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Amiga As A Compatibility Tool For Linux 108

Milk-Boy directs your attention to this amiga.org editorial, which raises an interesting point about compatibility, and the downside to Linux's constant development. The work-around suggested to breaking programs is to use the (upcoming) Amiga OS under Linux. It reads, in part, "[W]hy should developers slave away writing one game over and over again when they can write it once, optimize it for specific platforms if desired (Amiga's operating system is real-time and thus quite fast), and release it on all major software platforms -- including Linux -- simultaneously. Suddenly Windows becomes a choice, not a given -- and the world will be well." The argument is extended by mentioning that StarOffice and Mozilla are also planned for the Amiga OS.
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Amiga As A Compatibility Tool For Linux

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  • by pope nihil ( 85414 ) on Friday December 15, 2000 @05:14PM (#555408) Journal
    If the operating systems Amiga is running on top of are not real-time, how does it achieve real-time status? Or is it one of those shutdown your OS and restart with another things? Does anyone know?
  • Will there be a stand alone Amiga OS distro released for the x86 platform?
  • I'll believe it when I see it. So far, with all things Amiga, that's been... NEVER!


  • And to think I spent all day searching Ebay for an Amiga 3000.....

  • by Amphigory ( 2375 ) on Friday December 15, 2000 @05:17PM (#555412) Homepage
    Once in a blue moon... When Pigs Fly... When the Lion Lays with the Lamb... When Hell Freezes Over... When there is a bonafide product with the Amiga name on it... When Gore gets elected for dog-catcher... When it snows in South Florida...


  • Java!

    A language designed for compatability across all platforms, without any hassles at all with portability. Of course, the problem with Java is that it is slow, but there is no reason why specialized VM's can't be built for the next generation of consoles. And current VM's are getting faster all the time - the other day I played a 3d game on my Linux box that ran fairly fast.

    It seems to me that it would be easier to go forward into the ever-increasing Java world than backward into the Amiga world, but of course I am not an expert. Why use a new OS for these purposes when the tools are already there?

    KTB:Lover, Poet, Artiste, Aesthete, Programmer.

  • I believe he's talking about a virtualized Amiga, plex86 style.

    bm :)-~

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Speaking for my company (a games company) if we released a game which was only "fairly fast" we wouldn't last long ;)

    There are very broad issues regarding Java games on consoles. They include cache issues, DMA issues and CPU utilization issues. But they can be briefly summarized as follows: forget it.

  • by 11thangel ( 103409 ) on Friday December 15, 2000 @05:23PM (#555416) Homepage
    Ahh a program that can be ported to any platform almost instantaniously. It will work without flaws and bring joy to all gamers. You have reached: nerdvana.
  • i can't figure out what this means.

  • by gags bunny ( 263639 ) on Friday December 15, 2000 @05:31PM (#555418)
    "It [Linux] is a support nightmare due to the multiple flavors of popular versions (of Linux) and the ever-changing kernel. Retailers don't want it, and the Linux Q3A sales were disappointing."

    Its becomming more and more clear that linux needs a standard distro. Like it or not, this is one of the strengths of windows. People are tired of software saying thinks like --it works with linux but with debian you have to do this and with slackware you have to do something else to get it to work.

    But non-free commercial software is fairly scarce on Linux, and when it does come out it tends to fail in the commercial market, as Quake III Arena has done.

    A side effect to the free-software movement. I think its obvious that the FSF has been unable to adequatley make its point that free speech != free beer. Im not saying the FSF has failed, but only not made its point clear enough on this issue.

    So why does Linux need Amiga? Well, believe it or not, there are Linux users that will want to use and buy Amiga software.

    see above comment. This is why Amiga will fail. It has to be baught. Linux users (right or wronge) want stuff free. I think its a frustration over paying outrageous prices for windows software with all its holes and bugs. As a result, linux users would rather take development level software for free -- even if it never gets out of development level.

    Of course, all of this hinges on the final Amiga DE actually being released

    READ: VaporWare

    when is amiga ever going to actually release something and just stop promising to?

    Im sorry to be so harsh here, but it is kind of sad.
  • Uhh... As far as I can tell, Java != AmigaOS, which is one of the selling points of the AmigaOS - it is the AmigaOS.

    Are processors fast enough to virtualize a whole Amiga now? Cause even in '89, the Amiga was able to do as much as PC's can now. Only thing slow was the disk drive.
  • Not from me, my friend. I will eagerly await the new Amiga "environment", then watch as it becomes nothing more than a developer curiosity. Shortly after the novelty of the Amiga name will wear off (if it hasn't already, given all the broken promises) and everyone will continue to on with their lives, as if nothing happened.
  • Insofar as Dallas was hit with the winter storm, and everything blanketed under ice, the Fell Freezes Over prerequisite has been met.

    As far as the lion laying with the lamb, I feel a strict don't-ask-don't tell policy is appropriate.

  • by kaisyain ( 15013 ) on Friday December 15, 2000 @05:37PM (#555422)
    Amiga's operating system is real-time and thus quite fast

    Real-time only means it meets timing guarantees. Not that it is fast. Real-time only means when I say it'll take 100 days to add two numbers, it absolutely won't take 101 days.

    Sure, real time operating systems commonly are relatively quick but one does not automatically imply the other.

    Armed with a legacy of being the most capable gaming platform on the market, the new Amiga DE

    It is either new or it has a legacy. I don't understand how it can have both. In any case I seriously doubt this statement is anything other than marketing vapor.

    For game developers, Amiga's powerful multiplatform, multimedia-centric Amiga DE is a dream come true.

    Multiplatform and multimedia-centric are relatively useless buzzwords for game developers. Until Amiga's SDK becomes as powerful as DirectX (not that I'm saying DirectX is perfect, just that it's nice not to have to reinvent the wheel all the time) the Amiga will never be a dream come true for developers.

    At under 5MB total, the Amiga DE can even run piggy-back on game discs for Nintendo's Game Cube
    and Sony's Playstation

    That's a lot. The original Playstation only has 2 MB of system memory. The N64 has 4 MB. The Dreamcast has 16 MB. I'm not sure I want the OS eating up over 1/4 of the available memory on my console. Since it doesn't sound like they're talking about consoles, what do they mean when they say "multiplatform"?

    Ports of StarOffice and Mozilla (and thereby Netscape 6 and beyond) are already planned

    Lots of things are planned. Some of them actually end up happening.
  • s/Fell/Hell/
  • Why the hell do people ALWAYS bring Java into the discussion when talking about anything that involves the word "multi-platform"?

    Java is SLOW, no matter how fast you can make it run. Java is NOT AN OPTION. This discussion is NOT about Java. We've discussed Java about a million times already and I'm tired of it.

    Java has its various uses and is a very good programming language IMHO, but it's not for anything huge like StarOffice or Mozilla or anything designed for intense performance like Quake.

    Now to keep this on topic, I believe I'm another skeptic. I question AmigaOS's capability to run things as well as advertised on all platforms. For example, consider the efforts that Microsoft puts into DirectX. Do you seriously think that you'll have comparable performance and features on all the platforms that AmigaOS supports?

    I'd also like to extend the editorial's topic. If AmigaOS is all it advertises to be, it won't only "save" Linux, but every single obsolete architecture that's used for compatibility reasons. Above all, AmigaOS may ensure a smooth transition from Windows to, say, Linux and from x86 to, say, anything else.

  • Is he an idiot?
    Isn't a large portion of Vampire:Masqeurade in Java?
  • I hope they are right. It would be great to develop your software once and just have the translator, Amiga DE, interperate for whatever its running on. Sounds alot like the idea for Java... The Amiga DE is going to have to run very fast so it doesn't end up like java. Especially if someone wants to use it for games that are more intense than solitare and minesweeper, like Quake, Asheron's Call, and Starcraft.


    Amiga. It just keeps going and going and going...

  • by karzan ( 132637 ) on Friday December 15, 2000 @05:49PM (#555427)
    The real problem is not constant development of things like the kernel--that's fine and to be expected. The real problem is that while Linux is open source, it's not Open Systems. Open Systems means you document all the APIs, interfaces, and protocols and decide on them in an open process generally before coding even begins. You then publish these interfaces and make a guarantee of backwards compatibility in future versions. This means older software always works, and allows for multiple implementations that are all intercompatible. That's what UNIX decided to do a while ago, hence the formation of The Open Group [opengroup.org] (that's open systems, not open source). Motif and CDE are Open Systems; GNOME/GTK and KDE/Qt are not. UNIX is Open Systems because it complies with the UNIX standard, which is an Open System. Linux does not and is not.

    Bottom line: if Linux were to become an Open System by adopting open industry standards and stating compliance, rapid change would be irrelevant to developers because Linux would always be backward compatible. UNIX did this years ago.

    More information on open systems is available at the SEI's Open Systems page. [cmu.edu]

  • How many applications interface directly with the kernel in such a way that if the kernel work is done it breaks API/ABI ? This is not a LINUX problem this is what you get when you use x11 toolkits that are under heavy development. This is a strong reason why SDL is used by loki. Every notice how the same Netscape works on almost kerenel minor number as long as major is correct, and how many people change from libc5 to glibc on a whim? Netscape works because they staticly compiled in motif. If you want compatiblaty staticly compile in your X11 tool kit. I dont want to see the pace of development slowed down just so some moron can use shared librarys. Screw them, we dont need the application anyways. Oh by they way if they would distribute source why would it matter??... ooops closed source Im sorry, you dont get to play
  • OK, I know absolutely nothing about Amiga. Sorry. I was just wondering what significance that checkered sphere has as the image for amiga articles?

    Max, in America, it's customary to drive on the right.

  • but wasn't John Carmack's main beef with Linux (other than horrendous sales) that he and his crew had to constantly test with each kernel revision? If that is true then wouldn't the same caveat apply to the Amiga platform? Just a thought.
  • Too bad Java bytecode applications never became popular. (Or haven't so far?)

    "May the best platform win, whatever it turns out to be" is a hell of a dream, and I hope it happens someday.

  • Anyone ever tried QNX under VMWare? QNX is a nice real-time platform, but under VMWare, it was terrible...

    I am of the opinion that a real-time platform under virtualization is useless...


  • I guess they're used to getting free software as well..
  • by Anonymous Coward
    It's virtual real time. The emulated code is sure that only 2 microseconds went and that the neutron control rod hasn't been pulled out too long. It's ok that 140 milliseconds has actually gone by in real life, because the uranium pile is just a simulation anyway.
  • Too bad. I sold thissystem [smsu.edu] on eBay last February. Oh, and believe it or not, it fetched $2450 (2.45x10^3).

  • The real question is, if Java can't do it, why does anyone believe Amiga can?
  • well people are trying to do that (RH has public appeal) but others just don't care... They want their system one way.. Whatever, let them fiddle w/stuff. If you want a standard distrib put your faith behind one and try to get people to use it ;)

  • by Geek Dash Boy ( 69299 ) on Friday December 15, 2000 @06:13PM (#555438) Homepage
    since Quake 3 has been brought into the conversation...

    Its becomming more and more clear that linux needs a standard distro. Like it or not, this is one of the strengths of windows. People are tired of software saying thinks like --it works with linux but with debian you have to do this and with slackware you have to do something else to get it to work.

    I remember a quote from J. Carmack in his .plan file (which is unfortunately gone now), where he stated why the Q3Test was released for Mac OS first: because the hardware was "predictable" and there was only one OpenGL implementation n the platform, so it made for an ideal test environment.

    My point being: while that doesn't always translate to shipping commercial software, I think it says something about the value of a standard platform or "reference" platform.

    note: this is not Mac evangelism.

  • I think it's safe to say that like the recent article about there not being a "best language," neither is there a "best OS." Windows 98 is still King of the Games. Linux is generally considered King of all Geekdom. BSD is considered by some to be the King of the Server. Solaris is considered to be the King of CADates. The assumption that this would work best doesn't seem to hold water. If done properly, programmers could make a cross-platform game relatively easily, and still be able to develop for specific playform optimization.


  • Bah. If you can't virtualize Java, which is mostly a programming language, without serious speed penalties, how the hell can you virtualize AmigaOS, a whole OS, without serious speed penalties? Just 'cos it's AmigaOS doesn't mean it's magic. Hell, it's just vapor for now, at least in any virtualized form.
  • I remember the first time I saw real raytracing was on an Amiga. Very cool stuff for the time, I had been proud just to make colors appear on my C-64.

    So I would guess that's why the logo is a rendered sphere...

    A sphere is (arguably) one of the simplest geometric shapes to render, and there's just something about those checkered textures...

  • Actually, Vampire: The Masquerade used Java as it's backend scripting system. (They even offer the Java based SDK here [ign.com] for the mod community.) In fact, most games these days use some sort of scripting system, quite often compiled down to a bytecode-esque format. (Jedi Knight, Unreal, Deus Ex, the list goes on...) Additionally, Capcom is taking *this exact tactic* of developing bytecode translated games to save porting time.

    To put it in perspective, ten years ago, console games were being written in assembly. Five years ago, they were being written mostly in C. Now, hardware can sustain C++ development *with* scripting support.

    Darwin would be confused...
  • If I were to make a game that needed the Amiga OS, could I ship a version of the Amiga OS with my game without increasing the price? Realistically, 5 people in the world are going to have this "Amiga" environment installed on their PCs, for anyone else it would have to be included with the game to make this a reasonable proposition, and I don't think Amiga is giving it away.

    I will be happy if I am wrong. I was an Amiga fanatic back in the day. I'd love to see something bearing the Amiga name make a comeback (however little it has to do with actual Amigas)

    Now that the idea has been put forward, however, I think a more likely propositon for a universal environment for games would be an X-box emulator/VM. Anyone know any reason that wouldn't be by far the easiest route to go, with X-box hardware being basically a PC anyway?
  • Running an RTOS as a task under Linux. Yeah. Well.. then it'd no longer be realitime..

    How is this different from simply saying we need a solid gaming API? That's what we really need.

    "IT's an RTOS so it's fast". No. It's an RTOS so it gives the developers more accurate control over interrupts and such, enabling them to make better use of the hardware.

  • This is just yet another ad selling Amiga game engine to games developing companies. It make use of the word 'Linux' to make it sounds as if it's a major breakthru of technologies.

    Most of these companies are using their own layer of game engines one type of another, very few of them would write a big game from scratch. The difficulties in porting from one platform to another depends on the flexibility and maintainability of the game engine in use. It's common practice for a game developed on a less popular yet powerful platform then port to another one for mass-sale. First Doom for example developed on SGI. (back then, playing full version of Doom in SGI was free. ^_^ )

    Larger games developing companies would not switch their own proprietary game engine to another which is out of their control.

    However it might be beneficial to small-scale games developing effort, especailly when there's a big concern in supporting games in Linux.

  • Amiga had some neat stuff, yes, and Unix had them before Amiga did.

    I'm not knocking the old Amiga line, those were superb machines, arguable ahead of their time. A hacker's dream.


    Amiga was a victom of Commodore's idiocy, and useless marketing and management. The company had no idea how to keep what they had. They squandered what they did have, and I believe some of them are now living rich in the Carribean?

    The Amiga was a great machine, but it died because it was bought and raped by commodore.

  • Why the hell do people ALWAYS bring Java into the discussion when talking about anything that involves the word "multi-platform"?

    At the risk of being marked as another troll for talking about Java I couldn't help telling you this:


    Let me be more explicit.....if they want us to write games, we wouldn't get more pay; if they want us to write high performance dialog popup gui animation etc., we wouldn't get more pay.....

    But we write programs for Enterprise Application in Java and they've to pay us more!

    Java is SLOW, no matter how fast you can make it run. Java is NOT AN OPTION. This discussion is NOT about Java. We've discussed Java about a million times already and I'm tired of it.

    Yeah, java is tired of being compared in an area where those companies pay craps to programmers. So count java out of such discussion in the future. Appreciated.

  • Linux users (right or wronge) want stuff free
    Who doesn't?

    I haven't bought a lot of commercial Linux software (just Q3A and VMWare) but that may actually have something to do with the fact that there ISN'T ANY!

    Take DVD players for instance. I would buy Intervideo LinDVD RIGHT NOW if they'd just fucking release it. It's not really sensible to look at a marketplace with thousands of potential buyers and just a handful of vendors and say "Look, nobody's buying anything! There's no way to make money off these people."

    And Q3A is a really bad example, for reasons that have been discussed to death already.

  • do we forget java so quickly? it's had a lot more time to mature than amiga, and with HotSpot (jdk 1.3) it supposedly has 80-90% the speed of C++...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    So, isn't this like writting the software for, say, the Superfamicom/Snes console and then telling everyone to use their prefered Superfamicom emulator on whatever OS/cpu they are running? BTW: I believe most 2d games have anything they could ever need from such emulated consoles, and since the emulators are there anyway...

    /Me wonders why people don't just use SDL + an emulated "CPUx" or something, and make SDL+CPUx work in all Platforms available, via emulation.

    Then somebody like Transmeta could take the emulation thing more seriously, and allow people to reprogram their cpus and change the standard x86 emulation, to, say, CPUx emulation. Maybe this could be achieved with dual Transmetas, or something, one in x86 mode, and the other in the desired CPUx emulation mode, giving incredible speed emulation... Hmm this could also help Java and friends, doesn't it? :)

    I believe this could be called hardware emulation... Maybe a simple PCI board with a programable Transmeta like cpu (hence, an "emu-coprocesor") to run on any desired architecture (well, at least the ones with PCI available to them :)
  • Redhat have actually made 112% profit over last year. Thats despite there RH7 nightmare (which in fact may yet bite them). Unfortuantly RH is one company that does not seem to want any standard.To take the risk they took is out of the question in this day and age of Linux, especially if you are the leader. With the new 2.4 Kernel getting closer and combining that with the 4X series of XFree86 you are going to have a much easier time installing and running those games as its basically a single API. Now they just have to get joystick support in there a lot easier... Back on topic with the Amiga: I cannot believe that they are still going...It was an excellent system for its time, but now it has gone past its life IMHO. Which is why most of what you hear is vapourware. These are just my opinions....I liked the Amiga immensley at the time when all the software you could buy (this was in the UK btw) were for the Amiga (with a splattering of Atari ST titles thrown in). But I cannot see its return. StarTux
  • Poorly you. From Score 3 funny, to score 2 troll, now score 1 troll. It woudn't be long before you become score -1 Troll Lord. (so would this post).

    Your sin is talking about Java. Whether people saying good about java here, one'd be regraded as being sacasm(Funny) or blowing winds(troll).

    JVM getting faster and faster? They don't believe it. Java 3D/2D for games? They havent' heard of such things.

    It's true that in the present stat Java does not run a good games; but I do wish Java would never run any good games. We don't want Java running games and playing animation well, we want it to stay in Enterprise application area so that we can continue getting high pay.

  • Netscape works because they staticly compiled in motif.

    Wrong. Motif is an open system, and therefore backward compatible. Regardless of whether they statically linked it in, Netscape would have been compatible with future versions of Motif (at least source compatible). That is a fundamental difference between Motif and Gtk/Qt--Motif, like much professional software, is fully documented and guaranteed to be backwards compatible as an Open System.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    an open gaming platform would be something like opengl or a protable open direkt x clone. (note the emphasis on open.) not a platform, where developers have to pay to develop ;-)

    linux may not be ready to gaming yet, but soon. if such a gaming library is LGPL commecial games are possible (why the hell not!).

    you won't need a real-time os for gaming. today you need good graphics drivers for gaming, and the linux ones are getting better ...

    1 1/2 year ago the solution would have been opengl, now because of direkt x features we have to create open gaming extentions for opengl merge with thing like SDL and need good drivers.

    nobody needs the overhead of a gaming os, not right now ...

    but then again who misses halflife on linux anyway? (sorry could not resist :-)

    where are the simple an good ideas and games, not bloated by effects and non-interactive movies inbetween.

    there are no new ideas for years: ego shooters, adventures that look like ego shooters, simulations with action sequences like ego-shooters, the 10th part of old good ideas like lemmings & co - they even tend to look like ego shooters sometime ;-).

    anyway you don't need more than 80fps to play that, *all* of that ... at least today ...

    there has to be a next step soon or the market will slowly decrease ...

    the future games will have a new dimension and it will not be the third one (exclusively) and the internet is just the beginning...

    nearly no latency, bandwith and distributed techniques will be the first step. wireless portable internet the next. you will be entering the game anytime anywhere and life will become a game ... games are already part of our life they will just be closer - more real.

    at least it looks like it right now ... one thing is for sure a non protable sandalone computer is certainly NOT the gaming platform of the future!

    i guess i shouldn't have watched eXistenz. (i just realized that the above was neither a profecy nor a extrapoaltion of today, but just a mere unconcious thought created by movies and what we believe virtual reality will be like - therefore it will be totally different ;-)

  • > I'm amazed that nobody has thought of something like this before.

    Try this [uci.edu] on for size.

  • Thanks to all that replied. This one, in particular, was quite informative.

    I bow before your vastly superior Amiga knowledge.

    Of course, it's understandable that I would not know this... I was but a wee lad of three when these things would have been going on. At that time, I was actually on computers (my mom has a pic that she loves to drag out of me at about 2 hitting at a keyboard), but IIRC (and I probably don't, as I was three...) they were DOS, that blasted thing. I remember being completely awed by a little christmas program that played music and had crude animations of reindeer, santa, etc.

    To think, there were machines with programs running metaphoric loops around that thing at that time....

    Max, in America, it's customary to drive on the right.

  • Speaking for my company (a games company) if we released a game which was only "fairly fast" we wouldn't last long ;)

    When a game of Tetanus [8m.com] (a popular Tetris clone) first starts, it is quite literally running at two frames per second. Two! The graphics are simplistic but easy to parse. But once Alice makes lines, it starts speeding up until her brain explodes.

    Some of us still want gameplay, not graphics. If we wanted graphics, we'd be playing GIMP [gimp.org] or POV-Ray [povray.org].

    Tetris on drugs, NES music, and GNOME vs. KDE Bingo [pineight.com].
  • by Ryandav ( 5475 )
    didn't you read the subject?
  • The argument is extended by mentioning that StarOffice and Mozilla are also planned for the Amiga OS.

    Ha! And how much success have those two applications had in bring Linux to the modern business desktop?

    Suddenly Windows becomes a choice, not a given . . .
    Windows has always been about choice. Much more so than Linux, anyway. Linux users are still stuck with the obselete and inferior Netscape line of browsers, while Windows users are able to choose between Nescape and Internet Explorer. Linux does not support exciting languages like Visual Basic and C#. Linux does not support ActiveX or DirectX. I've even been informed that Linux doesn't even support keyboards!

    Linux offers relatively little choice. The few areas where there are competition (and therefore choice), however, like window managers, are overrun with one piss-poor product after the next. Choose between KDE and GNOME? That's like asking to choose between a gunshot wound or a stabbing; it's just a question of which is less painful.

    And you're telling me Linux is about choice?! With its poor hardware support, lack of real software, and ugly, impish, foppish developers, it's no wonder that Linux can't compete.

    You want choice? Stick with Microsoft. We offer you a choice of operating systems: Windows Me, Windows 2000 Professional, Windows 2000 Server, Windows 2000 Advanced Server, and Windows 2000 Datacenter. We offer you a choice of development languages: C++, J++, L++, E++, and F++. We even offer a choice of hardware vendors: Dell and Compaq. Much different than the Linux world, where all hardware is owned by monopoly vendor VA Linux, which only allows users to lease hardware for periods of three weeks at a time.

    And finally, Microsoft developers are allowed choice of sexual orientation. The Linux world enforces a strict policy of violent homosexuality. Proving my point are the abundant "assman" hyperlinks on this site.

    Thank you for reading.

    See you in hell,
    Bill Fuckin' Gates®.

  • I also recall hearing him critique the MacOS subsystem during the development of Quake 3.

    It was not good, in fact, it was very, very, very bad.
  • I think the fact that it is ray traced is just a coincidence.
    The A1000 had some neat demo programs, one of which was a person jugaling these checkered balls. There might have been an earlier demo that used the ball, but this is the first I remember.
    Like many, the Amiga is a distant memory of a child hood a long time ago.
  • You're right, it's not perfectly clear which kind of memory he's talking about and I assumed he meant runtime. In retrospect it seems more likely he meant disk space. However, other than in the N64 area, I don't see how the Amiga DE's small size is much of a win. Most of the PS games I have have enough free space on the CD to put a decent install of Windows 95 on them.
  • Nonsense. The problem here is binary compatibilty, not source compatibility. UNIX has a billion different binary-incompatible implementations.
    I've worked on a program that is supposed to run on many Unix systems. Is there a drem, and if not, is there a function that works like it? Linux has a working drem. A UNIX system may, or may not, and any replacement is not standardized. Looking at autoconf stuff for several programs, that's not unique to mdate and drem.

    Where does Linux not fit the "open industry standards"? Linux has an ANSI C89 compiler and conforms closely to the POSIX .1 and .2 standards. GNU Libc also conforms to C99 and various Open Group standards.

    (Considering as Motif and CDE only had one implementation and the people who are trying to reimplement Motif have found the documentation to be far from sufficent, I would question that they have much more claim to the title of Open System than GNOME/GTK and KDE/Qt.)
  • I've seen this 'point' about three times on Slashdot already. So I have to ask:

    So What?

    What is your argument, really? "Java's better because Java programmers make more money?" That holds about as much water as trying to argue that VB is good because lots of people use it. The amount of money someone makes for writing code in a certain language has nothing to do with how appropriate that language may be for a certain task.

    There was an article on /. a day or two ago about the 'evils' of language wars. While I don't have a problem with reasoned debate, at least choose an argument that has some relevance. The original poster made a good point. You, as you correctly stated, were a troll.

  • by tolldog ( 1571 ) on Friday December 15, 2000 @07:10PM (#555465) Homepage Journal
    I wonder how the first developers view the new Amiga direction.
    I have mixed feelings. I was so anxious for the Gateway box that was supposed to come out. I loved the A1000 we had years ago (look at the games I can play... what can your AppleIIGS do?).
    My first experience with a dos machine was on the Amiga emulator and the 5 1/4 drive. Also, my first experience with public domain games (Freddy Fish?) Also, programing too, some form of basic. And pascal too, I think.
    Now, we have something that looks a little like Java or that web browser plugin (mentioned earlier). I have so many mixed feelings. The idea that you can still develop for something under the Amiga name is cool if only for the rich history. I guess if it delivers what it promises, it should be worth developing for, but is there a contingency for those that spend the time and it never pans out? I know that the current carrier of the Amiga name has promised not to pull a Gateway-type move on us fans, but Gateway also promised to not do it either.

    Maybe I am jaded by all of the past lies and promises or maybe I just wonder what is wrong with developing for individual platforms.

    Who knows... enough from a person looking at the past.
  • My TRS-80 Color Computer had preemptive multitasking in ... what ... 1982? I'm sure it wasn't the first micro to preemptively multitask either.
  • by Jerf ( 17166 ) on Friday December 15, 2000 @07:23PM (#555467) Journal
    Do you believe in magic... in an old platform's heart,
    where the marketing's all true and the processor's smart,
    it's magic,
    when five megabytes,
    can make twenty plaforms move like dancers in tights...

    So, with just five megabytes in any environment, Amiga can solve every cross-platform issue known to man, and implement a real-time OS on top of non-real-time OS's? This I have got to see. Sign me up for the first game that runs on my Dreamcast, my windows computer, and my linux computer with this groovy five megabyte magic addition. I expect it to run faster then the equivalent Java game!

    Only then will this little voice inside of me stop composing mocking ditties set to old sixties music.

  • Some of the comments to this article have been interesting. As usual, I glean more useful data from the random babblings of slashdot users than from the corporate hype. There seems to be some skepticism that the Amiga people can actually pull this off. Up until now, I envisioned the new Amiga OS as kind of an ass-backwards X-Box, allowing people to boot their PC with an Amiga game in the CD-ROM and use the PC as a console, basically.

    When I thought that that was the plan, I thought it was an idea with great potential. Now it appears that Amiga is planning to provide an emulation layer for existing operating systems. How is this going to help? Will Amiga be using DirectX on M$ machines and X11 on *nix machines? What good is that?

    I think I've reached terminal confusion. Maybe if the Amiga people would provide more facts and less marketing babble I would be less confused.

    It's always possible that the problem is on my end, though...
  • Redhat have actually made 112% profit over last year.

    Revenue, not profit.

  • If he had said that, I would have been fine with it. I don't buy your arguments (If you were spending 4 times as much time coding with C than with Java, either you had a problem that was frighteningly well-suited for Java, or your C coding techniques have problems...), but they are legitimate. The problem I had was the completely irrelevant nature of his attack. That's why I called him a troll, not because he likes Java.
  • I agree whole heartdly here.

    Programs which tie directly to the kernel can often be broken by kernel upgrades. See the pcmcia-cs package for an example. It's not a _bad_ thing that this happens, but it's obviously not good either.
    ,br> Maintaining backward compatiblity will always lead to a "bloat" of software. I can't see any way around that.

    A common rant I have when working in the Win32 environment is that there are mutliple calls that do almost the same thing, and multiple methodologies. The odd thing is is that they all come from the same place. There is a rhyme and a reason behind why Microsoft does this, and that's backward compatibility. The thing that gets me there is that I never see documentation exaplaining _why_ there are so many ways of doing something. If there are 12 calls do to similar things I can't seem to ever find out why the first 11 weren't good enough to do the job, and required somebody to come up with _another_ call. At least when dealing with a system which changes dynamically you're not likely to run into that problem.

    Yes, this is horribly off topic.
    ,br> Justin Buist
  • Bottom Line:

    CDE Sucks, Gnome/Gtk and KDE/Qt do Not.

    Kinda makes ya wonder ....
  • Thanks for unencoding my email address so that the spambots will get it.


  • I'm confused... isn't this why we have Java?

  • Linux already runs 65% of all windoze software
    without problems...

    I only hope that IBM puts some of that Billion
    dollars towards wine and other projects that
    would allow native windoze software to run
    under linux.
    (if they were smart.. that's where they would put
    a larg chunk of it)

    Once linux can run 85-90% of software written for
    windoze without doing anything funky...
    YOU, and all your cronies, will be developing
    windoze apps to run on a STABLE friggin platform.

    as for development platforms?? If you're not buying
    a 4,000$ server.. fucking compaq and dell are
    the shittiest computers out there...
    Trust me.. I work on them all day...
    Compaq takes the lead in the 'crappiest built
    computer' contest.. they make up 90% of my
    workload. Dell takes a close second...
    Oh yeah.. if you're a clueless computer user?
    Good luck on calling tech support... ya better
    have a zip drive or cdr... they're just gonna tell
    you to format and 'quick-restore' your piece of
    shit about 6 times before they admit there's
    anything wrong with that piece of junk they sold you.

    Assman hyperlinks on /.? Yeah.. like there's any
    way to stop microshaft morons from posting
    on a non-audited web forum?

    They let YOU post? didn't they?

  • I didn't realize the competition to Amiga DE was 500 MB.
  • Several game companies I can not mention are in the process of making AmigaDE versions along with the windows versions. However, the thing of note is that the Amiga versions will have exclusive features, options and gameplay to promote it. Several Java based companies are already using AmigaDE because of its Java speed and many embedded companies are now on board developing due to AmigaDEs extremly small footprint (Webserver is 4k!).

    You may not like it, but it is happening. I think we need to keep it clean that MS is our enemy. Once they have been done with we can go against each other.
  • AmigaDE is meant to run on top of the API layers so most likely it'll be using DirectDraw in Windows and X on Unix machines. However the API inside of the runtime environment will have its own set of graphical toolkits and whatnot so apps will look the same across systems.
  • When you say, "Amiga will fail" because Linux users don't like free software, you overlook the fact that Amiga can target every platform, not just Linux. In fact, Linux users are a smaller target than, say, the Windows market. As for vaporware, Currently there are SDKs -- which include the new operating system -- available on both Linux and Windows. See the story. JR
  • Amiga can run on any hardware, and the OS can use multiple processor types and choose between them depending on task. I think that's a pretty broad market, compared to the unihardware solution. See the site for the new computer, and the Zico hardware spec therein: http://www.amiga.com/products/one/ The "One" in Amiga One, btw, stands for one processor. JR
  • Amiga worries about the kernel, the developers port to a VP so they can forever ignore the underlying platform, unless they want to use native tools. For developers, new platforms are supported seamlessly and invisibly. Mac OS is on the list, BTW, of supported OSs.
  • there's licensing info at amigadev.net
  • So, being RT enabling developers to make better use of hardware doesn't make it faster, then? How does that work?
  • CDE has been fully functional for years and is quite the widely used desktop environment with professional Unicies. Qt and Gtk have just begun to get the stable functionality CDE and Motif have already had. Not to mention they are like he said Open Systems, the source code only helps you if you want to extend on something someone else has done (copy their work to save time).
  • Strangely enough jsse is really only echoing the message that Sun presented at keynote during the last JavaONE conference. It was completely depressing.

    No longer, this is the great stuff we're going to be doing; here are the exciting new features. Instead last JavaONE all we got was 'don't complain about Java, cause it is making all of you rich.'

    Utter crap.

    Luckily Java is larger than Sun, and even if it weren't there is a lot more of interest happening in the Sun Community extension processes than you might know if you don't follow them.

  • I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you've:

    • Used CDE extensively and understand how it all fits together
    • Administered large enterprise networks with network-and-platform-transparent applications working together on one CDE desktop
    • Programmed using CDE's many libraries, including Motif and the CDE widgets, help system, and printing system, as well as written ToolTalk applications that take advantage of and offer distributed services
    • Written dtksh scripts and moved them between UNIX systems
    • Used CDE 2.1

    because really, the only way you could make a statement like "CDE sucks" is if you'd done all those things, and formed a rational opinion. So based on that, what exactly are the technical problems you have with CDE?

  • Please use the new Real-Time TRS-X-OS-80! Imagine, the power of mach, the micro-kernel, freed of resource hogging servers. Other systems downgrade mach by adding on extras, I doubt you'll ever need. Instantly, you can learn how to use the entire system with the intuitive Aqua-Velva user interface. Forget bewulf, we can add 2 or 3 extra Z2000 processors, for real speed. Imagine a processor dedicated to managing keyboard input, or screen output, data entry has never been this fast before. Also extra modules mean you can also run programs written for the 68000 cpu made so popular in our original model 16! Re-use those powerful Xenix programs, don't throw them away! What we have here is a powerful new operating system with the added benifits of being able to take advantage of the huge pre-existing TRS80 cassette-tape software library, and the tens of thousands of TRS-80 developers. OS/2 developers will be thrilled with our powerful OS/2 cross-development SDK!! Watch out IBM, we just might steal that market away from you!!
  • Thanks to all that replied. This one, in particular, was quite informative.

    Perhaps it was informative, but what's more important is that it was incorrect.

    The Boing Ball comes from the "Boing" demo, which displayed a rotating red-and-white-chequered ball bouncing around in a "box", making the "boing" sound as it hit the walls of the box. It's from the very earliest days of the Amiga, I think the legend has it that Miner et al. made this demo the night before some big trade show where they would display the A1000. The boing demo is available from Aminet [aminet.net] (.readme [aminet.net]).

    The "Juggler" demo referred to in the post you're replying to is a raytraced animation which showed off the HAM graphics mode. It features a figure standing on a green and yellow IIRC landscape juggling transparent balls (not chequered, but they refract the chequered background). You can get this demo/animation from Aminet [aminet.net] (.readme [aminet.net]) as well.

    .-. .- -.. .. --- -....- .- -.- - .. ...- .. - .-.- - ...-.-
  • The checkered sphere is known as the Boing ball, named such from the first Amiga demo, Boing!

    The Boing ball had nothing to do with the raytraced animation demo The Juggler. Which involved a humanoid figure juggling glass balls.

    By the way, I think the Boing! logo used by slashdot and pretty much everywhere else needs updating. Say by making the checks into facets and giving the ball some reflective qualities. I have an image of what I'm thinking of, email me if you're interested in seeing it...

  • An above average new (or old ... OSM ?) troll heaves in sight. We need some life on these boards ...

    From a brochure for a car rental firm in Tokyo : When passenger of foot heave in sight, tootle the horn. Trumpet him melodiously at first, but if he still obstacles your passage then tootle him with vigor.

  • True realtime OSs must guarantee low latences.

    No, true realtime OSes must guarantee latencies. Not necessarily low ones. Of course, systems with low latencies are preferred over systems with high latencies, but that doesn't make them any more real time.

  • Java is SLOW, no matter how fast you can make it run.
    Proof by assertion?
    ok, so try "A box is ALWAYS empty, no matter how much stuff you put in it".
    That makes as much sense - ie NONE.


  • I don't know why people wants to keep posting these Amiga stories (well... and non Linux/PS2 in general) on Slashdot. It alway ends up in the same mudfight of illiteracy.

    First there is the massive swarm of posts that states just how outdated AmigaOS, blitter, 68k, Kickstart are. Oblivious to the fact that AmigaDE shares little with classic Amiga, apart from the name and community.

    Then there is the "vapour"-attacks, labeling AmigaDE as pure vapour, "come back when you have something to show" seems to be the mantra. Apparently all those "Know-it-all-linux-l33t-wannabees" missed the fact that Amiga Inc recently released it's 2nd edition of their SDK for linux and windows. It's actually possible test how much vapour there is in the "vapour-ware".

    Then there are all those who keeps insisting on how slow java is. AmigaDE is not java. And those have actually *tested* the VM in AmigaDE are truely impressed by the speed. You don't beleive? Why don't the get at copy of the SDK and have a try yourself?

    All these stupid comments ruins any serious comments that might have poped up. But I guess that's their agenda.

    Welcome to Slashdot, yesterdays news for linux-l33t.

  • READ: VaporWare, when is amiga ever going to actually release something and just stop promising to?

    This [amiga.com] is apparently vapour. Yes, vapour, read in on Slashdot, thus it must be true! The AmigaDE SDK is pure vapour.

    Repeating a lie doesn't make it more true!


  • Hell freezes over with some regularity. It's a small town in Norway. Little way down the road from Trondheim.

    <a href="http://uk2.multimap.com/map/browse.cgi?clien t=M4&lon=10.9761&lat=63.4037&scale=500 000&place=Hell,+,+Norway&db=w3&local=" >Map</a>
    <a href="http://www.hell.no/">Send someone a postcard from Hell</a>

    Sorry to be boring about this...

  • Whoops, sorry, forgot to preview...

    Map [multimap.com]
    Send someone a postcard from Hell [www.hell.no]

  • by Faw ( 33935 ) on Saturday December 16, 2000 @05:07AM (#555498)
    Well I have the SDK so I think I could answer some of your questions:

    Real-time only means it meets timing guarantees. Not that it is fast. Real-time only means when I say it'll take 100 days to add two numbers, it absolutely won't take 101 days.

    Yes, its true. It only means that it will meet the timing requirements. I'm sure that it doesn't meet them when it is hosted, but for a virtual processor is really fast. I always read here comparisons with Java. Java is slow, very slow. I have the Windows SDK and everything runs as fast as the host. I heard the Linux SDK is even faster. I was really surprised with the speed of the alpha blending demos that come with the SDK.

    It is either new or it has a legacy. I don't understand how it can have both. In any case I seriously doubt this statement is anything other than marketing vapor.

    You are right, this line is just marketing stuff.

    Multiplatform and multimedia-centric are relatively useless buzzwords for game developers. Until Amiga's SDK becomes as powerful as DirectX (not that I'm saying DirectX is perfect, just that it's nice not to have to reinvent the wheel all the time) the Amiga will never be a dream come true for developers.

    The Amiga DE will come with RenderWare [renderware.com] (according to the manuals) and the framework is used in PS2, Dreamcast, PC and Mac. Don't know anything about sound or input devices but they are supposed to be working on something. We'll see.

    That's a lot. The original Playstation only has 2 MB of system memory. The N64 has 4 MB. The Dreamcast has 16 MB. I'm not sure I want the OS eating up over 1/4 of the available memory on my console. Since it doesn't sound like they're talking about consoles, what do they mean when they say "multiplatform"?

    The PS1 and the N64 don't count anymore. Everyone will start programming for the Dolphin, PS2, and Dreamcast only. They are talking about consoles and computers as well. The OS can run hosted in other operating systems and native in a lot of chips. Why everyone that posts here doesn't even bother to look for information before posting? Visit TAO [tao-group.com] which is the basis of the new OS.

    Another thing you guys should know. Not everything is 'virtual-assembly'. When you compile a program the extension is program.00 (.00 means VP, the virtual processor instructions). You could compile to native code if you wanted but you will lose the portability. There is an extension for each native processor, for example .04=386, .16=PPC, .24=Pentium2, etc.

    The only thing that I actually is a huge, but HUGE mistake is, believe it or not, that it doesn't have memory protection. It only protects the addresses from 0-128. I heard they were going to add it, and that currently it wasn't there because it was an embedded os. I hope is true.
  • Isn't this what Sun was claiming JAVA was supposed to do? (Of course, they've since backed off on those claims...) "Write once, run anywhere!" "Speeds comparable to C programs!" Gimme a break...

    "[W]hy should developers slave away writing one game over and over again when they can write it once, optimize it for specific platforms if desired (Amiga's operating system is real-time and thus quite fast), and release it on all major software platforms -- including Linux -- simultaneously. Suddenly Windows becomes a choice, not a given -- and the world will be well."
  • I'll quote something:

    (Amiga's operating system is real-time and thus quite fast)

    Is there anyone else here who doesn't quite agree with that? I think cannot be said like this. Real time means that the given system guarantees a maximum response time to an input. It doesn't say anything about the overall performance. My multimeter is pretty much realtime, but I wouldn't dare playing quake on it. I don't want to say anything bad about the Amiga or any other platform, I just think that this should be corrected.

  • If Amiga, Inc, has an "real-time" operating system which "meets timing guarantees", why aren't they a "real-product" company which "meets product deadlines"

    Can I be president because I got less votes than Bush?
  • Carmack criticizes the classic Mac OS. IIRC, he was pretty pleased with OS X.
  • For those who still dont know how the new Amiga DE works, read this article [amiga.org]. Believe me, this really works! This article refers to articles in the IBM Developerworks.

    "One of the biggest questions I come up against when talking to people about the new Amiga platform, and specifically about Amiga's deals with Red Hat to be the multimedia platform for Red Hat Linux, is "Why does Linux need Amiga?" Tough question -- until today."

    Read that in this article [amiga.org].

    From the beginning, Red Hat was mentioned as a supporter of the Amiga platform, together with other companies like Corel. Even RenderWare is being mentioned and perhaps NewTek wanted to return to the Amiga platform.
  • Yes the AmigaOS will run on a spec machine which has been giving the name ZICO. Although this specifivation of combining hardware will be the Offical Amiga One. The specification is very wide and the AmigaOS will also run on over hardware not specified in the specification excluding CPU's. All CPUs mentioned in the specification are the only proccessors it will run on. x86 will definatly be one of them. It shouldnt be too hard to find the spec. Im not going to give it to ya cause im lazy.
  • hate to break ya fun mate but their are actualy new products (set top box's and cell phones) that are running the AmigaOS. :) Yes the same one that will run on high end servers and PC's will also run on PDA's Game Consols, you name it >:P
  • Hello Mekanix.

    Then there are all those who keeps insisting on how slow java is. AmigaDE is not java. And those have actually *tested* the VM in AmigaDE are truely impressed by the speed. You don't beleive? Why don't the get at copy of the SDK and have a try yourself?

    I'd love to get it. Would you pay [amiga.com] the 99$ for me?

  • > You're comparing AmigaOS to UCSD Pascal? Congratulations, you've found a new way to be ridiculous on slashdot.

    Pay attention to context, please. If you had done that, you'd know that I was refering to UCSD's p-code as a precedent to Java's byte code, which was brought up by the previous poster, rather than comparing Pascal to an operating system.

    Since we're on the subject of pseudo code...

    You could compile other languages to p-code, just as you can now compile other languages to byte code. IIRC, Apple had a Fortan compiler that spilled p-code which ran on the same Apple ][ interpreter that their Pascal did. Nowadays, JGNAT [gnat.com] will compile an Ada source file and spill byte code for a Java VM. (Someone observed about a year ago that there were enormous similarities between Java and Ada "under the hood", and once the idea was out, they apparently didn't have to do much except change the back end of the compiler.)


Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. -- F.M. Hubbard