Re: [dwm] Tell that your students...

From: Anselm R. Garbe <>
Date: Sun, 4 Nov 2007 13:57:02 +0100

On Sun, Nov 04, 2007 at 01:41:37PM +0100, Anselm R. Garbe wrote:
> On Sun, Nov 04, 2007 at 12:48:11PM +0100, Maarten Maathuis wrote:
> > One of the problems i would see with making a completely new operating
> > system is all the device drivers that have to be made or ported, that
> > alone makes it a daunting challenge. 20 years ago the amount of
> > devices that existed (relevant for a general purpose OS) were limited,
> > there is also the question of how much will be gained from such a new
> > operation system?
> Hmm, I think it is all about interfaces. If the interface is
> simple and general purpose, it might be trivial to adapt device
> drivers. For instance, I believe that a simple interface will
> enable us to reuse existing drivers for Windows Vista or Linux,
> what might be necessary is an interface stub implementation for
> Windows, for Linux etc. to reuse those drivers.
> > Writing a new userland is out of the question, so you'd be strictly
> > looking at a new kernel to replace either the linux or bsd kernel.
> Nah, I think if you stuck to the Unix/Linux/Plan9 userland, than
> the whole idea of writing a new OS gets irrelevant. I believe
> the challenge is to find a completely new and different OS
> design, esp. from a userland perspective. Otherwise all design
> decisions will be similiar to what Unix did decades ago.
> > I have few issues with the linux, i do not know bsd or any other unix
> > like operating system. But what could be gained from the massive work
> > to make a new kernel?
> Nothing, I understand Pikes paper as request for something new,
> that is neither Unix nor Plan 9/Inferno (though the latter ones
> come with really great general purpose concepts). I won't think
> about a new OS to replace anything existing, I think about an OS
> which is so different (hence new) as a demo only, that it might
> show up as a promise for something in the future. It would be
> enough if such an demo OS would make a specific but rather
> limited thing easy to use, like a digital camera, a mobile
> phone, or something else. I believe for a small community and
> project, there are not enough resources to attempt replacing an
> existing full-featured Windows or Unix OS.

Having said that, I think a new OS might also depend on
completely new devices. Imagine that screens get replaced by
headsets + eyeglasses sets or in cars with showing the UI up in
the windscreen. Think of something like a mind-controlling
input device for a user interface - and hence the impacts to
the OS design with such things in mind...

So a new OS should include some sci-fi ideas.


 Anselm R. Garbe >< >< GPG key: 0D73F361
Received on Sun Nov 04 2007 - 13:57:02 UTC

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