Henry G. Baker
Sat, 28 Mar 1998 12:19:38 -0800 (PST)
> At 13:22 27/03/98 +0100, Rainer Joswig <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> >Some people want a Lisp OS because Unix sucks as much as Windows.
> > (more oil in the fire. ;-) )
> Then let me add some napalm. ;-)
> "An operating system is a collection of things that don't fit into a language.
> There shouldn't be one."
> 'Design Principles Behind Smalltalk', Daniel Ingalls, Byte August 1981
> Wise words, IMHO. 16+ years later, I still agree with him.
> Martin Rodgers
I think that the statement "an operating system is a collection of
things that don't fit into a language" actually goes back further than
Dan Ingalls -- perhaps Dijkstra (??) said it?? I agree with Dan's
ironic conclusion, however!
The 'classic' defn of OS is that which deals with 'resources' rather
than 'values'. A 'resource' is something that can't be copied and
'shared' like a 'value'. (The phrase 'sharing a resource' is a
contradiction in terms; of course, the whole point of an OS is to
guarantee that the resource is used mutually exclusively in time.)
When languages acquire 'linear'/'unique' types as 'first-class'
elements, then the distinction between language and OS can disappear.
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