Is Tunes too much?

Fare Rideau
Mon, 19 May 1997 13:33:41 +0200 (MET DST)

Dear Dan,

The contents of your advice have been discussed already,
with similar conclusions being reached:
focusing on the essentials, provide a bare minimal extensible system,
hosting on top of existing software, "exo-/no-/meta-" kernel design,
provide a set of initial applications that can be readily useful
to people on the underlying OS, and so on.

Here are the points were we might be in disagreement:

>: Daniel Robbins <>

> I have looked a bit at your Tunes project and I think it may be too
> ambitious a project, and I don't mean to discourage you by saying that.
Ambitious, certainly. "Too" ambitious, well depends.
Perhaps too ambitious wrt my disability as a leader or manager.
Not too ambitious technically.

> Only Microsoft and a few others have the resources to develop an OS and
> tons of related APIs from scratch.
The whole idea of free software is that
there needn't be centralized development by a one Leviathan.
RMS did not develop all of GNU's software.
Linus did not develop all of Linux' software.
We will not develop all of Tunes' software.

We discarded DOS as a host operating system. DOS is dead; let it be.
Linux/POSIX was choosen instead. See the Tunes/LLL/OTOP subproject.
The Flux OS kit (new improved version due RSN) would host
a bare-hardware version. See the Tunes/LLL/i386 subproject.

We will not provide "a solid base of DOS programs to load, install,
develop for and configure your OS" ourselves. If the OS is successful,
lots of others people will do it (Caldera, RedHat, etc).
We only need be compatible with available boot loaders such as
LILO, GRUB, LOADLIN, Flux on the i386, OpenFirmware everywhere else.
Besides, GNU development tools, that we'll use,
already exist for all platforms.

> Second stage would be to do design a powerful way of extending the
> functions available to the programmer,
This is no second stage.
Reflection as a framework for dynamically extending the system
is *first stage* for Tunes.
Again, booting the hardware is not a problem: Linux, Flux, and GCC,
already provide us an environment for booting and doing I/O.
The problem is booting the *software*:
I still haven't issued a language spec yet.

[The idea for the HLL core is Scheme,
modified with the suggestions from Hbaker's CritLisp article
and the Tunes Language Review page,
together with reflective features described in the Tunes HLL page,
including first class environments and *invariants*, epsilons, proofs,
first-class representations with a generic invalidation mechanism.]


> I want to repeat that I'm not saying this to discourage you, but rather
> to help you--
Our project in the Tunes project seems not to be with knowing,
but with *doing* (and of course, I'm principal responsible for lack thereof).
Help or friendly takeover welcome.

== Fare' -- -- Franc,ois-Rene' Rideau -- DDa(.ng-Vu~ Ba^n ==
Join the TUNES project for a computing system based on computing freedom !
                TUNES is a Useful, Not Expedient System
URL: ""