Linked by Eugenia Loli on Wed 20th Aug 2003 18:44 UTC, submitted by Kelly Samel
Morphos This is a review of the recently released version 1.4 of MorphOS running on the Pegasos computer system written by Kelly Samel of Emerald Imaging.
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by - GALAXY - on Thu 21st Aug 2003 16:18 UTC

"But why clone an entire operating system?"

This question is far easy to answer while agree'ing to most of your points on the otherhand. The entire Amiga System it's OS and philosophy is around 20 years old now. Any many people who used the Amiga and who disappeared for using another OS still say that there is nothing better than the AmigaOS that they have used. So from pratical experience to say many people still love the AmigaOS and those who disappeared still say the same. They went from one system to another and never found themselves fit on these systems because they all have quite some disadvantages.

That also was the intention for the MorphOS people to code their OS. It's not a 'clone' as you would say because this implies that the OS would be copied 1:1 and the same old disadvantages would have been taken as well.

No the decision to write MorphOS (as I have read it) was that the original AmigaOS (Kick 3.1/WB 3.1) finally reached a point where it made no sense to continue using it the way it was. There were a few things that caused problems like the hardware banging pieces, the assembly writen pieses and so on. This doesn't mean that the OS itself from usability was bad but some technical aspects wasn't time conform anymore.

And there was also the soap opera between a bunch of companies and licensing issues and childish behaviour that gave the developers some reason to start again from scratch rather than hacking around on old sources and waste to much time. You know writing from scratch is better and mostly easier for some developer.

Now all began with AROS some years back as first Operating System of AMIGA's nature. It was called the Amiga Research Operating System made by some hackers around the globe as researching object who developed on it and so on. A few years later MorphOS was born (I don't know exactly how it has shown it's light) and MorphOS aim was to be THE official Amiga Operating System because of the problems I have described earlier. Hardware banging and so on. But due all this soap opera and the new legitimate owners of AmigaINC they have licensed the old AmigaOS (Kickstart and Workbench) to Hyperion Entertainment who are now doing the same thing themselves. They have rewritten a bunch of parts from the old Assembler code to new C code and so on. Basically we have 3 groups now with the same aim. To offer a modern Operating System to the public in the means of AmigaOS mostly written by Amigans, so you deal with people who know about the stuff they are working.

So AROS is the oldest open source Operating System that tries to behave like an Amiga on a totally different plattfrom totally newly written from scratch but it's development is quite slow. You know it's always the same problem. People have no time and if you don't get paid for your work then it mostly sucks. Thus volunteer work goes on slowly. But it does go on.

MorphOS shares a few lines of code with AROS which I call a wise thing because they re-use already written components and thus the MorphOS team gives a lot of their stuff back to the AROS people who are slowly implementing these fixes to AROS. MorphOS is a commercial OS and closed because it should be sold with Pegasos PowerPC and there are a lot of powerful people working on it who also get paid for their work. It's belivable that MorphOS is quite mature and usable these days completely written from scratch with new ideas new ways and better implementations. It's a lot more mature than AROS which is clear due the paid developers.

AmigaOS is bascially the last child in this row. Sure AmigaOS was the first of it's all because of 20 years it has on it's back but as I said it had a lot of machine written parts in it (Assembly) and was hardware banging. But AmigaINC felt the need to license it to Hyperion Entertainment who now took over the code and imporved it, they said that they re-placed only necessary parts from original MC680x0 Machine language to C and the rest should get emulated. They polished a lot around it and so on and no doubt enchanced a bunch of parts but it's still fact that it contains a lot of native assembly code in it. And replacing all this will require a lot of time.

Why is there so much efforts being spent into this ? Because people love the Amiga, many people even on Windows, Linux or BSD or whatever found their roots back in the former Amiga times, they lost hope 10 years ago when Commodore went bancrupt and switched to alternative systems but now with this refreshing new systems such as PowerPC and the 3 different OS's AmigaOS, MorphOS and AROS we can now see a nice future again because we could finally say 'wow they made their switch to PowerPC finally' the same way like Apple did many years ago, no old hardware vs. new hardware symbiosis anymore it's a native new hardware plattform with reasonable prices. I tend myself to pay 299 Euro for a PowerPC rather than 1000 Euro for old aged Amiga native hardware. Of course the new Systems have nothing much in common with the former Amiga Systems but on the otherhand it was about time to make a final cut under it and go a new better and furure promising way. And we now have serious competition (AmigaINC, Hyperion, Eyetech) vs. (Genesi, bPlan, Thendic) and if all ropes cut then we still have AROS to run our stuff on. Competition is necessary because Amiga slept for many years. Competition and slight fire will heat conversation and bring up new techology even faster. Competition will make an OS become better faster, more ports of thirdparty apps and many more.

So basically it continues....