. Are these authentic documents shedding new light on the teaching of the early Unix patriarchs? Or are they clever pastiches from a later age, commanding the authority of semi-mythical figures such as the Patriarchs Thompson, Ritchie and McIlroy for doctrines which evolved closer to our own era?
It is impossible to say for certain. All sides in the dispute have made much of an alleged similarity to that venerable classic, The Tao of Programming. But Rootless Root is quite different in tone and style from the loose, poetic anecdotes of the James translation, focused as it is on the remarkable and enigmatic figure of Master Foo.