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SubjectRe: Some very thought-provoking ideas about OS architecture.
[I've thought about this long and hard and I've finally come
up with a proper response to Linus' argument]

On 20 Jun 1999, Linus Torvalds wrote:

> In short: message passing as the fundamental operation of the OS
> is just an excercise in computer science masturbation. It may
> feel good, but you don't actually get anything DONE. Nobody has
> ever shown that it made sense in the real world.

It's not about physical message passing in the actual implementation,
what's really happening can be 'hidden' by clever programming by the
people who built the OS.

The real issue here is paradigms. The classical "everything's
a file" broke down with the advent of networking, sockets and
non-blocking reads. At the moment the file paradigm is so much
out of touch with computational reality that web servers need
to fork for each client and people are crying out for asynchronous
sendfile and other weird interfaces.

A new "everything's a message" WILL fit the current use of computers
though. One simple concept that's good enough for all our
computational needs. And because it _is_ one simple concept, it can
be implemented in a simple, clean and fast way -- unlike the myriad
of different kludges Unix has to overcome the file paradigm...

Of course, I'll be using Unix for the forseeing future -- it does
all that it needs to do and it's got all the luxuries I want :)


Rik -- Open Source: you deserve to be in control of your data.
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