A revisionist history of configuration management

Revisionist history has a rocky perception in the public imagination. But all it (should) refer to is a reexamination of the historical record in light of new or neglected historical information. Sometimes this is castigated as biased or politicized history, because it often bucks the norms of a given historical narrative. But if we realize that all history by its nature is a produced work, done through the lens of whatever age it is written, revisionism is most often defined as simply being written after the “canonical” work.

In that light, James offers us an entry, in the spirit of Allan Nevins, Charles A. Beard, and Kirkpatrick Sale, a revisionist history of configuration management.

The Technical Blog of James comments:

I’ve got a brand new core feature in mgmt called send/recv which I plan to show you shortly, but first I’d like to start with some background.


This is my historical perspective and interpretation about the last twenty years in configuration management. It’s likely inaccurate and slightly revisionist, but it should be correct enough to tell the design story that I want to share.

Image Credit: By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18306793

About the author

Rich Stroffolino

Rich has been a tech enthusiast since he first used the speech simulator on a Magnavox Odyssey². Current areas of interest include ZFS, the false hopes of memristors, and the oral history of Transmeta.

Leave a Comment