Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×
Operating Systems Software

TRON: The Unknown Open-Source? 437

jordandeamattson writes "Over on CNN there is a very interesting article about Tron, an open-source real-time operating system from Japan first developed and distributed in the early 1980s. The claim is that it is more widely distributed than Windows (in some 3 billion devices world-wide), that the developer (Ken Sakamura, a University professor) would be worth mucho if he had just charged for it, and that Microsoft/U.S. goverment used trade rules (Super 301) to block it adoption by schools in Japan. Check it out for an interesting read and a 'what might have been ...'" (Here's a previous mention of Tron from March about MontaVista's work to combine it with Linux.)
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

TRON: The Unknown Open-Source?

Comments Filter:
  • First Post (Score:5, Funny)

    by UltimateZer0 ( 610695 ) <UltimateZer0@@@bresnan...net> on Wednesday July 16, 2003 @10:37AM (#6452946) Homepage
    Tron is an OS? I thought Tron was a simple program, written only to destroy the MCP.
    • Tron is an OS? I thought Tron was a simple program, written only to destroy the MCP.

      Well... if you think an OS has to occupy 2GB of your disk space, and lots of bloatware, spyware, adware and malware, you'd be disappointed with TRON, or other Japanese products.

      These Japs keep it simple, and their products are great. I still think a good WindowsXP type of OS can be built for less than 30MB - no registry, active directory, Kerberos and all that crap.

      -
    • Re:First Post (Score:3, Informative)

      by schon ( 31600 )
      Tron was a simple program, written only to destroy the MCP

      No, actually, Tron was written to shut down programs that perform illegal operations. When he wrote TRON, Allan Bradley didn't even know that MCP was performing illegal operations.
  • by _PimpDaddy7_ ( 415866 ) on Wednesday July 16, 2003 @10:37AM (#6452950)
    TRON is an "embedded" operating system running inside microprocessors, which control electronic devices ranging from mobile phones to fax machines and even kitchen appliances.

    Micro$oft Windows doesn't control electronic devices ranging from mobile phones to fax machines and even kitchen appliances, as far as I know, right??? (I hope it doesn't anyways)

    How can you compare the two?
    • by grub ( 11606 ) <slashdot@grub.net> on Wednesday July 16, 2003 @10:39AM (#6452968) Homepage Journal

      How can you compare the two?

      Because this is Slashdot, silly! :)

      In reality, comparison against another embedded/tiny OS would have made more sense; QNX for example.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Micro$oft Windows doesn't control electronic devices ranging from mobile phones to fax machines and even kitchen appliances, as far as I know, right??? (I hope it doesn't anyways)

      How can you compare the two?


      Hi, you must be new to Slashdot.
    • By RTFA and reading that TRON can run on normal PC. It could also have been the OS of choice for todays peecees if arm-twisting hadn't happened.
    • This is comparing two different things. Its like comparing QNX to Windows. TRON isn't an end user's OS, or even a server OS. Its a turnkey solution. I think there's a lot of noise being made over nothing here.
    • You can't compare the two, but you can compare the result.

      Microsoft wants PC technology in everything, and this is clear with their Embedded PC ("flavour of the month name") OS'es, TabletPC's, MS' "home of the future", Pocket Computing rubbish.

      TRON was supposed to go the other way around: embedded computers in everything, talking to each other using common languages/protocols/API's from the beginning, based on open specifications.

      Actually, the reason TRON failed was because Gates and his American compute
      • by angel'o'sphere ( 80593 ) on Wednesday July 16, 2003 @11:59AM (#6453737) Journal
        True enough.

        Tron was(and is) a fantastic architecture. It was designed in a union of operation system, system service APIs and hardware architecture.

        From the start up the planned for a 32 bit system(at that time common micro processores where 6502 and 8088 and Z80), so the first kernals and services where emulating the 32 bit architecture while the final 32 bit processors run that same kernal native.

        The question MITI was asking the japanese industry was: what and where do you want to compute in the future? And then they descided HOW to compute in the future. And then they crafted an OS which found parallel architectures in Transputers and in modern distributed architectures.

        Basicly they used the opposite approach others use: instead of emulating old systems with actual hardware and limit the actual hardware by that, they emulate future systems.

        Instread of putting money into hardware, albeit the hardware was early planned, they put money into the intellectual challange how to get super expensive features(in terms of MIPS) of a super cool OS done ellegantly in cheap hardware. With the goal of having superiour hardware 20 years later ... and the OS allready mature when the hardware finally is available.

        angel'o'sphere
  • Home page (Score:5, Informative)

    by makapuf ( 412290 ) on Wednesday July 16, 2003 @10:39AM (#6452963)
    Sure, there's google, but there [tron.org] seems to be the TRON OS home page, in english.

    Besides, what devices run than OS ? anyone know ?
    • Re:Home page (Score:2, Interesting)

      by WillAdams ( 45638 )
      Fascinating, especially the last line of the article where the Prof. notes that he runs this OS on his computer at home (and doesn't do Windows).

      It'd be interesting to d/l this and compare it to QNX.

      Unfortunately, the ftp.tron.org site wants a username and password (and anonymous / myemailname@domain.com doesn't work)

      William
    • Re:Home page (Score:5, Informative)

      by NuMessiah ( 7486 ) on Wednesday July 16, 2003 @10:46AM (#6453043) Journal
      OK, but there is more interesting info at:

      TRON Project Information [super-nova.co.jp]

      and

      TRON Web [u-tokyo.ac.jp]

      also in english :)

      bb4now,
      PMC
      • Re:Home page (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Artifex ( 18308 )
        Thanks for the additional links!

        Unfortunately, I still don't see any place to just download some code :) Off the tron.org English page, the closest I come is the link to the T-Engine site, that points to developers kits that cost over US$1K.

        Sure, I know Open Source doesn't always mean free, but there ought to be an engine emulator you can get for free or more cheaply, right?

    • by jkrise ( 535370 )
      Besides, what devices run than OS ? anyone know ?

      More important, does it contain SCOde? If it doesn't, well that's great news. We can make it run on any device.
      -
    • Re:Home page (Score:5, Informative)

      by torpor ( 458 ) <<ibisum> <at> <gmail.com>> on Wednesday July 16, 2003 @11:10AM (#6453262) Homepage Journal

      Pretty much any Japanese electronic musical instrument maker has used TRON. Yamaha keyboards run it, or derivatives of it, I've been told. That will change now though, with Yamaha's recent announcement that they'll be using Linux.

      I've followed TRON since I was a kid hacker in the early 80's, and have watched its use in the industry with eager anticipation of the day it becomes more widely known about in the tech sector.

      When Linux came into existence (I've been a Linux user since *day one* of its existence), I decided I need not stay current with TRON, which is a shame because I think a lot of the goals of TRON (E-TRON, actually, its supposed to be called) are achievable right now with Linux in the embedded world.

      If ever there was proof needed of just how destructive Microsoft has been for the computer industry, it is the fact that hardly anyone in the Western Tech sector (sillicon valley) knows about TRON and what this project was supposed to achieve... and, actually, still is capable of achieving... The project is based around shared source, completely open amongst competing hardware manufacturers.

      Embedded kernels running in every electronic device known to man, capable of talking to each other discretely and without human interaction, to create a sort of 'Boewulf cluster' of embedded systems capable of sharing loads and processing power.

      TRON was a kick ass project. And everything we've wanted to do with TRON, we can now do with Linux.
      • Re:Home page (Score:5, Interesting)

        by RevAaron ( 125240 ) <revaaron@hot m a i l . c om> on Wednesday July 16, 2003 @11:25AM (#6453394) Homepage
        TRON was a kick ass project. And everything we've wanted to do with TRON, we can now do with Linux.

        Linux was a kick ass project. And everything we've wanted to do with Linux, we can now do with some flavor of Windows. There is no reason that what people do with Linux can't be done on Windows CE or desktop Windoze. Do we simply toss out Linux as an option because we could do the same on Windows? Do we simply toss out TRON as an option because we could do the same with Linux?

        Yes, in everwhere but Japan, we'll probably never touch TRON and its family. It's all in Japanese, built by Japanese engineers for Japanese people. Which isn't to day localization to English and other languages can't be done, but with all the competition, I can't see Ken-san thinking an English version of BTRON is the most important thing for the TRON world right now. Which is a shame- BTRON is a pretty sweet system, MicroScript [super-nova.co.jp] beating the pants off of shell scripting any day. :)
        • Re:Home page (Score:5, Interesting)

          by torpor ( 458 ) <<ibisum> <at> <gmail.com>> on Wednesday July 16, 2003 @11:42AM (#6453556) Homepage Journal

          Sorry, but no. There are *thousands* of reasons we can't do with Windows what we can do with Linux.

          Those thousands of reasons are called "lines of code". The code for Microsoft Windows will never be available - and for this reason alone, we can never do with Windows what we can do with TRON. Or Linux.

          I'm a hardware manufacturer.

          I want to run a decent operating system on hardware CPU xxx_yyy. CPU xxx_yyy is pretty important to me: as a hardware manufacturer, for hardware manufacturer reasons.

          I can: a) see if Microsoft Windows CE supports it, and if not either give up and use the CPU they want me to use or pay thousands for them to support my xxx_yyy CPU, or b) port Linux to it myself freely in a couple of days.

          No comparison. We can not do with Windows today what we have been able to do with TRON for 20 years.

          And, FYI, you've got TRON running in your home, somewhere, if you're an average American consumer with credit cards that you use. Every American uses TRON, somehow, at least 2 or 3 times a day.

          Without even knowing it.
          • Re:Home page (Score:5, Insightful)

            by RevAaron ( 125240 ) <revaaron@hot m a i l . c om> on Wednesday July 16, 2003 @01:40PM (#6454771) Homepage
            I can: a) see if Microsoft Windows CE supports it, and if not either give up and use the CPU they want me to use or pay thousands for them to support my xxx_yyy CPU, or b) port Linux to it myself freely in a couple of days.

            Or c) you could port WinCE to your hardware in about the same amount of time as you would Linux. There would be money involved in becoming a WinCE licencee, of course- but if you're a hardware manufacturer, that amount of money is relatively trivial. MS doesn't hand out the source for CE to everyone (well, it does now with the "shared source" release, but let's pretend here), but if you're going to be shipping CE on your devices, the full source is part of the license deal.

            You can't have really thought that all those machines that run CE are all just some standard hardware platform, same instruction set, same line of CPUs, same bus, same misc hardware, same hardware bootloader, same BIOS or BIOS equivalent... If a manufacturer wants to create a device that runs CE or Linux, it usually involves a bit or porting and adaptation, unless it's standard PC hardware.

            And, FYI, you've got TRON running in your home, somewhere, if you're an average American consumer with credit cards that you use. Every American uses TRON, somehow, at least 2 or 3 times a day.

            I don't doubt that I've used TRON many times without knowing it- likewise, I've used QNX, vxWorks, OS/2, Linux, Windows CE and a bucketload of other OSes without being vaguely aware of it.

            Do I have TRON running on my credit card? If not, how am I using TRON with my CC in my home? I don't have a CC reader or any POS hardware.

            Anyway, my point wasn't "TRON sucks," but more so contending your statement about Linux being able to cleanly replace TRON. Linux could be used for most of what TRON could, provided time and money was spent adapting it to purposes for which TRON already works very well. Along the same lines, if one had the time and money to spend, Windows could be adapted to doing everything that Linux does now.
      • (I've been a Linux user since *day one* of its existence)

        At first, I thought you were full of crap. Another little 1337 h4x0r on slashdot who just managed to get SuSe to install on his computer and was trying to act big and tough by posting on slashdot.

        Then I saw your Slashdot UID *bows down and offers a Jolt Cola Sacrafice*

    • A bunch of things run this OS. Like mentioned in the article, a lot of embedded systems- cameras, phones, appliances, cars, etc. But, TRON and BTRON also power desktop computers and PDAs. The BrainPad TiPo is the only PDA I know of which runs *TRON, but there is probably others.
    • Re:Home page (Score:5, Informative)

      by doctor_no ( 214917 ) on Wednesday July 16, 2003 @01:03PM (#6454414)
      TRON today basically has a monopoly on most embedded devices in the world; if you you've used a cell phone, digital camera, driven a car, opened a fridge, played a movie on your VCD/DVD player, turned on your TV, you've likely used TRON in one form or another.

      In fact the TRON engine standards group(T-Engine) has more than 100 members worldwide including Fujitsu, Fuji Electric, Hitachi, Kyocera, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, MIPS, NEC, NTT, NTT DATA, NTT DoCoMo, RSA Security, Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology, Sony, Sharp, Toshiba, Yamaha, Yazaki, and Yokogawa Digital Computer Corp, Toyota, Honda, etc.

      Until Linux becomes a fully real-time OS it's unlikely that it'll replace TRON out of the embedded market.
  • by Transient0 ( 175617 ) on Wednesday July 16, 2003 @10:39AM (#6452975) Homepage
    From the Article:
    Had Sakamura decided to charge even one cent to each user of TRON, he would easily be a dollar billionaire by now, possibly even rivalling Gates, reputed to be the world's richest man with a fortune estimated at $43 billion by Forbes magazine.


    This is a pretty unfounded claim. The truth is that this is a relatively simple system we are talking baout here. If Sakamura had been charging for TRON it seems relatively likely that either hundreds of competitors would have sprung up to grab a slice of the pie or that someone else would simply have released a similar open source product. In either case, although Sakamura would probably have made some money, assuming $43 billion is just silly.
  • What If != Reality (Score:3, Insightful)

    by webword ( 82711 ) on Wednesday July 16, 2003 @10:40AM (#6452979) Homepage
    "Had Sakamura decided to charge even one cent to each user of TRON, he would easily be a dollar billionaire by now, possibly even rivalling Gates, reputed to be the world's richest man with a fortune estimated at $43 billion by Forbes magazine."

    This assumes that he could charge one penny, or one dollar, or 100 yen, or whatever. This kind of speculation is vacuous. It is like saying, If I had a nickel for every time I read /. I'd be rich! No one can say what would have happened in terms of adoption if there was a financial barrier.
  • Movie (Score:5, Funny)

    by GeckoFood ( 585211 ) <geckofood@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Wednesday July 16, 2003 @10:40AM (#6452985) Journal

    In the movie TRON, TRON was a program designed to crack security and free the computer from an overpowering OS that became self-aware and was plotting to take over everything. In the end TRON was victorious.

    It's not hard to draw obvious parallels...

    Hearing that M$ went out of the way to block TRON from being used on this side of the pond brought back found memories of said movie. Give that program one of those cool disks from the movie and see what happens...

  • TRON? (Score:2, Funny)

    So, where's the TROFF operating system?
  • 1989? Microsoft?? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Zeinfeld ( 263942 ) on Wednesday July 16, 2003 @10:44AM (#6453018) Homepage
    Story is out of whack. In 1989 Microsoft Windows barely worked and the machines of the day barely had the processing power.

    It is more likely that the trade barrier being described would be for sale of hardware rather than for software. I can't see the US Govt getting up in a lather about the MSDOS license fee.

    The other issue the story ignores is that there would not be as many copies of the O/S if there was a charge of a cent a copy.

    The most widely used O/S is embedded on some smartcard or other...

    • The hw running it surely kept on selling, tv's and such, it's pretty clear that it's mostly used on embedded systems. The arm-twisting was to prevent it coming mainstream on pc's(through adaptation in education system).
    • It is more likely that the trade barrier being described would be for sale of hardware rather than for software.

      No ... amazingly enough, the system they complained about was based on an Intel processor. This must be seen in the context of the political and economic climate of the time. The US was having its head handed to it in most consumer electronics areas. They were terrified that, if the desktop market in Japan was based on a (superior) architecture developed in Japan, they would lose the entire m

  • More information... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Noryungi ( 70322 ) on Wednesday July 16, 2003 @10:44AM (#6453027) Homepage Journal
    Here [atip.org], and here [tron.org].

    (All links courtesy of google).
  • PR0N (Score:5, Funny)

    by GillBates0 ( 664202 ) on Wednesday July 16, 2003 @10:48AM (#6453065) Homepage Journal
    When it was first revealed in 1984, TRON, which can be modified for use on personal computers, was hailed in Japan as a homemade software which could break the dominance of Microsoft and free Japanese computer firms from the burden of paying for the basic software.

    First revealed in 1984, PR0N, which can be modified for use on personal computers, was hailed in Japan as a homemade software which could break the dominance of Playboy and Hustler and free Japanese masturbators from the burden of paying for the basic software.

  • by pazu13 ( 663695 ) on Wednesday July 16, 2003 @10:49AM (#6453071)
    Is that instead of just deleting old programs, you can throw frisbees at them and they'll disappear. For once, you'll be able to have as much fun deleting files as Strong Bad [homestarrunner.com][homestarrunner.com].
  • TRON on a PC (Score:3, Interesting)

    by FU_Fish ( 140910 ) on Wednesday July 16, 2003 @10:51AM (#6453102) Homepage
    I'd like to see this guy's TRON pc. I wonder what software he's able to run on it.
  • by NoData ( 9132 ) <._NoData_. .at. .yahoo.com.> on Wednesday July 16, 2003 @10:52AM (#6453111)
    Fromt the article:

    "It's not good to charge people for using something which is like a social infrastructure. It also inhibits the development of the computer industry. The very basic infrastructure should be free," he said.

    "But Mr Gates is free to do whatever he wants, as we live in a world of capitalism."


    A man who's got it right.
    Why can't we (in the western world) get this type of soft-spoken wisdom to be the face of OSS, and not the curmudgeonly off-putting geekazoidness of RMS?


    • Because the Western open source community is heavily based in Unix culture.
    • by Zathrus ( 232140 ) on Wednesday July 16, 2003 @11:11AM (#6453267) Homepage
      Because he doesn't want to be the face of anything. If you tried to make him that then you'd make his life miserable -- he appears to be happy with where he is and what he does. Pushing fame onto him would upset that.

      RMS is what we get because he wants the job. I don't particularly care for a lot of his statements, but he's a zealot because he wants to be one.

      Frankly, Linus sounds a lot more like Mr Sakamura than anything else... he is outspoken, but he also doesn't give a damn about the politics or other crap. He just wants to get his job done. Which is why you have disagreements over things like BitKeeper. RMS has a gold standard to uphold, Linus has a job to get done. Linus has become something of a poster boy, but by his own statement he doesn't want to be one. Some of his actions would indicate otherwise, but that doesn't surprise me. Being recognized for what you do is usually an endorphin rush. Time will tell whether or not Linus wants the spotlight.

      I whole heartedly agree with you on Mr. Sakamura though. His statements about infrastructure are dead on, as is his statement regarding Mr. Gates.

    • I've been following Mr. Sakamura for years, and I agree: his is the soft-spoken, intelligent view which is missing from the OSS PR front. I wouldn't say its missing from OSS at all - in fact, clearly not - but the PR front in Linux-land is definitely dominated by arrogant pricks.

      I'm one of them. I've been a Linux user since Linux announced it on minix, and I've put Linux to use in countless businesses and organizations I have consulted for, through the 90's and still yet into the 21st Century.

      I've used
    • by IWannaBeAnAC ( 653701 ) on Wednesday July 16, 2003 @11:24AM (#6453392)
      I think you misinterpret slightly. He made many other comments disparaging of BillG, such as

      "The reason why it was not used for personal computers was not a technical one, it was a political one."

      Also

      But the dream was shattered in 1989 when the United States threatened to designate TRON as an unfair trade barrier under its Super 301 trade law when it learned of plans by the Japanese government to use the software for computers in schools.

      ...

      Sakamura said he was puzzled by the initial U.S. move and disappointed at the reaction of Japanese firms.

      So, as an engineer he was disappointed and puzzled as to why his technically better, and free, OS was treated with so much hostility by the Americans. From MS, up to the US government risking a trade dispute in order to block it. And the Japanese firms went where the money was and followed MS.

      Perhaps his comment on Gates is instead a gentle dig at the American religion of capitalism?

      • by dpilot ( 134227 ) on Wednesday July 16, 2003 @12:25PM (#6453958) Homepage Journal
        I like this line, and IMHO it illustrates much of what is wrong with the USA, today.

        Don't get me wrong, I don't advocate any sort of move to Communism or Socialism, or anything like that.

        But Capitalism is good as a motivator. Greed is a powerful motivator. But it doesn't belong in the same basket as 'air', 'water', 'food', and such. Maybe in the short term, it can sit in the same basket as 'sex'.

        But in the USA, it appears that we've turned Capitalism (perhaps more precisely, greed) into a religion. IMHO this particular shuffling of priorities causes an unstable situation.

        Simple demonstration:
        Want to increase profits?
        Move jobs overseas, paying 'local' wages.
        Profit!!! ...but that's not the end of the story...

        Everybody does it, too many jobs move overseas.
        Nobody at home can afford your prices, because they're unemployed.
        Overseas they can't afford your prices, because you never paid them enough.

        Is the profit sustainable, or have you simply ransacked the commons? (one-time)

        Again, not proposing Communism, but to say that Capitalism can exist without a Commons is myopic.
        • what's wrong with communism...it's only failed because of pressure from capitalist countries...it might have worked quite well without the tension caused by the juxtaposition of two competing ideologies...it's underlying principles are quite sound
    • Why can't we (in the western world) get this type of soft-spoken wisdom to be the face of OSS, and not the curmudgeonly off-putting geekazoidness of RMS?

      Because any system of tolerance is susceptable to groups or individuals that are intolerant. For example: Roman Religion (zeus etc) was tolerant of alternative religions. Along came christianity, which specifically said "all other religions are bogus, and everyone must convert" Roman religion was tolerant of christianity, but christianity was not tole

  • from the article (Score:4, Interesting)

    by newsdee ( 629448 ) on Wednesday July 16, 2003 @10:53AM (#6453113) Homepage Journal
    "It's not good to charge people for using something which is like a social infrastructure. It also inhibits the development of the computer industry. The very basic infrastructure should be free," he said.

    Good idea. I want my free phone, my free internet, and my free electricity as well.

    Seriously though, it seems that he's not making a distinction between "free as in speech" and "free as in beer"...

    • by KjetilK ( 186133 )

      Good idea. I want my free phone, my free internet, and my free electricity as well.

      That's physical infrastructure, mostly. A different matter alltogether.

      Seriously though, it seems that he's not making a distinction between "free as in speech" and "free as in beer"...

      True, but perhaps he's just thinking in different terms than the Free Software community.

    • Re:from the article (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Vajsvarana ( 238818 )
      > Good idea. I want my free phone, my free internet, and my free electricity as well.

      He said "basic infrastructure", which is correct. Don't know where you live, but here in Italy, as in many other european countries, we pay phone, electricity and internet per-use.
      But the backbones and first deployments (the very basic infrastructure) of these three services are government funded. That is, free for the user.
    • by Soko ( 17987 )
      Good idea. I want my free phone, my free internet, and my free electricity as well.

      Seriously though, it seems that he's not making a distinction between "free as in speech" and "free as in beer"...


      Those are goods and services that cost the provider of the goods and services a lot of money to reproduce. Actually, you can run a power station, ISP and Telephone system all on your own if you wish. The cost of doing so, relative to reproducing a software package, is astronomical. IOW, with digital content, su
  • 2 Best Quotes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by truthsearch ( 249536 ) on Wednesday July 16, 2003 @10:53AM (#6453115) Homepage Journal
    Since no one RTFA (but me :) here's 2 really good quotes:

    "It's not good to charge people for using something which is like a social infrastructure. It also inhibits the development of the computer industry. The very basic infrastructure should be free," he said.

    Should? I don't know. But it certainly would be a great help to the advancement of the software industry.

    Asked about the operating system inside his own computer, Sakamura smiles broadly. "TRON, of course. I don't use Windows."

    That's obligatory, but still amusing.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 16, 2003 @10:55AM (#6453140)
    So...let me get this straight: The USA blocked it's [ TRON ] adoption in JAPANESE SCHOOLS, because it was unfair trade practice?

    Am I missing something?

    And while I'm at it: Bussinesses don't innovate. They sell. Scientists innovate, and are hampered and held back by bussinessmen. That is how it has always worked, and how it always will work. When we finally get our collective heads out of our asses, maybe we can actually start working on our future.
  • Good to see... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by adamofgreyskull ( 640712 ) on Wednesday July 16, 2003 @10:57AM (#6453152)
    I'm glad that this analogy has been represented in a mainstream news-source:
    That means the codes making up a program can be obtained free of charge, allowing engineers to modify it according to their needs, like a chef improvising on an original recipe.
    This and the whole article's take on "open source" is helpful to the cause by making people understand in their own terms What It's All About(TM). :o)
    • The recipe analogy is fine and good, but I don't see many successful restaurants giving out their recipes. For example, I'd love to have the recipe for Baja Fresh's "Salsa Baja." It is an improvisation of some original salsa recipe, I'm sure. However, they aren't giving it away, are they?

    • This and the whole article's take on "open source" is helpful to the cause by making people understand in their own terms What It's All About(TM). :o)


      Yeah, the impression they are getting from this article is to charge for software. Do you think the average person wants to live an average life or have Bill Gates' money?
  • Unknown? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by femto ( 459605 ) on Wednesday July 16, 2003 @10:58AM (#6453162) Homepage
    How can TRON be unknown when it running on 60% of the world's microprocessors? (according to the article). Someone knew about it. One could accuse it of not being publicised, but I wouldn't put it in the unknown class.

    In actual fact, TRON is one of the standards of the embedded world and most students should hear about it in any embedded/microprocessor course they do.

  • by kahei ( 466208 ) on Wednesday July 16, 2003 @10:58AM (#6453166) Homepage

    There are various areas in the TRON project. BTRON would be the desktop-OS oriented part, and that's where the Chokanji OS comes from, still the best environment for DTP in Japanese.

    I can remember when TRON was going to save us all from Unicode with its TRON Multilingual Environment. It didn't work out but it did result in quite a nice platform for Mojikyo.

  • by EzekielQ ( 665986 ) on Wednesday July 16, 2003 @11:04AM (#6453213)
    TROFF. -)
  • Here's the game [gltron.org]!

  • Had Sakamura decided to charge even one cent to each user of TRON, he would easily be a dollar billionaire by now, possibly even rivalling Gates, reputed to be the world's richest man with a fortune estimated at $43 billion by Forbes magazine.



    And then Disney would be 43 BILLION richer when they took his money for copyright infringement... just for fun.

    Even with all of that money, they still wouldn't have put enough members into the dev team effort into making Tron 2.0 worth anything more than
  • by Anonymous Coward

    What programming language is TRON implemented in? Inquiring programmers want to know...

  • Yes but.. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Hellraisr ( 305322 ) on Wednesday July 16, 2003 @11:07AM (#6453241)
    Where can we download it from???


    You know you want to.

  • Hey look! It's an open source operating system that isn't based upon Unix and is successful. Wow!
  • While I like linux and all I'm always willing ot see new things. He said he's using Tron on his pc and I wonder how portable it is.. Wish he'd release it :) or better yet maybe he can work on Linux to help it not ever freeze which is also very rare but not impossible.
  • by ShinmaWa ( 449201 ) on Wednesday July 16, 2003 @11:15AM (#6453300)
    Microsoft/U.S. goverment used trade rules

    Ummmmm... WTF?

    The article made no mention that Microsoft did anything whatsoever to block TRON using trade rules or anything else for that matter. There are only three mentions of Microsoft in the article.
    1. having developed an operating system that is more widely used than even Microsoft Corp's Windows
    2. What sets the two systems apart -- and the fortunes of Sakamura and Gates -- is that while Windows must be bought from Microsoft, TRON is distributed free of charge
    3. When it was first revealed in 1984, TRON, which can be modified for use on personal computers, was hailed in Japan as a homemade software which could break the dominance of Microsoft and free Japanese computer firms from the burden of paying for the basic software

    I'm not sure of how much dominance Microsoft had in 1984!! These were the days of the Commodore 64 and Apple ][. The IBM compatible wasn't a market leader at the time -- let alone Microsoft. Microsoft didn't have the money nor the clout to block anything.
    • I'm not sure of how much dominance Microsoft had in 1984!! These were the days of the Commodore 64 and Apple ][. The IBM compatible wasn't a market leader at the time

      You have your history slightly messed up.

      Yes, MS was a market dominator at the time. Not as much as it is now, but it certainly had the burgeoning PC market tied up. IBM was the market leader at the time, and was totally dominant. There were compatibles out by this time (Compaq debuted in 1982), but this was the heyday of "IBM compatible" --
    • by mcc ( 14761 ) <amcclure@purdue.edu> on Wednesday July 16, 2003 @11:37AM (#6453504) Homepage
      From the article:

      When it was first revealed in 1984, TRON, which can be modified for use on personal computers, was hailed in Japan as a homemade software which could break the dominance of Microsoft and free Japanese computer firms from the burden of paying for the basic software.

      But the dream was shattered in 1989 when the United States threatened to designate TRON as an unfair trade barrier under its Super 301 trade law when it learned of plans by the Japanese government to use the software for computers in schools.

      While Washington in the end did not name TRON as a trade barrier, the Japanese government abandoned the plan and many computer firms severed ties with TRON, fearful of angering the United States, their biggest market.


      I believe the article submitter's point was not that Microsoft blocked the adoption, but that the U.S. government blocked the adoption essentially on Microsoft's behalf. They may or may not have specifically wanted to benefit Microsoft, but Microsoft was the beneficiary. Their intention, one assumes, would have been "to protect U.S. desktop operating system makers", but in 1989 that meant Microsoft and, well, Microsoft.

      This still sounds awfully wierd, i'm surprised the U.S. would be able to get away with something like that and I suspect the cnn.com author *may* be glossing over something, but that's not the article submitters' fault. What's Super 301? Is there any documentation of this act besides this article? I'd go look, but I have to go run to the airport to drop someone off sorry -_-
      • This still sounds awfully wierd, i'm surprised the U.S. would be able to get away with something like that and I suspect the cnn.com author *may* be glossing over something, but that's not the article submitters' fault.

        Hardly. The US participates in economic protectionism on a very regular basis. Hell, with Canada, their #1 trading partner, there was the soft wood lumber dispute, not to mention embargos on Canadian grain. And we're part of a free trade agreement! I can only imagine what the US does to
      • Why is this behaviour "awefully weird"? The U.S. routinely engages in such practices. Perhaps these examples will futher enlighten you: (1) Currently the U.S. subsidizes its farmers to the tune of $8 billion over the next 5 years. In addition the U.S. is negotiating trade agreements with third world countries. These countries are (a)in these agreements (if agreement is reached) forbidden to subsidize their farmers, (b) forbidden to protect their farmers from lower priced U.S. imports which will cripple

  • by ratfynk ( 456467 ) on Wednesday July 16, 2003 @11:22AM (#6453370) Journal
    " Microsoft/U.S. goverment used trade rules (Super 301) to block it adoption by schools in Japan"

    If this statement is true then the implications are that MS really is out to control digital information and communications world wide. If the US state department has a hand in this kind of bull, then things are not rosy for the future linux and open source. Kind of makes you wonder which part of the world is actually "The Free World".

    If this is true ignoring open source might make Orwells 1984 look like a rainstorm at a church picnic.

  • I wonder how TRON (The Real-time Operation Nucleus)
    is related to the real time operating system you offered at
    http://www.atinucleus.com/

    Is the word "Nucleus" related anyway? There are a few faint references to TRON on the Nucleus-site
  • by molo ( 94384 ) on Wednesday July 16, 2003 @11:46AM (#6453619) Journal
    Can anyone point me to the actual license of this code? (Japanese or English) How about the source code? There seems to be plenty of binaries and specifications available for download.. but source?

    Thanks
    -molo
  • GNU/TRON? (Score:5, Funny)

    by cant_get_a_good_nick ( 172131 ) on Wednesday July 16, 2003 @11:50AM (#6453657)
    I think RMS would be happy... we could all do the GNU/TRON dance.

    Maybe someone should forward this story to Darl, get him time to get his lawsuit ready.
  • by clambake ( 37702 ) on Wednesday July 16, 2003 @11:56AM (#6453710) Homepage
    that the developer (Ken Sakamura, a University professor) would be worth mucho if he had just charged for it

    Think about it, if he had only charged a billion dollars per copy, at 3 billion units sold, he'd have more money than all the countries of the world put together! Woah, what if he charged a TRILLION dollars per copy. He could buy the solar system!

    Yeah, that's not how it works.. Probably the reason why it IS so wide spead is because it was free...

To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk. -- Thomas Edison

Working...