Linked by Kaj de Vos on Tue 8th Jun 2010 22:07 UTC
Syllable, AtheOS

The Syllable project is pleased to announce that the reports of its death have been greatly exaggerated, and that the new version 0.4 of Syllable Server has been released. This release focuses on maturing existing functionality, improving security, ongoing system restructuring, and making the system a suitable base for third-party package managers. Although the project admits it hasn't brought its unicorn factory online yet, extensive work was done on the nitty-gritty, so the full change log is quite long.

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RE[3]: Cool, I guess...
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 9th Jun 2010 11:44 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Cool, I guess..."
Thom_Holwerda
Member since:
2005-06-29

Troll or no, he is right. Despite the claims, Syllable-desktop is pretty much dead. Development has come to a halt. It's harsh, but the truth. Syllable-server, distinctive as it may be, is still Linux. It's not Syllable.

Calling him a troll will not magically make development on Syllable happen, you know.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[4]: Cool, I guess...
by Kaj-de-Vos on Wed 9th Jun 2010 11:52 in reply to "RE[3]: Cool, I guess..."
Kaj-de-Vos Member since:
2010-06-09

Declaring Syllable dead is not magically going to make it so, either. I submit that the truth is in the middle, as it always is. And what else would people expect from an ambitious, long-term volunteer project? Especially if they decide to obstruct it instead of help.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: Cool, I guess...
by tails92 on Wed 9th Jun 2010 13:05 in reply to "RE[4]: Cool, I guess..."
tails92 Member since:
2007-10-07

Kaj-De-Vos, cipri is right, and calling him a troll is wrong. I stopped caring about Syllable (which I installed twice just for kicks) after the moment they announced Syllable Server based on a Linux kernel. That stabbed the project badly, as people who wanted to develop on Syllable simply felt it wasn't worth it, and people who wanted a Linux-kernel based server OS simply used something else more familiar, conventional and supported.

It does no good for an aspiring operating system to split in two like Win9x and WinNT. It just drains very needed resources. A server is just a computer which runs server programs on a normal operating system, it is not, I repeat not, anything special which requires an ad-hoc operating system. And people who wanted to make Syllable more responsible were put off due to the Server version (the "Desktop" kernel just isn't worth it for server usage, they understood).

AtheOS was pretty good already back in the day and Syllable did not need much to become a good operating system for day-to-day use.

It is sad that Vanders and the other developers on board have never been able to understand this simple fact. As much as one may think other operating systems are dead, they have more potential than your Syllable project which unlikely, if ever, will attract much attention again.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Cool, I guess...
by Neolander on Wed 9th Jun 2010 15:24 in reply to "RE[3]: Cool, I guess..."
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Caution : this post includes pure OT

http://www.somesingawful.com/grawl/screenshots/upload/34ed0c2078c9f...

Sorry, had to put that somewhere in OSnews =p

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: Cool, I guess...
by Kaj-de-Vos on Wed 9th Jun 2010 15:57 in reply to "RE[4]: Cool, I guess..."
Kaj-de-Vos Member since:
2010-06-09

Cool. :-) And not off topic.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: Cool, I guess...
by zizban on Wed 9th Jun 2010 16:12 in reply to "RE[3]: Cool, I guess..."
zizban Member since:
2005-07-06

I have to agree with this. Syllable seems to be stagnant. I visit the web site and before the server announcement the most recent news was six months old.

I like Syllable (I helped choose the logo) but progress is so slow that when they make a release, it surprises me that they are still around.

I have always said that part of the problem with Syllable is that the developers don't eat their dog food. Do any of the Syllable developers use Syllable as their primary OS? I have a hard time believing that they do because if they did, they would see how much is left to be done.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[5]: Cool, I guess...
by Kaj-de-Vos on Wed 9th Jun 2010 19:40 in reply to "RE[4]: Cool, I guess..."
Kaj-de-Vos Member since:
2010-06-09

I have to agree with this. Syllable seems to be stagnant. I visit the web site and before the server announcement the most recent news was six months old.


The keyword here is "seems", and an amount of exaggeration. People have very fixed obsessions (I don't mean to single you out). People surf the web all the time, so they tend to take website news items as the measure of all things, but really, this is very superficial. There are many channels through which things happen in a software project, and we make them publicly available, but few people bother to consult them. That would be fine, but people still tend to form opinions that are much stronger than warranted based on the limited information they are willing to consider. And then once they have formed an opinion, they tend to magnify it and discard opposing new information. Our news item from before Server 0.4 was halfway January, and it's now early June, so there were four and a half months between them, not six.

I like Syllable (I helped choose the logo) but progress is so slow that when they make a release, it surprises me that they are still around.


This happens when you measure a software development project by its news releases. The news slowdown you talk about was exactly caused by the frantic work to produce Server 0.4. Surely one can complain that we should publish more than we already do, but we're a software development project, not a news production project. We have to set the right priorities with the extremely limited resources we have.

Yet, we spend a large amount of our time on communication, and the larger slowdown in both Syllable Desktop and Server releases was caused by a necessary shift of focus to our communication and management systems, in particular the development of my CMS. When you have those extremely limited resources that we do, a strategic hopping between goals means that you can't develop all goals equally at all times. But as I said, people seem to be obsessed, so they refuse to see our strategy when they feel that their pet item they chose from it gets neglected.

I have always said that part of the problem with Syllable is that the developers don't eat their dog food. Do any of the Syllable developers use Syllable as their primary OS? I have a hard time believing that they do because if they did, they would see how much is left to be done.


This is a very good question. First I would like to point out that an earlier post in this thread accuses us of the reverse: that AtheOS and Syllable were almost production ready years ago, and that we somehow failed to see that and finish it. Do you see how we can't win this? It has always been the case that people who know very little about our project have voiced strong opinions that we should do it very differently, that were completely contradictory.

Personally, I used Syllable Desktop a lot in the early years, because I developed the build system. I was the heaviest Syllable user, because I routinely built the complete system on itself. Doing that, I was the first to run into some bugs, and the blockers were fixed because of that. I was still running Windows 2000 at the time, and I also used Syllable for all Unixy things I couldn't do on Windows. It was also my favourite web browsing platform, because ABrowse was good with the KHTML engine, and for a time it had the best font rendering of all platforms, period.

I devised a personal plan to migrate to better systems, but to get rid of Windows, I needed to migrate to Linux first due to the lack of applications and stability on Syllable. It was also clear that this would be a many-years strategy. It was a major disruption, but eventually I managed to ditch Windows for Ubuntu. I noticed a side effect: that I was also moving from Syllable to Ubuntu, because it had most of the tools that I had learned to use in the friendlier environment of Syllable.

My Linux migration was after the many years of distro hopping that most people go through, and like I consider Windows 2000 the only acceptable incarnation of Windows there ever was, Ubuntu never felt more than a stopgap and grew into a similar juggernaut as other systems. So after a decade, my Syllable migration plan is still in effect, and there are also still blockers. Several years ago, we launched Syllable Server as our strategy to force a migration path.

The reason the previous Server release was almost two years ago is that I made that version with the goal to be usable, and it was, as a server. We have been developing and running a series of web sites on it. I improved the security along the way, but other than that, it just worked and there was no pressing reason to produce a new version.

The current release is the next step in our strategic plan. I can tell you that it has allowed us to ditch all other Linux distros from our systems in the past few months, including our desktops, laptops and servers. The result is not yet suitable for publication, so we use it internally, but it is a major step towards eating our own dog food.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: Cool, I guess...
by cipri on Sat 12th Jun 2010 12:37 in reply to "RE[3]: Cool, I guess..."
cipri Member since:
2007-02-15

Thom,
I remember how much I like, even today, to read the interviews that osnews made with Kurt Skauen (atheos) and Vanders (made by Eugenia).
Could Osnews make again such an interview with Vanders?
I'm sure I'm not the only one being curious about the current state of Syllable. For example some questions could be:

1) Is it true, that now Syllable has two leaders?

(Because on various pages, kaj is calling himself a co-leader, that means, syllable must have now two leaders, and I don't know when kaj was elected as a leader. Or he elected himself as the leader? )

2)How many hours does he (vanders) spend on concrete syllable development.

3) What are the main parts of the system, he is working on now at the moment.

4) Why is syllable very successful?
(I have that question, because in another thread, kaj was telling that syllable is very successful, but we just can't see it)

5) What are his plans related to REBOL?
(Because some years, ago, Vanders said in a forum thread, that rebol with be given up, if the release of rebol 3 continues to delay. And rebol 3 indeed continued to delay. Some years have passed since then, and rebol 3 is still inthe alpha stage)

6) When can we expect, to see the next syllable desktop release? Will this release again take about 18 month, like the release before?
(it's more than one year since the last release)

7) What progress can we expect in the near and middle future from syllable?

8) How many hours does he (vanders) spend with communicating with the community.

9) What are the sub-projects of syllable, that kaj is talking about, and whoes results can't be seen too clearly.

10) Please make a comparision of the plans you had 8 years ago when you (vanders) forked atheos and the current situation. How much, an estimation in percents, of that plans have been implemented in this 8 years?

11) When does he expect the final release of syllable 1.0 ?

12) Why doesn't there exist an updated roadmap? (I think the current one is about 5-6 years old, or more)

13)Is there something, related to syllable, that he regrets? If now it would be again the year 2002 and he would fork again atheos, would he go the same/similar way? Or would he change something?

14) If now it would be again the year 2002, would you (vanders) fork atheos again? Or would you spend this time on something else?

15) Do you have now another topic/subject that you are more interested in, than syllable?

16) What do you think about syllable server? Is the idea of syllable server so good, that if you would go back in time, you would suggest by yourself the need of a syllable sever?


This questions should in any case go to vanders, and not kaj, because vanders tends to be more sincer.

I even consider paying vanders, the time he needs to write answers to this questions!!!!

And perhaps there are other syllable users that have interesting questions to vanders.
And perhaps we can make a bountry, and collect money to pay vanders, to have in the end answers to our questions. So that we have more certitude about the current state of syllable.

Reply Parent Score: 1