Linked by Eugenia Loli on Mon 27th Aug 2001 05:22 UTC
Syllable, AtheOS AtheOS is a modern, free (GPLed) Operating System written from scratch in C++. A big chunk of the OS is POSIX compliant, supports multiprocessing and it is GUI-oriented (fully OOP). Today we are hosting an interesting interview with the AtheOS creator, Kurt Skauen. Kurt is talking about his views on binary compatibility in future versions, multithreading and the future of his OS in general.
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Re : multithreading
by Jean-Baptiste Queru on Sun 2nd Sep 2001 00:21 UTC

Hi Kurt, thanks for the informative post. On the server side, I don't see why multithreading should not be used, especially if/when it makes sense. After all, I don't see why a multithreaded server would have any impact on the number of threads a developer might have to deal with on the client-side. Furthermore, part of the graphics server will be CPU-consuming tasks, for which threads are an obvious remedy (it is well-known that you don't want to perform time-consuming tasks in a thread that's also used to dispatch messages). Could you describe the architecture of ABrowse in a bit more detail? When you mean "essentially single-threaded", what do you mean? Do you mean that you run all the windows in the same thread, or that part of the HTML engine is protected by a giant lock. Do you also mean that the HTML engine is called into synchronously as a response to getting certain messages. If that's the case, the real problem isn't with the number of threads that run message loops, it is the fact that window message loops are asked to do some processing, and that message dispatching is slowed down by that processing. A good architecture would be to have one master message loop taking care of the "small" tasks, and one slave thread calling into the engine. That'll give you enough responsiveness. Hearing an OS developer being reluctant to make it easier for application writers to write certain kinds of applications makes me shiver. That's in my opinion the last kind of thought that an OS developer should have. --jbq