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Would it make more sense to add features to an existing system?

Would it make more sense to add features to an existing system?

Posted Nov 30, 2012 8:54 UTC (Fri) by renox (subscriber, #23785)
In reply to: Would it make more sense to add features to an existing system? by skissane
Parent article: Haiku edges toward general release

> might it make more sense to take the innovative features of BeOS, and add them to an existing OS

Note that one of the most innovative feature of BeOS was responsiveness(*), it's quite hard to add responsiveness to an existing OS..

*: it's difficult to know why it was much more responsive than the other OS (being closed source), but I think that it was because of heavy use of multi-threading: each GUI program had a dedicated thread to manage the window and the display server was also multi-threaded.


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Would it make more sense to add features to an existing system?

Posted Nov 30, 2012 16:26 UTC (Fri) by bronson (subscriber, #4806) [Link]

The early Hobbit & PPC releases were responsive due to a complete lack of memory protection... The GPU was mapped into each application's memory space and shared appkit/drawing libs would bang it directly. No context switching. As this was fixed, that "omigod YES" feeling went away a little.

Of course, CPUs are now 50 times faster. It seems like every operating system should feel WAY faster than BeOS did, but only iOS (and maybe Jellybean) seem to be in the same camp.

Would it make more sense to add features to an existing system?

Posted Nov 30, 2012 16:40 UTC (Fri) by bronson (subscriber, #4806) [Link]

Sorry, bad wording. There was not a *complete* lack of memory protection since it obviously used the MMU... But when safety vs. latency questions came up, the decision pretty much always went toward lowering latency.

Would it make more sense to add features to an existing system?

Posted Nov 30, 2012 16:47 UTC (Fri) by renox (subscriber, #23785) [Link]

Well I didn't use an Hobbit and AFAIK on PCs BeOS had memory protection and it was still much more responsive than anything else at the time.

It would be interesting to know if BeOS still feel more responsive than current OSs on modern hardware (especially one with a SSD)..

Would it make more sense to add features to an existing system?

Posted Nov 30, 2012 17:21 UTC (Fri) by bronson (subscriber, #4806) [Link]

Check out what I said about mapping the GPU... Any app could use the GPU to DMA anywhere on the machine. Saving those context switches counts for a LOT, but means that you don't really need to worry about security since your machine is wide open anyway.


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