Vadim Antonov's Grail

Sat, 2 Jan 1999 10:23:15 -0800 (PST)

[Moving thread to Review List]
> or

On Sat, 2 Jan 1999, David Jeske wrote:
> It looks like a capability based OS (with different terminiology):

Looks that way to me, too.

> [...]
> However, as I've stated above, I don't see what they've done to manage
> the complexity of these interactions. Can anyone else help me out here?

I agree with their analysis (it's better than anything I could have
written), but not their solution.

Favorite points:
> [usable systems can be understood by 1 person]

Is this possible today?  I'm not sure... could we hope for collective
understanding, as a community?  Surely we already have that, with Linux.
The linux kernel faq says it is impossible for one person to understand
everything about the linux kernel, but if we consider the social
structure, you can find out what you need to know about it, by finding
someone who can tell you, or reading the source yourself.

I hope *more of* tunes can be understood by 1 person, than Linux.  I hope
to improve the ability to understand the system by reading the source.
The community is always necessary, I think.  But how hard are we willing
to work to KEEP the system simple enough to understand by 1 person, as it

> [the worse a programming language is, the more dialects it will have]

Is this true?  More importantly, is it bad?  I think only if "dialect"
means "mutually unintelligible" (incompatible)... curiously, mutual
unintelligibility is used by one group of linguists to define boundaries
between separate languages...  I think we should in CS, too.

> " The ultimate goal of the operating system design is  to
> create a system which will not die of its own complexity."

Open systems, dependent on continual input of outside information and
interaction, can survive despite complexity.  That means, if the system is
easy to understand and is adapted to allowing people to evolve it, then it
has a chance to avoid becoming a bloated, buggy dinosaur. 

David Manifold <>
This message is placed in the public domain.