Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 9th May 2006 21:25 UTC, submitted by luzr
OSNews, Generic OSes Torvalds has indeed chimed in on the micro vs. monolithic kernel debate. Going all 1992, he says: "The whole 'microkernels are simpler' argument is just bull, and it is clearly shown to be bull by the fact that whenever you compare the speed of development of a microkernel and a traditional kernel, the traditional kernel wins. The whole argument that microkernels are somehow 'more secure' or 'more stable' is also total crap. The fact that each individual piece is simple and secure does not make the aggregate either simple or secure. And the argument that you can 'just reload' a failed service and not take the whole system down is equally flawed." My take: While I am not qualified to reply to Linus, there is one thing I want to say: just because it is difficult to program, does not make it the worse design.
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> Honestly, this whole discussion of signal-based
> computing seems quite reminiscent of the dicussions
> in Functional programming (although FP does not
> explicitly use signals, the effect seems similar, as
> are the claims to "software correctness"). The main
> difference being that the functional programming guys
> actually have tons of working software out there. What
> are the parallels and differences between your
> concepts and those of the functional programming (eg.
> the Lisp machine)?

"signal based" programming is not related to functional
programming, but rather object-oriented programming
(what he says sounds like message passing programming
to me), while functions should always be valid
messages, they aren't stateful in fp, so his "reactive"
paradigm is based on explicit use of side effects.

Furthermore, as you stated, (and in my personal
experience) functional programming has real software
to show it's merits, even when it isn't purely
functional, or is written in "impure" langauges such
as scheme and sml, as referential transparency on
various levels of the program makes it much easier to
reason about the code.

I hope that fp advocates don't appear dogmatic, because
many of the benefits are very practical and result in
code that is pleasant for me to read.

I should also note that most Lisp advocates advocate
dynamic programming and code=data much more strongly
than functional programming. (not that either are
contradictory with functional programming, the language
Joy has all three qualities) From the common lisp code
that I have seen, most use state extensively throughout
the program (though it is not difficult to write
functional code in the language). In the case of
Scheme, there is a lot more functional code written
in it, but it isn't purely functional either.

Similarly, it is quite possible to write functional
code in most garbage-collected languages, such as Perl
and Python. "Higher Order Perl" is a good resource for

Edited 2006-05-10 22:50

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