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Dave Smythe

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From: (peter da silva) Subject: Re: LINUX is obsolete Organization: Xenix Support, FICC Date: Thu, 6 Feb 1992 16:00:22 GMT   In article <1992Feb5.145630.759@wpi.WPI.EDU> entropy@wintermute.WPI.EDU (Lawrence C. Foard) writes: > Actually my main problem with OS theorists is that they have never tested > there ideas!   I beg to differ... there are many microkernel operating systems out there for everything from an 8088 (QNX) up to large research systems.   > None of these ideas (with a partial exception for MACH) has ever > seen the light of day. 32 bit home computers have been available for almost a > decade and Linus was the first person to ever write a working OS for them > that can be used without paying AT&T $100,000.   I must have been imagining AmigaOS, then. I've been using a figment of my imagination for the past 6 years.   AmigaOS is a microkernel message-passing design, with better response time and performance than any other readily available PC operating system: including MINIX, OS/2, Windows, MacOS, Linux, UNIX, and *certainly* MS-DOS.   The microkernel design has proven invaluable. Things like new file systems that are normally available only from the vendor are hobbyist products on the Amiga. Device drivers are simply shared libraries and tasks with specific entry points and message ports. So are file systems, the window system, and so on. It's a WONDERFUL design, and validates everything that people have been saying about microkernels. Yes, it takes more work to get them off the ground than a coroutine based macrokernel like UNIX, but the versatility pays you back many times over.   I really wish Andy would do a new MINIX based on what has been learned since the first release. The factoring of responsibilities in MINIX is fairly poor, but the basic concept is good.   > The general consensus that Micro kernels is the way to go means nothing when > a real application has never even run on one.   I'm dreaming again. I sure throught Deluxe Paint, Sculpt 3d, Photon Paint, Manx C, Manx SDB, Perfect Sound, Videoscape 3d, and the other programs I bought for my Amiga were "real". I'll have to send the damn things back now, I guess.   The availability of Linux is great. I'm delighted it exists. I'm sure that the macrokernel design is one reason it has been implemented so fast, and this is a valid reason to use macrokernels. BUT... this doesn't mean that microkernels are inherently slow, or simply research toys.

From: dsmythe@netcom.COM (Dave Smythe) Subject: Re: LINUX is obsolete Date: 10 Feb 92 07:08:22 GMT Organization: Netcom - Online Communication Services (408 241-9760 guest)   In article <1992Feb5.145630.759@wpi.WPI.EDU> entropy@wintermute.WPI.EDU (Lawrence C. Foard) writes: >Actually my main problem with OS theorists is that they have never tested >there ideas! None of these ideas (with a partial exception for MACH) has ever >seen the light of day.   David Cheriton (Prof. at Stanford, and author of the V system) said something similar to this in a class in distributed systems. Paraphrased:   "There are two kinds of researchers: those that have implemented something and those that have not. The latter will tell you that there are 142 ways of doing things and that there isn't consensus on which is best. The former will simply tell you that 141 of them don't work."   He really rips on the OSI-philes as well, for a similar reason. The Internet protocols are adapted only after having been in use for a period of time, preventing things from getting standardized that will never be implementable in a reasonable fashion. OSI adherents, on the other hand, seem intent on standardizing everything possible, including "escapes" from the standard, before a reasonable reference implementation exists. Consequently, you see obsolete ideas immortalized, such as sub-byte-level data field packing, which makes good performance difficult when your computer is drinking from a 10+ Gbs fire-hose :-).   Just my $.02   D

Best regards,

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