Vista bad; OS design good; Linux Desktop almost ready

Reading about Windows Vista I decided that I would not upgrade. There is nothing in that operating system for me, as I expected.

It got me reading about Mac OS/X. I was particularly interested to discover that OS/X uses a Mach 3 kernel under the hood. This was interesting because it reminded me that back in high-school when I was working as IT support for a large company, that they were doing POS terminal development using Mach.

But what's even more fascinating is reading about the differences between Mach and Monokernels, and realizing how similar the operating system problem is to the enterprise application problem. There are similar forces at work: defining responsibilities, dealing with coupling, messaging, etc. Heck, the microkernel is even referred to as a "server" and the IPC mechanism uses "pipes". I might be able to find inspiration (and cautionary tales) in OS research and design.

(Of course, I couldn't help but read about Ubuntu and specifically gNewSense (the completely 'Free Software' alternative). Ubuntu is a lovely Linux distribution; I've used it before and liked it. Alas, it is still not as lovely as Windows running all of my favorite utilities and applications. But I have half a mind to start using it, and maybe even trying to contribute.)

No comments: