Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 15th May 2010 19:23 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes There's one complaint we here at OSNews get thrown in our faces quite often: what's up with the lack of, you know, operating system news on OSNews? Why so much mobile phone news? Why so much talk of H264, HTML5, and Flash? Where's the juicy news on tomorrow's operating systems? Since it's weekend, I might as well explain why things are the way they are. Hint: it has nothing to do with a lack of willingness.
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OSNews Is Great
by Mapou on Sat 15th May 2010 21:23 UTC
Mapou
Member since:
2006-05-09

I love OSNews because it is informative. If the OS landscape is no longer exciting, it is not the fault of OSNews. Besides, the most exciting thing going on right now is in mobile computing and OSNews is right to cover that segment. The problem is deeper than the lack of new OSes, however. The computer landscape is on the edge of a major transformation, one which will render all current OSes obsolete. The reason is that the industry is about to jump into massive parallelism, something that all current OSes are painfully lousy at.

What is needed is not more OSes but a new software model. Our current Turing-based model simply sucks. It is prone to bugs and was not designed with parallelism in mind. Worst of all is multithreading: it is the work of the devil. The future of parallel computing is non-algorithmic, deterministic, compositional and reactive at the instruction level. Heck, even our processors will need a drastic makeover because they were not designed and optimized for this sort of computing. Once we have the right parallel software model, everybody will build their own OSes, simply by clicking and dragging the desired functionality.

If you are truly interested in the future of computing read Parallel Computing: Why the Future Is Non-Algorithmic.
http://rebelscience.blogspot.com/2008/05/parallel-computing-why-fut... .

Edited 2010-05-15 21:39 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: OSNews Is Great
by vodoomoth on Sun 16th May 2010 15:21 in reply to "OSNews Is Great"
vodoomoth Member since:
2010-03-30

What is needed is not more OSes but a new software model. Our current Turing-based model simply sucks. It is prone to bugs and was not designed with parallelism in mind. Worst of all is multithreading: it is the work of the devil. The future of parallel computing is non-algorithmic, deterministic, compositional and reactive at the instruction level. Heck, even our processors will need a drastic makeover because they were not designed and optimized for this sort of computing. Once we have the right parallel software model, everybody will build their own OSes, simply by clicking and dragging the desired functionality.

If you are truly interested in the future of computing read Parallel Computing: Why the Future Is Non-Algorithmic.

Are you serious ? Do we put the same meaning into "algorithm" ? How can you word "deterministic" with "non-algorithmic" in the same sentence ? So parallel computing will be the "panacée", the Messiah of computing ? to the point of allowing anyone to build their own OS by dragging functionalities ? Wow! And where do those "functionalities" come from ? What's the system that allows the click&drag ? Wouldn't it be a computer of some kind ? Of which model, parallel or non-parallel ? And if parallel, how did it bootstrap if the current model is so sick ?

So instead of changing how OSes are built, we should change the computing paradigm to something that's so magical per se that it would cure all the current diseases of OSes ?

Sorry but this looks like telling stories I daydreamed while under influence in a French-English-alien language mumbo-jumbo mix.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: OSNews Is Great
by Mapou on Sun 16th May 2010 18:30 in reply to "RE: OSNews Is Great"
Mapou Member since:
2006-05-09

If you look carefully, you will notice that computers are already non-algorithmic to a large extent. A computer is not a Turing machine. Multithreading is both non-algorithmic and non-deterministic. Most so-called algorithmic functions in the real world routinely receive new input data while running. This is what destroys the determinism.

The Turing computing model has been a disaster to computing. As a result, we are faced with a nasty problem known as the parallel programming crisis. This is on top of the software reliability and productivity crises that have been wreaking havoc from the beginning. The Turing cult is the problem, not the solution.

And yes, there is a panacea that will cure all programming problems. It will open up computer programming to the masses. We just need to do things right and stop worshiping the Turing machine as God's gift to humanity. The boomer geek generation have shot computing in the foot. They've been doing it wrong from the start. They need to retire and let a new generation have their turn at the wheel.

Read "How to Solve the Parallel Programming Problem" if you're interested in the future of computing.

http://rebelscience.blogspot.com/2008/07/how-to-solve-parallel-prog...

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: OSNews Is Great
by shotsman on Sun 16th May 2010 18:19 in reply to "OSNews Is Great"
shotsman Member since:
2005-07-22

You raise some very interesting points.
I agree with you that the current Von Neiman/Turing models are getting close to their sell by date.
The arrival of massively parallel architectures will require a big change in our thinking. No more per CPU or per MIP licences! Hurrah.

Seriously, I think we will have to get away from the 1's & 0's mentality and embrace things like fuzzy logic systems or even biological computing to get us over the next (or maybe one more generation) big hurdle we face as we try to fulfill the dreams of SF writers of the past.

Think of the Jetsons TV Cartoon series. What sort of computing power would be needed to run such a society? IMHO, it would have to be very different from what we have available today.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: OSNews Is Great
by renox on Tue 18th May 2010 23:05 in reply to "OSNews Is Great"
renox Member since:
2005-07-06

Just in case it may help other: don't visit this blog, it's just a waste of time.
Grandiose claims such as re-inventing physic, programming, etc and of course all these claims are empty..

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: OSNews Is Great
by Mapou on Wed 19th May 2010 08:41 in reply to "RE: OSNews Is Great"
Mapou Member since:
2006-05-09

Just in case it may help other: don't visit this blog, it's just a waste of time.
Grandiose claims such as re-inventing physic, programming, etc and of course all these claims are empty..

Your opinion matters because of what, again?

Reply Parent Score: 1