What's in a name?

Jecel Mattos de Assumpcao Jr. jecel@lsi.usp.br
Tue, 8 Nov 94 04:00:24 EDT

Johan Van Schalkwyk <jvs@iconz.co.nz> wrote:
> This letter has two (related) subjects:
> 1. Goals
> 2. A name.
> 1. Goals
> --------
> I'm still not sure about the long term goals of the (tunes) project. What 
> do we really want to do?
>    [ many good points deleted ]
> If we are going to make a success of our "project" 
> then we cannot employ a shotgun approach - we must carefully identify 
> those areas where:
>         a. there is a need, and
>         b. we have expertise
> and exploit these to their full potential.
> 1.1 Ideas?
> ----------
> -------------

I really agree with this. It is important to define GOALS first
of all, and then worry about strategies. "TUNES is a Useful, Not
Expedient System" is more of a strategy, as is using persistent
stores with object migrations. Some goals ( as examples ):

Macintosh: the computer for the rest of us.

       This implies that only a few nerds will use other kinds
       of computers. Too bad these few add up to 90% of the market...

Sun: the network is the computer.

       Connectivity is the key. Distributed computing replacing
       mainframes. Downsizing and all that sort of thing.

Windows: information at your fingertips.

       This one is way off. "Windows everywhere" is a bit closer
       to reality ( the goal of monopoly ). This just goes to show
       the distance between goals and results.

Merlin: the power to serve.

       Implies that computers are not useful enough. And that the
       solution is not watered down versions of the same or limited
       shells, but more power.

So Merlin's goals were defined as bringing computing to new users
by making it more attractive ( easier to understand and able to
do more for them ). With that defined, it was possible to think
about strategies. When facing two technologies, it is not possible
to say which is better is you don't know what you want. You can't
say "which is better" but "which fits our goals better".

The use of a very simple protection model rather than capabilities
( or a Unix like system ) and a parallelism model where object=process
are examples of where the "best technologies" didn't help the goals
and were not chosen.

So, what are TUNES goals, again?

-- Jecel