Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 21st Nov 2013 18:48 UTC, submitted by Rohan Pearce
OSNews, Generic OSes

MenuetOS sits in an interesting nexus between astonishing technical achievement and computerised work of art. The super-speedy, pre-emptive multitasking operating system is still, despite adding more driver support, more included applications, an improved GUI and digital TV support over the years, capable of fitting on a floppy disk (assuming you can find one).

MenuetOS is a technical marvel. Not only is it written entirely in assembly, it also shoves a fully capable multitasking operating system on a single floppy disk.

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RE[5]: Comment by MOS6510
by Alfman on Mon 25th Nov 2013 05:58 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by MOS6510"
Member since:


"The main issue in general OSses, mainly windows and linux (distributions), is that they abuse of scripting (or java, or C#, or javascript) to get the feature X and Y."

I wouldn't actually consider java or c# to be scripting languages. They compile down to bytecode and then to native code before running, whereas a scripting language gets parsed/emulated the whole way through. Java and C# can have high computational performance, but often their use of garbage collected objects are far less efficient memory-wise. It's disappointing when a .net/Java program needs the better part of a gig of ram to open up a 500K data file.

"Writting ASM code is only worth it in base OS or ultra complex optimized application (one in millions)."

Of course MenuetOS has done that, however I don't think anyone else is advocating moving higher level code to ASM, for most of us the costs would outweigh the benefits.

"So ... instead of moving to the low level ASM ... maybe, we could just pass it to the less lower level C to get them improved."

Most of the core OS stuff for windows and linux is already written in C. I guess the new trend it to make more use of scripting in desktop environments, and to be honest I don't know the extent to which these effect performance.

"It is better to use Windows XP then windows 7. even without 64 bit support. Because it is simply faster and gets the job done."

I agree with you there, many of us would still be happily using it if it were available & supported because most of the changes were microsoft (and others) pushing "features" rather than customers demanding them. Never the less, it's difficult to keep selling an OS with static goals, even if those goals were perfect for what 95% of the market wants. Change isn't always for us consumers, sometimes it's to advance corporate agendas.

"Linux distributions have been doing the same. But maybe can have this note better than me, but it seems that the main cause is the abusive use of scripted languages like bash, python, javascript."

I think it's very unlikely that bash interpreter itself is responsible for slow performance so much as what the scripts were instructing the system to do; the exact same process written in C would probably not perform any noticeably better. The scripts give linux a great deal of flexibility.

Consider a simple bash test that does nothing but launch another bash process:
for i in {1..1000}
echo x
time ./ > /dev/null
real 0m1.889s
user 0m0.024s
sys 0m0.124s

Here the userspace time for 1001 invocations of bash was a mere 0.024s. I don't know how many times bash gets invoked while booting linux, but I think it's less than 1000. A real script can obviously be more complex, however note that the overwhelming majority of time was lost to system overhead in spawning new processes rather than running inside the bash script. I'm just trying to put it into perspective. I encourage you to create more complex tests if you remain skeptical.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by MOS6510
by gass on Mon 25th Nov 2013 13:02 in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by MOS6510"
gass Member since:

well ... talking about full OSses ... with gui to compare (menuet, widows linux+(gnome, kde, etc))

Where the bloat comes, then? If not from memory hungry applications?
The main issue with Java and C# (while not scripted, they are compiled for a man-in-the-middle framework) is that they seem inefficient (because of garbage collecting maybe). They use lots of cpu and memory, to do simple things and are slow (to the user at least).
The scripted (ok, bash was a bad one ... but python, ajavascript and other ... ). For example, python is some kind of simplified (compiled?) at runtime.

If it is not the languages that make the OSses this heavy ... is it their design? Are they badly written? Too many abstraction layers?

Just to remind that even tough the OSses have many features today then before, and talking windowsXP vs Windows7, or windows7 VS windows8, what do they to differently that justifies the performance difference?

Reply Parent Score: 1