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So... what are we?

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Over on another currently very active thread there is some discussion of where AROS sits in the great scheme of things. It's been very forceably stated that AROS (or any any other Amiga-like system for that matter) will never be mainstream again, and that's undeniable. Instead, it's been stated that it, again like other Amiga-oid systems, is 'retro'. Now, don't get me wrong, I love retro, not just for computers but generally (cars, planes, clothes...), but I just don't see a system that can run on modern harware, play first person 3D shoots-em-ups at 1080p resolution, can access current standards such as html5 web-pages, ntfs file systems etc. and will hopefully soon mature to stable 64 bit and smp as 'retro'.

So are we niche? Well, niche implies a specific role, which I don't think AROS can claim. I think the best description is 'alternative'. It is an alternative to Windows, just like, say, riding a bike to work is an alternative to taking the car. And sure, as an aternative it will have advantages (the bike will get you fitter and be better for the environment) and disadvantages (the bike's bit of a pain when it's throwing it down with rain...) and you'll use both at different times, but it is an alternative with its own merits (as well as disadvantages, of course), and should be respected as such.

What do you think?

Cheers,
Nigel.

Posted on: 6/26 15:25
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Re: So... what are we?

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im not sure why this needs to be discussed at all.

Posted on: 6/26 16:30
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Re: So... what are we?

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I've no time, but I want to give a quick opinion about the argument.

IMO AROS is not exactly retro because it brings some modern stuff (64-bit), and there's work-in-progress for anoother very important (and common in the mainstream) thing which is SMP.

Unfortunately it lacks a lot of even more important things: memory protection, resource tracking, security (user privileges & co.), multi-user (related to the previous), a modern file system.

Another thing which unfortunately is really odd is the fact that you have the specify the stack usage for an application, otherwise it might crash: that's weird!

So, there's still a lot of work to do, and I'm perfectly aware that it might completely hurt its nature, since all those defects are an unfortunate Amiga o.s. heritage, and removing some of them might mean the end of AROS as an Amiga o.s. replacement/rewrite.

Posted on: 6/26 22:08
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Re: So... what are we?

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We are the only one Amiga open-source operating system ... and this is a very important thing for me !

Posted on: 6/26 23:43
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Icaros 2.2 on Dell Optiplex 390 Intel Pentium G640 32 bit 2.8 Ghz, 1 Gb Ram, 160GB Sata HD, Nividia GT220 1Gb hdmi, Wireless Netgear WG111v3
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Re: So... what are we?

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@ntromans

AROS is an operating system, it's software, it's the glue which can attach together very different pieces of the Amiga universe. The best thing with open source is that you can tailor the code to your specific needs, which may be completely different from user to user. Just think about the Linux kernels running on your home router and on you Android phone. I can use AROS 68K to provide an Amiga compatibility layer for Icaros Desktop, Olaf can use it to create an Amikit-like Amiga environment, Vampire team can use it to make the most of their hardware, and anyone else can use and adapt it to work to any other 68K based device if they want. So no, the 'retro' tag can be applied to the whole Amiga thing but not strictly to AROS, which can be considered 'retro' just for old habits it inherits from AmigaOS API. On its own, it can be expanded to support modern features and modern applications, but I will still consider - for instance - Icaros Desktop being 'modern retro' until this modernization will be done.

Posted on: 6/27 0:51
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Re: So... what are we?

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I am the one saying that

all amiganoid systems are mainly retro, some are more modern, some less

Aros offers (as mentioned) some modern features but still lacks lots of, expecially on software level

it mainly attracts people who were former amigans or current users. I do not understand why people have problem to accept that something is retro or would you describe it as modern and up-to-date? The same is true for AmigaOS and MorphOS. At least Aros has a real opportunity to attract new users and developers now who become interested in Aros 68k on new 68k hardware and might interested to use it on different hardware too. But that is mainly true for existing community, outside people have lots of choices, why use Aros missing components and software?

Posted on: 6/27 1:32
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Re: So... what are we?

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Quote:

cdimauro wrote:

Unfortunately it lacks a lot of even more important things: memory protection,

i doubt this could be hacked in without writing completely new system from the scratch along different philosophy.

Quote:
resource tracking, security (user privileges & co.), multi-user (related to the previous), a modern file system.

there might be solutions for this, however im not sure if multi user is one of the features needed on a, lets be honest, a toy system, that isnt ever going to be seriously used by industry and such. perhaps it could improve the security, when online, but then, no other amiga-like systems offfer this, and the users claim them to be secure;)

Quote:

Another thing which unfortunately is really odd is the fact that you have the specify the stack usage for an application, otherwise it might crash: that's weird!


i agree. i think the stack handling could and should be solved. users shouldnt face a crash for reasons they cant understand, just because the program ran out of stack.

Quote:

So, there's still a lot of work to do, and I'm perfectly aware that it might completely hurt its nature, since all those defects are an unfortunate Amiga o.s. heritage, and removing some of them might mean the end of AROS as an Amiga o.s. replacement/rewrite.


i dont think it makes a sense to resign on "amiga heritage" because there are systems that are doing all this you want perfectly without this heritage out there already. the heritage is aros particular feature in this case, not a handicap. aros wouldnt have better chances without it, quite the opposite.

Posted on: 6/27 2:47
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Re: So... what are we?

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AROS fills a niche of sorts in that it is the only open-source Amiga OS replacement and also the only one that runs natively on x86, as well as m68k.

As for its practical use, sure the *nixes will do most things better for the same low price, but for my money they aren't half as fun.

Posted on: 6/27 3:52
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Re: So... what are we?

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In the last decade, or even the last two decades there was not much movement in Operating-System-Land.
Unix-likes (Linux and macOS/iOS) are dominating mobile and server market.
MS Windows is king of the desktop.

Everybody thought an OS needs to have at least memory protection and multi-user support.

But in the last couple of years there occurred an interesting change:
Uni-kernels are growing fast!
Famous members are OSV (osv.io open source sponsored by huawei) and NetBSDs Rumpkernel (rumpkernel.org)

They provide so called library-operating-systems, where applications live in a single address space with a (minimal) kernel and are single user.

Why? because it is faster.
Security is added via virtualization. So if you want to run a database-server, you start a new instance of your minimal-os under e.g. the xen-hypervisor. This OS runs only network and database - but very fast in a single address space.

Since AROS is pretty small and lightweight it would make a good candidate for this approach.
Instead of making it heavier and add more features like memory protection and multi-user, it could make more sense, to add a framework, were we can easily start an application in a new instance of AROS, share networking and filesystems, and provide some means of message-passing.

more uni-kernel projects:
http://unikernel.org

Posted on: 6/27 4:18

Edited by cybergorf on 2017/6/27 4:45:41
Edited by cybergorf on 2017/6/27 5:01:42
Edited by cybergorf on 2017/6/27 5:02:25
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Re: So... what are we?

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Quote:

wawa wrote:
im not sure why this needs to be discussed at all.


It doesn't need to be discussed - I was just interested to see what people thought...

Posted on: 6/27 9:52
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