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Ask AtheOS Creator Kurt Skauen About His Creature 278

Posted by timothy
from the no-x-no-worries dept.
Developer Kurt Skauen, programming for fun, ended up answering the frequent cries to write a graphical Free OS not tied to the X Window system by doing just that. His AtheOS has been mentioned here a few times before -- it's a Free (as in GPL) Operating System for Intel-and-compatible CPUs with an integrated GUI, a tendency toward POSIX, and more than a hint of BeOS. There are quite a few sites with more information about AtheOS, but you may have trouble just getting past the beautiful screenshots and nearly as beautiful AtheOS FAQ. (There are also ASCII parrots.) Ask Kurt about the past, present, and future of AtheOS here (ask as many questions as you'd like, but please only one per post) and we'll forward the best ones to Kurt for his answers.
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Ask AtheOS Creator Kurt Skauen About His Creature

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  • Windows apps? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by JohnTheFisherman (225485) on Friday August 24, 2001 @10:17AM (#2213390)
    I know a lot of people hate Windows here, but it certainly has the lion's share of apps. Can/will/do you plan to add a windows emulation layer, or some fairly painless way of running Windows apps? Same for X/GTK/etc.
    • Re:Windows apps? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by n3m6 (101260) <n3m6@ho t m a i l . c om> on Friday August 24, 2001 @10:32AM (#2213468) Homepage Journal
      why not include a DirectX emulation ?? it would be easier on his OS since its not tied to X and input devices are not a seperately controlled.. if he could do that could this be the next gaming platform ?? now that would be serious competition..
      • why not include a DirectX emulation ?? it would be easier on his OS since its not tied to X and input devices are not a seperately controlled.. if he could do that could this be the next gaming platform ?? now that would be serious competition..


        I'd love to see that. A nice, tight Gaming OS that's Windows compatable with full DirectX emulation would be friggin' awsome. Probably never happen, unluckly - that's A LOT of bloody work to do to get even enough Windows compatibility to run games. (And, well - I was involved in a project to do something like that once. Long ago... the project in question (Freedows) appears to be dead and gone now...) None of the projects that have set out to do something like that have flopped so far. Doesn't mean it's IMPOSSIBLE, just damned hard.


        But if it ever happened - I'd have me an MS free game machine built very quickly :-) (And no, a Linux box doesn't count as an MS free game machine - most of the games I want to play don't have Linux versions :-/ )


      • A directX emulation layer would be very useful not just for gaming, but for a variety of real-time sound synthesis [propellerheads.se] applications. Software synths frequently use DirectX to get a low-latency connection with the audio card, so that you can make realtime changes without a lot of lag between the time you twist a knob, and hear the results.

        Besides, not needing windows to run Reason would truly rule!

    • Mod this guy up, because this was my question as well.

      Of course, it's possible that WINE, Win4Lin or one of the others will port or compile fairly easily under AtheOS.
  • Now what? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by baptiste (256004) <mike@baptiste.CHEETAHus minus cat> on Friday August 24, 2001 @10:18AM (#2213395) Homepage Journal
    My question: Sure you did this for fun and it is a beautiful OS. But as it gains attention and user interest, do you have a target audience in mind? Who do you think should use AtheOS - who will derive the most benefit?
  • Other developers (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rppp01 (236599) on Friday August 24, 2001 @10:20AM (#2213402) Homepage
    I have noticed that you prefer to work on the kernel and UI portions by yourself, leaving apps and drivers to other developers. When do you plan on allowing other developers to begin working on the core of the OS with you? This would speed up development of the OS.

    • Though I obviously can't speak for Kurt, he doesn't seem the least bit opposed to adding patches from other developers to the UI code. Just this week he added a patch (from another developer) that would allow Intellimouse scroll wheel to libatheos.

      Dinivin
      • Re:Other developers (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        The IntelliMouse patch is the execption rather than the rule, really.

        It's cool that he has accepted the patch, but you shouldn't assume that you can go mucking about with the kernel or libatheos/appserver and expect Kurt to accept the patch with open arms. Honestly.

        • Well, I wouldn't sent off a patch to Alan Cox or Linus and expect them to accept it with open arms either... :-) At the very least, I'd check with Kurt before mucking around in that code.

          Dinivin
          • Re:Other developers (Score:1, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward
            You seem fairly clued up on AtheOS so I assume you're on the Mailing List as well. If thats the case, then I'm sure you've seen the various posts by Kurt saying he won't accept large patches to the kernel or the appserver/libatheos

            Hell there are some things I'd like to change about os::Menu, but Kurt would more likely than not reject my patch, so I'd be wasting my time.

            I'm just happy with coding my own applications though, and learning AtheOS.

            • I've subscribed to the list sporadically... I did a couple months ago, and then again last month. I never stayed on for very long... I subscribed again couple weeks ago (once I finally got what I consider a usable system up and running) and will likely stay subscribed as long as I can handle the amount of traffic. That's how I saw the bit about the Intellimouse patch.

              Now, what if you were to drop Kurt (or the list) an e-mail mentioning what you'd like to do to os::Menu and see if he likes those ideas?

              Dinivin
  • Are you scared of religious groups attacking your OS because they believe it's an atheist one?
    • Are you scared of religious groups attacking your OS because they believe it's an atheist one?

      At least there's no need to worry about losing market share to christian hackers as they're already running Jesux [geocities.com].

    • A-the-OS. It's all in capitalization baby!
  • Sadly, it appears that the performance of the AtheOS port of a web server is lacking
  • AtheOS is a wonderful hobbyist OS with a small team working on it over the Internet. Of course, the OS we all know and love was once in a similar position. Do you see some of those same developers, disenchanted with the growing popularity of Linux, moving over to AtheOS and similar projects, with the eventual goal of paralleling the success of Linux and acheiving World Domination?
    • Well, thats why I'm developing as much as I can for AtheOS at the moment, and why I think AtheOS has a bright future.

      I currently run KDE2 at home, but I wouldn't ever expect someone less technical to install & administer Linux. Its also fragmented and not so easy to deal with the user interface, so I think AtheOS, being Open Source and targeted at the desktop, is going to be a great replacement for Linux on the desktop. Really.

      Not only that, but AtheOS is pretty much uncharted territory, and I like that about it too ;)

  • by Flavio (12072)
    Who would you recommend Atheos to?

    In other words, where could Atheos be a better choice than other open source OSs?

    Thanks!

    Flavio
  • You mention the GPL is free, and AtheOS is GPL'd, and while I will forego a rant about nonfree GPL and such, it is important to mention that Kurt (the Theo deRaadt of the GPL world) has often threatened to make AtheOS closed source, and keeps full control over the entire OS (where possible).
    • Care to support this assertation at all?
    • Re:License Freedom? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by kurt.skauen (148319)
      Can you please show me one single statement anywhere where I threaten to close-source AtheOS? You couldn't find it? Ok, then how did you conclude that I have often threatened to make AtheOS closed source? I have never threatened to do so and I will not threaten to do so in the future.


      I have said that I'm might going to change the lisense to a more liberal one in case the GPL would cause problems for non-GPL drivers, apps, or other "third-party" components somehow. How you managed to twist that into "often threathened to close-source" is beyond me.

      Kurt Skauen

  • From what I have read, you have built the entire OS and its components all by yourself.

    Where would you be if you had a tight group of good developers? Do you plan on persuing this open-source development ideal of this community?

    Also, I have noticed that you have been shying away from BeOS comparisons. I think that you should attempt to lure existing BeOS users to your OS by doing these comparisons, especially with technical details like the APIs and file system.

    Also, I don't like the name. I think it should be BeOS II ;-) Be sure can't sure you about it now.
  • Developers (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Adelvillar (96720) on Friday August 24, 2001 @10:27AM (#2213439)
    Now that many developers coding for the BeOS were left hung to dry, do you have recived support from them?
  • Do you plan to implement a powerful object-oriented desktop model similar to OS/2 (and possibly MacOS) where almost anything is configurable, or adapt a simple model like Windows, BeOS and Gnome?
  • The AtheOS UI strikes me as a bit Amiga-ish.

    Was the Amiga UI an influence or inspiration for the design of the AtheOS UI?
    And, if so, are there any other aspects of the Amiga platform that influenced your design?

    C-X C-S
    Keep up the good work!
    • Q: The GUI look very Amigaish, is it an AmigaOS clone?

      A: No. In the beginning it was actualy ment to be one, but this days there is nothing resembling the AmigaOS in AtheOS other than the window-borders. This seems to be rather hard for the Amiga-community to grasp though. They still think AtheOS is an Amiga clone :) Hey the Window borders look like on my Amiga! It must be an Amiga clone Right? I find it rather amusing to see that the Amiga-hord think that the single-most important property of an OS is the window-borders :)

      From the AtheOS FAQ, which seems to be slashdotted.
    • The AtheOS UI strikes me as a bit Amiga-ish.

      This is a goood thing. The Amiga UI was one of the best.

  • cached! (Score:2, Funny)

    by pjgunst (452345)
    Never complain about a site being slashdotted as long as we have google...

    Atheos homepage [google.com]

    the FAQ [google.com]

    Atheos links [google.com]

    Screenshots are here [google.com]

    the parrots [google.com]

  • but will there ever be a really strong competitor against windows, stronger than linux is... one that's both opensource and has a integrated GUI. one that can handle the beginners kind of demands and still can handle the demands of others.
    One that can run all the damn binary forms so you aren't stuck with emulation layers and so on.

    (offtopic:)
    a standardization of binary files probably would make applications more platform independent, but what do I know, I'm just a 15 year old nerd :)
    • One that can run all the damn binary forms so you aren't stuck with emulation layers and so on.

      Running binaries from other platforms not native to your own is emulation. You're platform A pretending to be platform B (no pun ;), for the purpose of running code from platform B without changing that code.

      a standardization of binary files probably would make applications more platform independent,

      A few such standardized formats are ELF (Executable & Linking Format), AOUT, and JAVA. The last of these, with the proper VM, does make applications more platform independent (sort of :).

      but what do I know, I'm just a 15 year old nerd :)

      Keep learning! :)
  • I've never used AtheOS and before giving it a try I'd like to see information regarding its hardware requirements and performance. For example, how does AtheOS perform as a web/ftp/samba/db server, considering it supports multithreading and SMP?

    Do you have any numbers to show us?

    Thanks.

    Flavio
  • Why such emphasis on OO paradigm? While building the system, did you have trouble bending some things around OO model (i.e. could some things be only done in straight C)? Do you think many developers will be turned off because objectOriented style of variable and function naming was used in the C parts of the source (as I noticed)? Finally, why do you want this to be a primarily desktop OS? What do you think of the current desktop environment offerings in *nix world?
  • I know AtheOS has its own GUI, but I imagine that have X on board would make porting most Unix apps easier. Has anyone attempted such a thing?

    • I know AtheOS has its own GUI, but I imagine that have X on board would make porting most Unix apps easier


      Why would one do this, we have Linux and BSD to run X Apps very well.
      I like the attempt of AtheOS, where "one" Person controls the direction where the gui is going. This probably keeps the Userinterface more consitent that X is.

      Dont get me wrong, X is fine, but quite oversized and to "flexible" for the masses...
    • I don't know how hard that would be. The BeOS and AtheOS APIs have a lot in common, and there is a BeOS X server. Plus, AtheOS has some networking features that BeOS doesn't, and porting Wine and X to AtheOS would probably be quite easy.
      • I think any such emulation should be done by making an Xlib emulator so that the applications, as much as possible, cooperate with native Atheos applications. It would be best if many X things, in particular window managers, were not supported.

        Unfortunately it appears this is difficult or people are not interested. Most "emulate X" schemes I have seen require an entire X server to be emulated. This either takes over the screen, or puts a screen in a native window, or at best actually mixes the X windows with the native windows but they interact in strange ways. I think this is the wrong approach.

  • AtheOS and GPL (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Midnight Ryder (116189) <midryder@[ ]nigh ... m ['mid' in gap]> on Friday August 24, 2001 @10:42AM (#2213531) Homepage

    Greetings...


    Another poster mentioned the idea that you were considering moving AtheOS to a different license. Is that the case?


    Secondly, if you are considering putting it under a different license, why? And, why did you select GPL licensing for AtheOS as opposed to a number of different licensing choices out there? (Reguardless of if you are or aren't moving AtheOS from a GPL license.)

  • PPC (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mcc (14761) <amcclure@purdue.edu> on Friday August 24, 2001 @10:45AM (#2213545) Homepage
    Some minor questions.

    Do you consider it likely that at some point in the near future AtheOS will develop a PPC port?

    I realize that the AtheOS developers are very busy with the hard work they are doing and that there is no good reason for them to expend effort on a PPC port. However i was wondering if you think that there is enough interest among extant developers familiar with the ppc/chrp/macintosh platform that someone might feel like cobbling together a port.

    That being said, i was checking and trying to figure out: does AtheOS have some kind of flexible arbitrary-server auto-upgrade "package"-style system along the lines of the debian apt-get? if not, are there plans to implement one, or perhaps port apt-get and dselect to atheos?

    Please excuse my ignorance.

    - mcc
    (I am quite curious about AtheOS, and have been meaning for some time to try to check it out (well, or at least check out the screenshots and read the API documentation, since as implied above i do not personally have an x86 machine on which to test the OS..)-- i was thinking about looking over the atheos webpage yesterday morning, actually. I'm looking forward to learning more about this OS in the future.. if only i knew more now, maybe i'd have some better questions :) :shrugs: oh well. thanks.)
    • by mcc (14761)
      Hmm, oops.

      Just for the benefit of the others reading this slashdot thread: The AtheOS FAQ [atheos.cx] has a note on portability that slashdot readers might find informative. You should read it. Wish i'd noticed that before i posted.. hm. i feel stupid.

      i'm going to go crawl into a hole now. seeya. :)
  • Since you don't support text-mode console without a full GUI, what are your plans to enable remote logging access to an AtheOS box through Unix-like facilities like telnet, ssh or X-Terminals?
    • Since you don't support text-mode console without a full GUI, what are your plans to enable remote logging access to an AtheOS box through Unix-like facilities like telnet, ssh or X-Terminals?

      It still has a terminal emulator - so presumably ssh etc should work as normal - as long as a sshd server exists!

      Course, I can't actually read the site, 'cause their swerver is a bit /.ed.

      TimC.

    • It comes with a telnet daemon and you can download an OpenSSH server (and client) for the Operating System. Just because he does plan on supporting a text-mode console doesn't mean Atheos can't have a Terminal :-)

      Dinivin
  • how long (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Lord Omlette (124579)
    do you think it'll be before a partition can be installed painlessly side by side Windows? Should be the quickest way to gain mass adoption, right?
  • by brennan73 (94035) on Friday August 24, 2001 @10:47AM (#2213558)
    It seems to me that it'll be extremely difficult for AtheOS (or any new OS, really) to do everything well; even Linux, which is pretty widely used, isn't a be-all, end-all solution yet (and maybe never will be, or never should be).

    So have you considered limiting the scope of AtheOS (possibly severely), and aiming at doing a relatively few things exceptionally well? Here I'm thinking of BeOS, which was usually promoted as a "multimedia OS." It seems to me that this might be a way for alternative OSes now and in the future to stake out some territory: do a few things very very effectively rather than trying to be all things to all people.

    Of course, if you're doing this as a fun/interesting thing, you may not care as much about a niche or widespread acceptance. But, still.

    -brennan
    • I must refute this. This seems to be a widely spread misconception, which is true when it comes to servers, but absolute b*llshit when it comes to clients.
      • A normal developer often run some kind of IDE/Compiler which is heavy on some operations, and then perhaps some graphical suite which is heavy on others, and probably xmms/winamp/mediaplayers/whatever which taxes other systems yet.
      • A normal office worker wants to use an office suite, perhaps a graphics program, and several communication and networking packages.
      • A gamer wants to be able to push everything to it's max not just "media-capabilities" for example, and games often really bog down on everything in the system.
      • A scientist probably wants to be able to take in several measurements through various means, while still being able to produce sound/graphical output and perhaps being able to do some reports.

      There's simply no way you can "aim" a client-OS in any sensible ways, without losing 99% of even the aimed-market. Client-OS:es can't make any predictions as to what they'll be used to, contrary to server-OS:es which might be aimed for DB work or something else specific.

  • CD-Rom support (Score:4, Interesting)

    by timothy (36799) on Friday August 24, 2001 @10:48AM (#2213561) Homepage Journal
    Kurt:

    I much prefer to install software (at least anything over several megs) with a CD than over the net, and there are a lot of old documents that I have converted to CD for storage. I wouldn't want to buy a machine without a CD-ROM drive :)

    Is bootable (or other) CD-ROM support planned? Perhaps many people would be able to sample AtheOS easier if they could (for instance) order a CD from Cheapbytes and install it locally, pass to a friend etc.

    Considering the progress on the other aspects of the system, how important do you think this is, or are there technical difficulties (other than time) in getting CD-ROM support to work?

    Best,

    timothy
  • Well, I'd rather ask him about his creation, AtheOS, since I would think that would be more "news for nerds"-ish, but I'll give the creature angle a try:

    So, Kurt: what's up with your creature? Did you find him while vacationing at the Black Lagoon, or was he wandering lost and far from home and you took him in? And - I have a followup question: does he really look better with the 3D glasses on?

  • why have you implemeted a custom GUI lib ?

    as aposed to implemeting a backend for GTK/QT/X lib which would mean alot more GUI software

    regards

    john jones
    • I agree that it would be far more useful to make the "official" Atheos interface much more low level, on the "create a window this shape, draw these rectangles and colors, tell me where the mouse clicked" interface, and put all the work into a powerful graphics engine (which X and Windows lack).

      Writing buttons is pretty trivial (I have done it!), the reason toolkits on X is so hard is the enormous amount of work needed to do things that should be easy, like select fonts and draw them and draw images.

      I also feel that putting the toolkit into the system will lock the design into something that would quickly become obsolete. X, for all it's problems, is still used today, and able to emulate stuff invented 15 years later. Do you think X would be anything other than a joke if it required all programs to use the Athena toolkit?

      However, I cannot prove from the documentation whether or not Atheos is designed this way, but I don't really like what I see. But his toolkit may just be an example, he certainly would need to write a toolkit layer so that there could be anything other than trivial demo programs, and perhaps he intends to allow that layer to be replaced.

  • Being of a strong *nix background I didn't have many troubles getting AtheOS installed. But, the fact that the install process is done entirely from a bash prompt it would be quite cumbersome for the average newbie (or even intermidiate *nix geek). Are there any plans to make a more user friendly installation?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 24, 2001 @10:55AM (#2213603)
    about not having some bearded weirdo running after you, crying: 'It's GNU/Atheos, it's GNU/Atheos!'?

    b.
  • ...I've been tricked by Slashdot comments so often, I added a *.cx rule to my firewall. ;-)
  • Why not just modify an existing free OS?


    I can see why a free OS not tied to X would be a good thing, but surely that could be done on top of the work already done on Linux / Hurd etc. Why reinvent the wheel?

  • As a former BeOS tech support person, I have had more than one instance of a power-user complain about memory usage in BeOS. From what I can see of AthOS, it is not much different. The issues here is when the power user assumes that the more memory, the better.... when in fact, the more memory, the longer it takes to boot, if at all. This item has been covered before. However, Can I please have your explanation, as a kernel hacker, as to why this is a problem in both BeOS, and AtheOS. Also, do you have any plans to resolve this via some ace card you have held back. Obviously FreeBSD, or even Linux do not have any such restriction but we are comparing apples to oranges. :)

    Thanks in Advance.
    • I just went from 196 Megs of RAM to 640 Megs of RAM in my machine (which has both Atheos and BeOS installed) and never noticed a slow down when booting.

      Since you said this item has been covered before can you point us in the direction of info about this?

      Dinivin
  • I asume you started AtheOS to learn, and expand your understanding of the Intel OP codes, and the various mechanisms inside the Pentium class chips. Have you begun to hack a version of your kernel to other processors, and/or have you started the process of study on these other processors in the wild? I'm sure the RISC folks would like to have new toys to play with in their war chest. On that note, have you received any hardware donations, and if not would you be willing to accept second hand risc machines for your expanded study?
  • by JWhitlock (201845) <John-Whitlock AT ieee DOT org> on Friday August 24, 2001 @11:14AM (#2213713)
    According to Bjarne Stroustrup, the core application domain for C++ is systems programming. Having created an OS in C++, what would you say are C++ strengths and weaknesses for your needs? Has the OS evolved along with the evolving standard (the STL, templates, the new type casts, etc.), or have you stuck with the C++ that was around when you started? What features do you depend on, and which do you avoid like the plague? And, of course, if you did it today, would you use another language or make different language choices?
  • I have noticed that AtheOS is aimed twards the desktop market, but yet the underlying code might make a good server. Have you ever though about making a server version?
  • Two questions (Score:2, Interesting)

    by gabbarsingh (207183)
    Kurt,

    I'm sure you developed AtheOS in your free time and then let me ask you what is your day job? How do you find balance between the two especially when you are in that coding bubble that everything seems to be coming together well.

    Secondly, (this may be for all /. ers as well), do you see yourself doing AtheOS development fulltime? If yes, then how do you foresee this transformation? In fact, I'm sure there are many people here who once worked for a big/medium company but were good at a certain thing and went solo after a while. I'm curious to find out their journies as well.

    You're doing a great job! Good luck and keep it up!

  • As development of AtheOS reaches nearer your initial goals for the system, and the userbase increases in size, what is your strategy to attract developers to your platform (or write compatible applications)?

    Some (okay many) people consider XWindows a pain to program, Windows is different again, and other small (non-X) GUIs such as QNX's Photon are also different APIs, a new GUI can only clutter and confuse?

  • What is the Windows device driver compatability module based on - is it a ground up rewrite or based on WINE? Do you envisage the compatability module being extended to support normal applications?


    Do you think it's necessary to have a degree of Windows compatability to ensure the success of a non-Microsoft operating system?

  • Does your operating system not believe in Jesux [geocities.com]?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    One aspect that the Linux and Unix community often
    complains on is that X is not designed for fast graphics,
    gaming etc. Also, allowing drivers to write directly to
    the hardware to improve performance affects systems
    security and reliability.
    In other words, the Unix world lacks an alternative
    for X, and trying to build a good client - for multimedia
    purposes - around X in my opinion is not the best
    solution.

    If I were in your shoes, I'd try to aim Atheos' development
    to do what Linux and other unices still can't do well
    (multimedia), and not what they already perform near
    perfectly (server and security tasks).

    Of course the scenario I'm thinking of is a mixed network:
    Unix machines to do firewalling, file serving and network
    services, and Atheos machines that could allow great
    multimedia performance without caring of security and
    other issues.

    I'd like to hear your opinion on this.

    Thankyou, and keep up the good work!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    It's fairly common for even hardcore advocates to point out that Linux is generally more useful as a server OS than a desktop OS, and that Linux has a ways to go before it's ready "for the desktop" Do you plan to concentrate on making AtheOS a purely single-user-at-a-time, desktop OS, or do you eventually want to see it move into fulfilling traditional server-only roles as well?
  • I am curious what sort of user you find showing the most interrest in AtheOS? Also, it looks like the sort of thing that could do quite well in an Information Appliance or other embedded application because it doesn't have as much baggage as UNIX or Windows.
    One more thing, were you an Amiga fan?
  • Embedded devices? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by proxima (165692) on Friday August 24, 2001 @01:06PM (#2214396)
    Have you ever considered promoting AtheOS as an OS for GUI-based embedded devices? The competition in that arena now is Windows CE, Palm OS, and Linux - but an OO based GUI built into the OS may be beneficial in terms of performance.

    With Linux, a device developer has to get the core Linux kernel working and then build a GUI on top of it (XFree86 or a smaller X server). Palm OS doesn't have multitasking and isn't very scalable to powerful devices. Windows CE requires a royalty. AtheOS could provide a powerful operating system for embedded devices for free.

    • this depends on how resource hungry and Divice drivers are done

      GUI has to be faily light weight and done in software only as hardware bliting is still a novelty

      the link loader also would have to be tweaked for a differant arch (e.g. gnumach can not run on mips because of the linker and loader at presant (nor can apple darwin only ppc and intel))

      keep in mind that in terms of microprocessors out there intel is very small

      PPC sells more than intel and MIPS may be 10-20 times as much with ARM arch well ahead of these (do you have a cell phone ?)

      my advice to kurt is target it generically and try and build it for MIPS ARM and PPC as well as intel and this will make it very easy to add any others that you want to

      regards

      john jones
  • by MeowMeow Jones (233640) on Friday August 24, 2001 @03:20PM (#2215213)
    (As I'm sure you know) one of the problems with C++ is that modifying a class changes the binary structure of an object. This then breaks any programs that were dynamically linked against this. This problem has been addressed in several ways (CORBA, COM, staticly linking in the code, or keeping 800 copies of MFC40.dll on your machine, etc, etc)

    This seems (to me, at least) the biggest problem with writing an OS in C++. How does AtheOS deal with this problem?
  • by absurd_spork (454513) on Friday August 24, 2001 @03:33PM (#2215274) Homepage
    Two questions, actually:
    • I think that not having X on board is a good idea, actually, because if you had X on AtheOS, everybody would start porting over X applications and then you'd have a lot of applications with an entirely different look & feel, which would spoil the integration that AtheOS currently offers. However, for the future, there's going to be need for a well-documented application framework in order to facilitate application development (for options such as component development and so on); since you already ported part of Qt to the native AtheOS system, what would you think about porting as much of KDE over to AtheOS as possible without including X, so that not too much of the native system's advantages would be lost, yet you could use the portability of KDE to ensure a broad supply of end-user applications?
    • I realize that you do very much of the actual development yourself, at the moment. What would you think of partially delegating development, such as putting up a list of "what is needed" to-do's, discussing the actual implementation with some developers, but letting them do more of the actual work? Because you've come really far with the OS, but I presume it's at a critical point at the moment where it needs to gain momentum. You could assume some sort of "benevolent dictatorship", we have at least one case in operating system development history where it worked out fine :-)
  • Do you consider AtheOS to be born as a curiousity? Or do you consider Linux, BSD, and other growing OSs to be flawed in some fundemental way that only a fresh start could fix? If the latter, what are the biggest strikes against these OSs and how do you plan to overcome them? And what do you think other *nix need to do to match your goals?
  • Out of curiosity, anyone know what program he used to generate that webpage?
  • Would you consider AtheOS a portable OS? I mean, with BeOS, it ran on at least three platforms, not including BeIA, and they said it was because 90% of the code was platform-independent. What is your opinion of porting AtheOS to other platforms, such as the PPC, some Amiga-esque hardware :-), the PlayStation 2 or whatever?
  • Is anybody working on a JRE for AtheOS? Although Java has hardly taken over the desktop (*cough*), there are quite a few useful apps [freshmeat.net].

    Kaffe [kaffe.org] seems to have been ported [transvirtual.com] to a huge number of platforms, so it may not be too hard to do an AtheOS port as well. The Kaffe homepage has some instructions [kaffe.org] for people who want to do a new port.

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