Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 3rd Nov 2008 19:25 UTC
Windows Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference might be over, but that doesn't mean news about Windows 7 suddenly stops coming in. We have news for you on the elusive MinWin kernel, which created a sort of crazy hype a year ago, and Rafael Rivera found a way to enable the new taskbar on the pre-beta build handed out to PDC attendees. This build, carrying number 6801, didn't have the latest taskbar revamp - you needed a newer build for that, build 6933, which hasn't been released to the public.
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OS Archaeology
by joshv on Tue 4th Nov 2008 13:12 UTC
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It struck me, listening to Russinovich, the degree to which the kernel term had to resort to what is effectively OS archaeology - uncovering and documenting the structures that are present, rather taking a top down design approach. To create things like MinWin, the kernel team has had to do a deep dependency analysis, revealing a massive hairball of dependencies that don't easily decompose into neatly separable layers, and then nudge system calls around to retroactively impose structure. The Windows kernel does not appear to be an onion, it's more like an omelet.

Perhaps this is just something that happens when a project gets this complex, but one wonders if perhaps things got a little out of hand in Redmond. There appears to have been no overarching design process in the kernel, at least in the last decade. Hopefully they will do a little better job in the future.

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