Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 21st Nov 2011 11:25 UTC, submitted by moondevil
OSNews, Generic OSes You all know MINIX - a microkernel operating system project led by Andrew Tanenbaum. The French Linux magazine LinuxFr.org has an interview with Andrew Tanenbaum about MINIX' current state and future. There's some interesting stuff in there.
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RE: Tanenbaum again is wrong
by Alfman on Wed 23rd Nov 2011 06:08 UTC in reply to "Tanenbaum again is wrong"
Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

allanregistos,

"If you can't provide that, then Linus' stance on microkernel is true: 'Good in paper, rarely usable in practice.' We have an evidence for this, just download Minix and install it anywhere you like, and tell us the usability experience with it."

Linus may or may not be right, but it is a fallacy to suggest that just because microkernels have a small market share, then microkernels are unusable.

The biggest reason independent operating systems out of academia don't have much to offer in general usability is because they don't receive billions of dollars in investment every single year. It's somewhat of a catch 22, but it really doesn't mean the technological underpinnings are bad, some of them may be genius.


Now I can't deny that Tanenbaum appears to be extremely jealous, but I do think he is correct when he said that non-technical attributes have far more to do with a project's success than technical merit.

(For the record, I don't know anything about Minix in particular).

Reply Parent Score: 2

allanregistos Member since:
2011-02-10

[/q]

allanregistos,

"If you can't provide that, then Linus' stance on microkernel is true: 'Good in paper, rarely usable in practice.' We have an evidence for this, just download Minix and install it anywhere you like, and tell us the usability experience with it."

Linus may or may not be right, but it is a fallacy to suggest that just because microkernels have a small market share, then microkernels are unusable.

The biggest reason independent operating systems out of academia don't have much to offer in general usability is because they don't receive billions of dollars in investment every single year. It's somewhat of a catch 22, but it really doesn't mean the technological underpinnings are bad, some of them may be genius.

Now I can't deny that Tanenbaum appears to be extremely jealous, but I do think he is correct when he said that non-technical attributes have far more to do with a project's success than technical merit.

(For the record, I don't know anything about Minix in particular).

This might be true with respect to Windows vs. Unix on servers, a success of any OS deployed in production might include the factor of non-technical attributes and ignore the importance of technical superiority. But for kernel design, I think many factors comes to play, since I am not an expert in any of this, this is just my opinion.

Yes, Linus could be wrong. But philosophically, I find Linus' stance to be more acceptable than the professor's.

Visiting minix3 site with a confusing statement:
"Ports to ARM and PowerPC are underway. Various programs and device drivers are being ported, and so on"

While there are lots of work for developers at: http://wiki.minix3.org/en/MinixWishlist
which is more important than porting the kernel to different architectures. I might be missing something here.

Reply Parent Score: 1

allanregistos Member since:
2011-02-10

Alfman:

I considered myself an inexperience desktop developer.
I am also an audio/multimedia user and uses applications such as Ardour and jack.
If you are a microkernel expert or any of you here reading this, I have a question.
Can a microkernel-kernel designed OS such as Minix3 be good enough to scale to real-time demands of audio apps similar to what we found in Linux kernel with -rt patches?

Since I believe this is where the microkernel's future holds. Regardless of the efficiency, stability and security of a microkernel system, if it isn't useful to a desktop developer doing his work, to an Ardour/jack user, or any other end user, it will become useless but a toy.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

allanregistos,

"Can a microkernel-kernel designed OS such as Minix3 be good enough to scale to real-time demands of audio apps similar to what we found in Linux kernel with -rt patches?"

I am afraid it is out of my domain.

I know that pulse audio recently underwent a shift away from using sound card interrupts to using higher resolution sources like the APIC clock. This inevitably caused numerous problems on many systems, but never the less the goal was to get lower latencies by having the system write directly into the memory being read simultaneously a moment later by the sound card.

I don't see why any of this couldn't also be done with a micro-kernel driver. In fact I think the audio mixing for pulseaudio under linux today already occurs in a user space process using "zero-copy" memory mapping. I've never looked at it in any detail though.

Reply Parent Score: 2