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SubjectRe: Topic for discussion: OS Design
"Dwayne C . Litzenberger" <> said:


> Then, I heard of Linux, and installed it. What a difference! Much
> faster, and sooo stable! I loved it. It was still clunky, and slow
> (compare a P120MHz to an Amiga 7.14Mhz -- should be 16x as fast, but it's
> not),

Comparing different architectures and implementations by raw clock speed is
absolutely meaningless. You might try standard CPU/machine benchmarks (like
the Byte benchmarks, f.ex.).

Also note that the OS and language implementation comes into the
picture. It would probably be most fair to compare AmigaOS with DOS (no
separate user/system space). Plus they are of approximately the same

> but I still thought it was because of the PC hardware. Executable
> code sizes bugged me a bit (usually 10-100x larger than Amiga).

Check sizes of object files (*.o) not full executables. Check memory-
resident sizes (size(1)), not file sizes (which can include huge debugging

> Then I got the QNX demodisk. It was amazing what they could fit on that
> disk!

Yes. But this is far from a general-purpose system, and it was clearly
heavyly hacked to size. I've build linux-on-a-diskette systems myself...
and given a smallish VGA-only browser (can be done! but what is the point?)
Linux could do the same.


> So, then, I was asking myself: WHY is Linux so slow and clunky in
> comparison? I knew that GCC was not the most efficient compiler in the
> world, but it wasn't that bad.

Where is Linux (the kernel) slow and clunky? Or are you blaming the bloat
of Netscape on Linux?

You know, this kind of sweeping comments without a shred of fact or at
least a closer look for the origins of what you are complaining about to
back them up just make you look bad. Soon you'll end up in everybody's
killfile, or at least with a mental note "read for possible amusement,
ignore otherwise".

> Then I start hearing about khttpd, something that (ideally) should go in
> user space, hardware drivers are rejected (PCSP is my example, but what
> if some other device is as kludgy as the pcsp? Will it be rejected
> too?), and software-suspend mysteriously disappears from Alan's -ac
> patches. X (a hardware driver) is in user space, and so is svgalib. It
> all looks very messy. The atyfb still doesn't work for my Rage Pro
> (2.2.x, anyway. Never tried 2.[34]). Patches for features I want are a
> nightmare.

Then stay well away from experimental patches, and unsupported hardware.

And do as you were told: Go read about OS design, Unix in particular. Get a
hold on X design.

Then check out the PC design, and compare it with anything built 10 years
before. Keep the barfbag handy.

> My complaint is from a user's point of view. This particular user wants
> software-suspend, pcsp, reiserfs, USB, and agpgart. This user also wants
> a smooth GUI, a mouse pointer that doesn't flinch under load, and a small
> enough system that he won't have to be swapping all the time (not
> entirely kernel's fault). All these things are reasonable.

Then help out getting there. Complaining gets you into killfiles, nowhere
else. Or pick up a oh-so-wonderful-other-OS that gives you all that and
leave us alone.


> --
> Dwayne C. Litzenberger -
> - Please always Cc to me when replying to me on the lists.
> - Please have the courtesy to respond to any requests or questions I may ha=
> ve.

You do realize that all this is extremely rude, don't you?

> - See the mail headers for GPG/advertising/homepage information.
Dr. Horst H. von Brand
Departamento de Informatica Fono: +56 32 654431
Universidad Tecnica Federico Santa Maria +56 32 654239
Casilla 110-V, Valparaiso, Chile Fax: +56 32 797513
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