coordinating efforts..

Mon, 25 Jan 1999 19:53:39 +0100 (CET)

>>>>> "Tom" == Tom Novelli <> writes:

    Tom> It's becoming painfully clear just how reduntant our
    Tom> prototyping efforts are becoming.. maybe, as project
    Tom> coordinator, you could help us remedy the situation. Find out
    Tom> what people are working on, and how seriously. What looks
    Tom> promising? 

As one of the contributor (I'm KUT author), I'll like to add a few

1) At this state of the TUNES project (currently -jan 1999- TUNES is
   vaporware) redundancy is a *good thing* because detailed design is
   not done (and I believe undoable) so prototyping is mandatory.
   This means of course that we should all accept that some efforts
   are going nowhere.

2) Consider KUT as dead. As KUT sole author, I don't intend to work on
   it for important reasons:

   a. I encountered a psychological deadlocking bug in KUT. In
   practice KUT doesn't work: the keyboard code don't run and I am not
   getting any interrupt on my PC.

   b. most importantly, and even without the preceding fatal bug, KUT
   was ill- (=un-?) defined.

   c. The KUT name is a bad name. 

3) Tom cited several ongoing or aborted efforts.

4) If I'll have time, I might try coding TBM (Tunes Bootstrapping
   Machinery), a bad name for KUT successor. It will be built above
   the OSKIT (>=0.97).

   I believe the main point is to get a few design principles for
   something *much less ambitious* than TUNES, but eventually able to
   bootstrap TUNES. In my opinion (but of course, I do expect other
   people to try something really different) this means a 32 bit
   kernel with a very few syscalls, capable of supporting a persistent
   object system. This also means defining a middle level langage. (I
   am not sure that R4RS Scheme is the way to go!)

Again, having several "competing" programs is *good* for TUNES at this
time. When some of them will give a clearer idea about what TUNES
should really be and how it should be built, it will be time to choose
one (or a few) roadpaths to TUNES. Currently, we don't even know how
to build TUNES!

I think that even if any of us (including Faré or Dem, and I admire
their ideas) were given a lot of money and brillant manpower, he
won't be able to design & built TUNES in a single try! We need *a lot*
of experimentation.

Building bootstrapping systems is whichcraft today. Tunes is an effort
to making it an art. It will become science in dozens of year from

Very practical question: I might be given an old portable computer
(486 with 8Mb RAM & 1Gb disk without CDROM). Any practical advice
(probably installing a small Linux on it) to make it usable for
debugging a machine (running on my bigger home PC: Pentium200MMX with
48Mb RAM & 8 Gb disk)


Basile STARYNKEVITCH - 8 rue de la Faiencerie, 92340 BOURG LA REINE (France)
tel mél = basile point starynkevitch at wanadoo point fr