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GNU is Not Unix

V2OS under GPL 177

Quite a lot of people have been writing that V2OS has decided that they will be GPL-ing. Looks interesting - check it out.
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V2OS under GPL

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  • I used the first version of Linux that Linus put on the net, and was really early adopter of Minix 386 (remember the arguement between Tannebaum and Linus? Funny how that worked out.) Linux was much rougher then, but it was much more closer to an OS the V2OS. Linux has always had the layer of abstraction that allowed it to grow into what it was today. In fact I believe it is the fact that linux had some key features missing in Minix that made almost everyone switch development over.

    V2OS is really a real time exec. Granted it looks like it has some very nice features, and a cleanly thought out design, but there are a lot of these out there. Plus, if I wanted a stripped RTE I'd want it to run on something smaller then a IA-32 (I've got one on a 6811 that I've used for years). Plus I can get Linux on a 68332 if I need a boomer of a microcontroller.

    I'm missing what the target audience is supposed to be I guess. It seems to be sitting in the same place as some of QNX and Wind River's products, but it is a long way away from being as useful.
  • Many people seem to assume every operating system needs security. Why? Not every device in the world is connected to the Internet, or even any other systems. That's why my old 486/25 with DOS 5 on it is still nice and fast. I don't need security to bog it down... nobody is going to try to crack it.

    V2 is an elegant operating system. It provides some nice software interrupts, and becuase of its small size, could be great for embedded systems. Besides, as far as I know, you can program in C on it. It shouldn't be too hard to port over GCC, and from there many apps can be built...

    It could also be an excellent boot-disk OS for demos. Demos, you know, those wicked multimedia presentations coded in ASM? Check out hornet.org [hornet.org] for some great examples.

    ASM has its place... and anybody who has looked at ASM code in a debugger and C compiled code in a debugger knows that human-written machine language is far simpler and faster.

    Merry Christmas, yall!

  • It's GPL'd. Read the freaking headline before you get snotty. -jcr
  • Slashdot has gotten to the point where a bunch of immature jackasses can actually post enough messages to drown out other ones. I propose that we be able to screen by designation (offtopic in particular) rather than just by karma. I read at
    -1 because I never know if it was moderated to -1 becuase it was something like petrified natalie portman or becuase someone made a relevant, but flaming comment about Linux. We should have a designation like "immature jackass" or "basement dwelling (insert explicitive here)" so we could screen out the totally irrelevant comments from those which are relevant yet flame-worthy.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Contrary to what most Linux advocates would seem to tell you, different OS's are good for different things.
    Isn't that weird about them? I don't understand why they think this. You don't want a "one size fits all" universe. I never saw Sun or BSD advocates trying to get their system absolutely everywhere. Linux bigots are unique in this--in the Unix world. They're just copying Microsoft, who'll also tell you this.

    Also, by having many kinds of computers (different chipsets, different operating systems), we defend ourselves against viruses. You can't get a virus if somebody's noxious binary insertion isn't for your chip, or for your kernel, or for your O/S. Hybrid vigour is our salvation. Conformity is weakness.

  • by bjb ( 3050 )
    I understand the idea of speed behind it, I admire that it is 100% assembler. What I don't quite get is why they claim 386+; this is implying that they don't use 486/586/686 instructions in the code? Why not make it at least 586 instructions?

    Honestly, I wouldn't imagine that there would be much use for a 386 machine these days besides a print server or some other minimal task, and for that, you probably would use another operating system. In reality, by the time they get around to implementing the features for such things as routing, print serving, file serving, etc., the 786 would be out (partially joking here).

    What I guess I'm trying to say is that the concept of it being a demo coding OS is just fine. But for practical applications, I can't quite see why. With this, why would someone be coding a demo to run on a 386? Should at least take advantage of some of the features of the 586 chip.


  • Ok. This OS is very interesting and all but it's really being misused. I personally would love to have a UNIX variant running on my TI-89, for which most programming is done in assembly. Take a look at ticalc.org (Nick I know you're here), and look what is done with ASM. Mostly games. Not bad, but not useful. Give me v2_os with something like v2emacs or v2vi (hehe). That and a decent, more integrated assembly compiler (or C/C++. Preferrably? PASCAL!) for on-calc programming (as89/as92 doesn't cut it for me).
  • Here [ucr.edu] is a link to the "Art of Assmbler" :-) It's really a good read.

    If you want to know *why* ASM is good, go to the homepage of the DGen/SDL [humboldt1.com] project, a genesis emulator for Linux. It uses an ASM memcpy function (using either MMX or "native" mode) as well as an ASM 68k and Z80 CPU core. By doing this, it makes the emulator /much/ faster, and a lot more useable. I'm sure other famous emulators (like GeneCyst, etc) use ASM CPU cores at some point, as it's pretty hard to emulate well without. I'm not even going to go into the ASM wizardry John Carmack did for Wolfenstein, Doom, Quake, etc :-)
  • If you're interested in a cross-platform Unix-style shell implemented in Perl, take a look at psh [focusresearch.com] (SourceForge [sourceforge.net]). We can always use developers, testers, and technical writers. It's licensed like Perl (GPL and Artistic).
  • The problem with our aguement is that you assume that a good compiler cannot do the same optimizations that a human can. To some extent its true, but its balanced by a few things.
    1. Code written in a high level language is easier to maintain and more likly than no has fewer bugs.
    2. Not everyone is an expert ASM coder, it takes a lot of effort to become one.
    3. If you aren't an expert ASM coder, then your code will be SLOWER than the compiler generated code. I don't mean a crappy ASM coder, even pretty good won't beat the latest compilers.
    If you look at a REAL optimizing compiler (Intel's is probably the best for x86, Visual C++'s is almost as good, GCC is probably a distant third, mabye fourth) you can see that most optimizations that ASM coders can do are built into the compiler. I am writing a graphics library, and it has some of the tightest algorithms and code you'll ever see. But compiling with full optimizations in Visual C++ sped it up by 3 times over non-optimized. These are line drawing and bezier curve drawing routines that are already tricked out to begin with. In addition the compiler has a lot of advantages over an ASM coder. It can keep track of machine state much better and can take advantage of shortcuts that would be to arcane for an ASM coder to notice. It can utilize special instruction sets, knows the speed of each instruction on different sets of data (ie. dec/jnz is faster on 386) So unless you are writing a very tiny routine, and have been studying ASM code for that particular proccessor (PPro, PII, etc.) for years, chances are that the compiler will kick your ass.
  • Erm... I just love the way this guy managed to post at a really l337 time... in GMT, anyway, most of you won't appreciate this.
  • I think it's because as a small fast OS, they'd like it to be used in small embedded systems.
  • Jeez, I've seen this bounce up and down all morning.

    Moderation Totals: Offtopic=3, Insightful=1, Funny=4, Overrated=1, Underrated=1, Total=10.

    Can someone please just flatten it to -1, it's a friggin' random beowulf post after all.

    Check out my 31337 k4rm4 t3kniq...

    "I'll probably get moderated down for this, but anyway..."

    Always marks you up! It's k-rad!!! :P

    (for those lacking a clue)

  • check out http://home.earthlink.net/~ccsu11641
  • They have their place on smaller micros like the motorola 68xx and intel 8051 families, but not the IA-32 series.

    Their website was a little sparse in content and slow to load, however from what I could see they have an extremely small OS. There are plenty of useful applications for a microOS on IA-32 systems. Not the PC on your desk, but who said thats the only thing that an IA-32 system could be used for? As the price of 386/486 chips wholesale continues to drop to nearly nothing, they will be used more and more in embedded systems needing more computing power than the current Motorola 65xx and 68xx can handle. Take, for instance, the recent upgrade of the main computer on board HST (Hubble Space Telescope). That qualifies as an embedded system. And here it is, using a 486 processor!!! Therefore the development of an OS for commercial applications is exactly the way to go, but I'm not sure if the requirements of the GPL of source distro makes it a good license or a bad one for this kind of project. If I go buy a thing that has such an OS embedded, I can't say that the average joe is going to want to have a CD included..."oh, by the way, here's the source code to the OS used. If you sell this thing you must include this or be in violation of some license that youve never heard of" (I'm talking the non-computer, non-OSS type of person). Just my $0.02 worth....

  • by Anonymous Coward
    is humming loudly and turning the snow into steam from the power I'm drawing to post this (power) troll! Anyways, I've upped the ante a bit. Now I'm on a PII-350 w/Linux 2.2.13 logged into a SPARCstation LX and from there to a DECsystem 20 running TWENEX (TOPS-20), and from there logged into a MicroPDP-11/84 running RSTS/E and from there logged into a Sun SPARCserver 630MP running Solaris 2.5.1 and then from there logged into a Sun SPARCserver 670MP running SunOS 4.1.4 and then from there logged into a Pentium 200MMX running BSD/OS 4.0.1 and then from there logged into a SPARCstation IPC running OpenBSD 2.5 and then from there logged into a VAX 6000 running OpenVMS 6.1 and then from there logged into a Pentium 90 PC running OpenBSD 2.5. This is quite the power troll, I hope you all appreciate what I've gone through to post this troll.
    The Power Troller
  • Debian GNU/V2OS? :)
    Not really. But who knows...
  • This is interesting but I was disappointed not see any ideas of what they might use it for. It doesn't look as if it were being designed as a general purpose OS. If they could code a simple network layer and XWindow-ish layer then maybe we'd have the beginings of something similar to QNX in GPL. Anyway can always learn from new projects. I'm sure ideas will get merged into other more well known GPL OS's at some point.
  • is being seriously threatened by an increasing number of off-topic, racist, biggoted, or vulgar postings with no 'socially redeeming value.'

    Either the moderating has to improve significantly so these kinds of posts can drop below the radar or this site will become nothing more than an alt.always.trash newsgroup wannabe.

    Maybe it's time users of this website register.
  • Unfortunately, I have used the HP48/49, and going from a ti-82 to a ti-89 was a lot less steep of a curve than it would be going to an HP48. Besides, the features in the TIs are similar, which makes converting the ti-82/83 instructions in my math class easier.

    And for what I'm using them for (Algebra 2, Games), the TI-89 is more than enough (if not overkill). The HP would be more difficult than it's worth. BTW, prove it's better.
  • ASM wizardry John Carmack done for Wolfenstein, Doom, Quake Correction! With all big due respect to JohnC, the real neat asm ops for Quake were actually done by Mike Abrash, the guy in optimazations for Gfx. No wonder he was employed by Microsoft for optimizing video stuff for Windows3.0+ (and below?) at time when hardware video accelerators were a rare and expensive thing, and 386 was considered to be a cutting edge stuff to have at home. However, I do believe John could code all asm himself, he just wanted to off-load himself and concentrate on Quake engine, while having someone good hacking up the asm routines, and Mike Abrash was the guy to go with.
  • These are line drawing and bezier curve drawing routines that are already tricked out to begin with. I was programming these things quite sometime ago. They are pretty tide algos and the only reason why "full-opts" make it 3 times faster is that it uses registers more optimally (less reloads vars from memory to registers). However, these algorithms are so easy to write in Asm, that it's a crime not to! I would like to hear a coherent argument on how Visual C++ will generate faster code than pure Asm. Obviously I do agree with most of your points,however it would interesting to find out why a non-expert will actually try to code low level primitives instead of using Win32API, and if he really needs to code them (not for educational purposes where speed doesn't matter), why he can't optimize them using Asm. The bottom line is, unless performance is the real issue, you would not like to mess with Asm. However, if you do need cutting edge performance, there is nothing else left but Asm to help you out.
  • At the risk of sounding really blasphemous and expecting to be moderated down by these trolls who act as moderators here - let me make this comment - A lot of OS 's thought that they are the ultimate - From MVS, UNIX, DOS, WINDOWS. Let's not fall into the same trap for Linux and try to talk out a new OS just because it is written in ASM or it may even become a better alternative for Linux (Heaven forbid). Try it out - if you like it post something positive - if you hate it post its drawbacks. Lets keep this forum intellectually simulating.

    I try to read this forum at threshold 3 - but with these trollong ass*oles moderating I have to read at -1 just to get an idea about where the discussion about the topic is really going.

    From the other commets I see I am not the only one with this opinion. But none the less, guys keep up the good work (not the moderators - but the maintainers).

  • If I need more comp power then a 68HC11/12 or a 68332, then I'm going to have a good bit of memory (read over 2 MB). The 68HC11/12 was never designed as a computational platform (the 6502 and family was actually not a Motorola part and in no way related to 68xx family or 68K family). That's were you move up to the CORE32 family like the 68332. It can then address 1 MB on up to 16 MB (and more on ceratin versions). There are tons of OSs that run in that space, even Linux. Linux is also quite useful for embedded applications in that space.

    The 386EX and other IA-32 embedded solutions are almost always implemented with a meg or more of memory. This could easily run LinuxRT, or one of the many other RTOSs. Plus the embedded IA-32 equipment is expensive by comparison to more traditional microcontrollers.

    The Hubble and most of the other space applications are more involved in why they choose those CPUs. First, they have to be RAD hard. ULSI CPUs (pentium and above) aren't there yet. Second, power consumption plays a huge roll. Running a CPU that takes 9W standby is pricy in space. Third, the low voltage stuff doesn't work as well in those environments due to grounds and radiation. NASA chooses Intel over Motorola often (atleast the people I've worked with) because of development tools investment (pSOS, QNX, Wind River) that they have, and that all the boards are custom makes anyway, so the hardware requirements are that it only needs to be survivable in those environments.

    As far as the GPL goes, they can probably do what the Tivo does, release it on a web page.
  • you can go to:
    V2 Labs [v2.nl] - The official V2 OS Page
    Dash [hypermart.net] - the first and only shell for v2 os The V2OS Project Manager [terbium.net] - By JayTaph
    Nerdhero's v2os site [nerdhero.org] - the home for the standard c lib as well as other stuff
    tRen's v2os site [iwarp.com] - extremely out of data (2 weeks!)
    V2 Demo Coder's site [fatbastards.net.nz] - if you are a demo coder go here!
    #v2os channel site [earthlink.net] - the page for #v2os on effnet...
    most of these places have either downloads of the source, etc. or links to another site with it!
  • The reason we (many of the coders for v2 os) wanted it open was not to be a linux wanabe.. It was not to get attention! It is nice that it is posted on slashdot, since that is where I found it (a few weeks ago), so others can find it.

    The reason we wanted it open source is because we wanted to see what was happening inside so we could program for it better.

    And as for your idea that slashdot caused this, I know that this is not the fact. It is because around a hundred programers have been working with v2 since it was released and we convinced them it the benifit would outweights the negatives.

    So your theory that this was for slashdot or anything like that is totally off base...

    Only a small number where interested? not really, we have had an active IRC channel and many developers for weeks. The developers said they were getting hundreds of emails a day inquiring about internal parts of the os! your complete argument is false! Many people have been working on V2 os for weeks before it was open sourced!
  • hahaha

    void recursion (void)
    while(1) printf ("infinite loop");
    if (true) printf ("Stupid sig quote");
  • The v2fs is made for streaming media. It is not meant to be a complicated FS. We are working on adding support for other FS types, because we want the good part of v2fs for streaming, but ext2/whatever for directories,etc..

    it is different, not neccessarily bad, just a different goal.... v2fs is made to have extremely good access/sending ...
  • by osu-neko ( 2604 ) on Saturday December 25, 1999 @12:46PM (#1446468)
    Modern C compilers typically generate code that is as fast or faster than what a person could do it really doesn't make sense.

    Correction: Modern C compilers typically generate code that is as fast or faster than what a person who doesn't know assembly language could write. Modern C compilers never generate code that is as fast as an experienced assembly language coder would write, except in trivial, easy cases where what the programmer is trying to do is simple enough that the compiler can understand it. AI still being a distant gleem in researchers' eyes, compilers lack the necessary understanding of what the programmer is actually attempting to do that they need to be truly effective optimizers.

    I've seen a lot of disassembled code since I first learned assembly 16 years ago. Once in a while, I've seen trivial bits of code translated as fast as possible. Mostly, I've seen code that I could have written faster in assembly. Never, not even once, have I seen code that was faster than I would have produced myself.

    The critical weakness that prevents C code from ever being as fast as assembly language code is the fact that the compiler doesn't know what you're doing. If I write a program in assembly language from the start, it's not going to look or work like a C program written to do the same thing. Not surprisingly then, since the best a C compiler can do is translate your C code into assembly code, it won't be as fast. In order to be as fast, the compiler would need to examine your C program, understand what it's supposed to do, and then write essentially from scratch its own assembly code to do the same thing, paying no attention to how your C code went about it but simply to what the end result would be. At this point, you're not feeding the C compiler code, you're feeding it a specificiation for what a program should do given these inputs and outputs.

    Once compilers are capable of doing that, you won't need to write C code to begin with. You'll be able to simply tell the compiler what you want and let it do all the coding. But until this becomes the way compilers work, it will not be possible for a compiler to generate code as small and as fast as an experienced assembly language programmer.


  • Of course, it should be noted that the typical 6502 instruction is only 1 byte in size. :)

    But seriously, I agree. At what was it, 37KB, what does it do that takes up all this space if it doesn't have memory management and all the other fun stuff you expect from an OS these days? An assembly language program for disk I/O, file system management and program launching out to take no more than 8K. 37KB is greater memory requirements than some old word processors I used to use -- they had to fit into 32K of memory along with the operating system! So, having seen OS + useful applications run in 32K, this new OS doesn't seem terribly impressive. Considering the features it lacks, it seems bloated...


  • by Anonymous Coward
    I am running Windows 95 on my little sisters PC. That is plugged into an outlet which also has plugged in my AM radio playing the top 40 X-mas songs of all times. This KILLA pC is hooked up to a RAD 28.8 ZOltrix beast.....

    And to top that I have all the lights on in the house, the furnace is at 98 degrees, the windows are all open and its snowing....at least til my parents get home. At which time I will put my pants back on.

    AAAND I have a wicked game of solitaire running in the background of this Mean Multitasking Machine.
  • Not every device in the world is connected to the Internet, or even any other systems.

    This is the same thing that Java's developers said. Hence the flaws and limitations of the Java security model.

    I'm not saying that you're wrong. You're right saying that not everything is connected. Yet. But even assuming that we can avoid giving every toaster and tennis shoe its own IPv6 in the future, to assume that an OS intended for real-world, out-of-the-lab application won't be installed in networked devices is a pretty big assumption.

  • Does anybody else out there think it's ironic that "The FASTEST OS there is" has the slowest web site I've ever seen?

  • We have a site dedicted to promote Free Operating Systems. Check it out www.freeos.com [freeos.com]
  • You don't want a "one size fits all" universe. I never saw Sun or BSD advocates trying to get their system absolutely everywhere. Linux bigots are unique in this--in the Unix world.

    Bzzt, false. Thanks for playing! Linux bigots are not unique in this. I've seen this from SunOS users, Solaris users (remember the recent "If Solaris was free, there would be no Linux" idiocy?), FreeBSD users, etc. I've also seen it from MacOS users, MS-DOS users, Amiga users, Apple II users, Atari users, etc. I've also seen it from Ford users, Chevy users, Dogde users, etc.

    I believe it's called human nature...


  • And for the record, yes I know it's spelled "Dodge" -- my fingers are somewhat less intelligent than my brain.

    But who cares, all Chrysler's (Dodge's parent company) best cars are designed by Mitsubishi anyways...


  • The .sig is a general indication of my attitude towards the mass-image approach to web design taken by many of the 'professional' web design companies (i.e. the magazine design ones, sticking magazine type stuff on the web, and not figuring that a 2min wait for a page is a problem...)
  • .... What the hell is this about not having directories? Humph.
  • I would want to go one of two ways on a device such as Hubble:

    1. Complete memory protection+realtime capabilities

    2. No "protection", but some kind of enforced partition between application and data memory to minimize possibility of corruption

    Guess I'm just a bit afraid of a stray pointer sending expensive hardware out of orbit.

  • Its kind of funny how things turn around. You say that it seems like it would be difficult to write an OS in assembler. But it used to be the only language that anyone would use! Even now, it would be just about impossible to write an OS without any use of assembler. So I guess it just depends on where the designers want to draw the line.
  • this OS is a great opportunity for a very large part of the open source community-- it allows developers that have developed higher level applications to get a cleaner, less obscured look at the lowest level part of the OS. Granted, we've always been able to do that with Linux, but V2_OS makes it quite a bit easier. Plus, the fact that it is written completely in Assembly (something many more people have little experience in but would love to learn in a situation like this) gives it a neat twist.
    Personally, I'm gonna keep up with this OS for a while and see where it goes and how I can help it along the way. I think it oughta be fun.

    As a side note, a lot of people made comments saying they didn't see a purpose for the OS. Well, if you download the kernel source from the site, there is a Readme included from the original author that explains how it started and how it got to where its at. Check it out...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Not more than 3 feet away from me lies a working Apple //+ with 48kB of RAM. Outside of a couple pages for variable storage, Woz put an integer basic interpretter and the system monitor in 32 pages (8kB). And i'm told that Woz squezed a couple floating point math routines in there too just because there was space. So needless to say, i'm not impressed. Just because we're approaching normal gigabytes of RAM does not make it impossible to write tight code. In fact, it should be a goal to get your critcal code to fit in L1 cache! Interesting side note. For the Woz hand assembled his code because he couldn't afford the assembler. Tom
  • That was a statement before they changed it to gpl... and since it is now under gpl. the gpl license applies!
  • It sounds similar to ext2 design idea.

    Can anyone comment on this? How does the fs stand against ext2?

    It might be helpful to add V2OS filesystem support to linux to create compatibitity between the os'es. I suspect the V2OS fs would be better suited towards embedded devices.
  • You are comparing apple and oranges here.

    The last time I looked their FS didn't even support directories. Hows that for a filesystem? :)

    Merry xmas!
  • ... mp3 player in your car ...
    I suppose, but something StrongARM based such as the EMPEG would do the job better, since the processor has less cooling requirements. Also, a stripped down Linux kernel, with no hardware to detect wouldn't take much longer to boot.
  • by color of static ( 16129 ) <smasters&ieee,org> on Friday December 24, 1999 @07:51PM (#1446512) Homepage Journal
    Is it just me, or is there a lot of hype over an OS that doesn't seem to be much more then a real time executive? It seems to get its speed more from not having any protection, or abstraction layer then being in asm. Having worked with stripped down OS's/Execs for years, I'll tell you its better to just add more machine. They have their place on smaller micros like the motorola 68xx and intel 8051 families, but not the IA-32 series.
  • Argh, I always forget to download this thing, and when Slashdot runs a story to remind me, it always gets slashdotted. That or else they have the slowest server on the planet. Anyone got some mirrors?
  • Why on earth would anyone write an OS completely in ASM. Modern C compilers typically generate code that is as fast or faster than what a person could do it really doesn't make sense. Also, you get all the joys of maintaining it and portability is almost completely gone with very little in the way of speed gains. I know that asm in some places is needed or provides massive speed ups, but the entire OS is just a waste.

    The site also seems somewhat limited on information. They say everything will be available from the download center.
  • Although I find it weird to write an OS in ASM, it must be cool stuff to read. And hey, if they can make a cool hack out of it, why not? I mean, our differences are what makes us evolve.
  • They should beowulf these things!

    Moderators: Please mark this as low as possible even though it's Christmas and only thing I want want is some + karma. :~-(
    It's ok. I'm used to +1 and 0's even though I think my ccomments are usually good. I'm mean, c'mon, it's your job afterall. Just cause my self worth is at stake doesn't mean you shouldn't mark this message down... . . . . . . . . . . . .
  • Yeah? Well, I'm whistling into the phone and am running out of breath..s@7#@# 3fq$# - no carrier -
  • I think you are certainly right with respect to code size optimizations.

    I'd be interested in some profiling results on speed however. There are speed optimizations that compilers make that would be totally unmaintainable in asm, such as common subexpression elimination or reordering instructions for superscalar pipelining.

    It may be very hard to tell how fast a snippet of code will run by eyeball, particularly in a largish loop.
  • "It's size is impressive though." Indeed the size is impressive, that big for nothing.
  • Becuase the Win32 API sucks. I was doing the low-level primatives for a DirectX drawing library I was doing, since it doesn't offer any drawing tools. Speed did matter because I use it in some of the games I make. (Plus not making the fastest possible code offends my sense of tideness.) I did use some ASM in the end, but only got about 10% out of it. Had I done the entire thing in ASM, A. I would not have been able to maintain it as easily. B. I would have had to learn a lot more ASM, and C. I could not have made it as a class.
  • You should also consider contrasting it with the QNX RTOS microkernel, which is about the same size, but handles slightly different things.
  • by eh ( 15053 )
    Wow. I am seriously taken with you now, Mr. Katz. Would you please email me?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Just a couple of observations:

    Besides being connected to a network, having protected instructions in probably the other big security fallacy. There are a lot of advocates for running security oriented products on the slimist hardware possible (I believe DOS based firewalls were even advocated). These days, it's not enough to slap slap your firewall code between the NIC driver and the TCP/IP stack. All you have to do is look at some of the recent rootkits for module based OSen. Less code to audit, even machine specific open source code, means a stronger box.

    There have been serveral other distractions to Linux/FreeBSD over the years. ReactOS, Freetos (or whatever the heck it was called) and many others I have forgotten. I still think the initial announcement that ReactOS would use win* drivers was way cool. When Trumpet software (or whatever they're called) announced that they had an operating system clone of win9x, I got really jazzed. VMWare is also highly cool (as is OpenVMware or whatever it's called). I also happen to think reconfigurable computing is the next best thing since sliced turing machines.

    So now, think in that context. Single user, MS interoperable, fast and dedicated isn't going out of fashion any time soon. I think you'll find that these might be traits could make or break transmeta... and MS's grip on the desktop... and linux. So, V2OS is cool; linux should embrace it for all it's worth.

    Second, I think MS is going to have a really hard time selling win2k to the general, mom&pop news letter writing, computer using public (doubly so, considering MS wants to retain WinNT based license/revenue model). The tail-end life span of 95 and 98 are going to drag will into 2010 (if you think it's amazing that people will use win3.11, you haven't seen anything yet). To a degree, this is what CE is all about; It's about weening people off the desktop and getting them to accept MS in the 10s of little gadgets they're going to buy/use/deal with in the future that Microsoft has planned for them.

    Windows CE, of course, is evil. It has succeeded (or is on the brink of succeeding) where I2O failed. It has kept hardware spec out of open soruce developers hands. It has dropped the cost of computing devices (soon to be ubiquitous, wirelessly networked computing device) into that range where, mom&pop are thinking that they might just skip buying junior that pocketmon-gameboy dedicated distraction appliance and buy him/here/it something a little more general. Something that might actually help him with school or life or whatever foney-baloney crap microsoft marketing cooks up for them; although, I'll have to admit that PDA + MP3 + IA + Wireless + moderate amount of desktop functionality == killer app in my language.

    A few other things gnaw at my sole. Linux is small and highly embeddable (witness Aplio and the linux based telephone featured serveral days ago), but there are way too many applications being lost to controller specific coding. Things like the Ugate and hundreds of other embedded devices. The is a front that Linux needs to conquor, but I don't believe that it will be able to because of part-count costing. So, V2OS would make a nice allie here. It needs to happen before WinCE makes significant inroads.

    This is the future and it is where Linux SHOULD be, if it wants to succeed. I don't see it heading in that direction. I see Linux heading straight for where the Money(tm) currenly appears to be. The thing to remember, of course, is the money moves. It's not a fixed target. If IBM had any clue how big Intel, MS and this whole personal computer thing would be in 10 years, Bill Gates would have been wearing cement shoes at the bottom of Lake Washington a long time ago.

    So, with that in mind, I think (and the theory IS mine) that it's important to have all these little open source distractions .

    There are some possibilities to think about:

    If V2OS is so damned fast, it would be perfect to run on something like VMWare.

    If V2OS could be made to use Win* drivers/MS software, it could become ubiquitous and/or a viable alternative to WinCE.

    If V2OS's asm kernel design could be abstracted so that it would become easily portable across multiple CPU, it could survive the future.

    If V2OS were thought of as a compliment to Linux (in a citrix/winframe sort of way), it could become quite useful to the current vector created by the collision (in slow motion) Open Source has been having with Capitalism over the last few years.

    I've got a lot of other problems with the current VonNeuman/Touring mind set, but that is something that will not be fixed until reconfigurable computing meets connections based hardware/input architectures... and it's certainly nothing that a little assembly language is going to fix...

    So, don't worry; be happy.

    Embrace V2OS and love it for all the things it could be. If it interfeers with your linux coding, I don't think it's anything to worry about at this point. There's enough room under the Open Source Sun for all sorts of flowers to grow; even architecture specific, assembly language ones.

  • I'm sorry, but a 1 second boot time really doesn't impress me. It might if I used windows and had to reboot twice a day. ;)
  • This is the same thing that Java's developers said.

    So what? It's true, isn't it?

    Hence the flaws and limitations of the Java security model.

    Such as...?

  • Shouldn't that be "Mostly Harmless"? ;)
  • by Vadergar ( 79120 ) on Friday December 24, 1999 @08:07PM (#1446550)
    Merry Christmas, and in defense of this operating system, I would like to say that we are creating a developers environment..... We are not looking towards creating the most portable or even something for regular users... The V2 Labs guys (who created this in the first place) created this with a goal of maximizing multimedia. This operating system boots in about 1 second. So you can eventually have this sucker being your mp3 player in your car, or anything else and guess what... It will boot in 1 second!

    Why would anyone want to work with this?
    I work with it because there is a lot needed to make this a fully functional operating system. I don't know about most of you, but I wasn't able to help contribute to the base of any other operating system, and the experience for me is a good one. It may not turn out to be everything we want, but I am learning a lot about shells and operating systems.

    Speaking of shells, if you want to get a shell for V2 OS, go to v2dash.hypermart.net [hypermart.net] It is up to version 0.007a (codename Golden Eye). It is open source, so if you want to help in the coding of a shell (unix style), now is a great opertunity..... Last of all Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukkah, and have a good day if you don't observe either of these holidays!
  • This OS will be of no real use to a beowulf. It's lacking high bandwidth networking (bonding, fast NICs, etc...) and the virtualization needed to port PVM or MPI (the heart of any beowulf) to it.
    It's targetd more towards the embeded application. Media center is one thing that comes to mind. It should be good with MP3s or MPEGs due to the simple server architecture, but I don't know what the switching latency is so that may be all you can do on it at one time. Of course adding a little more hardware and you can do the same thing on a full OS.
  • why not? as you say, the practical reason to do it is for speed...you can always do something faster in assembly. other than that though, some of us actually enjoy (sort of) assembly programming, especially ee's who think oo programming is wussy
  • ...with people complaining about the V2OS. Sure its not fully developed and its all in ASM ;-). But, it's a new, neat little OS to play with... like so many other cool OS's started out with.

    (Has anybody heard of this one little hobby OS named uhm... Linux, I think. ;-)

    merry xmas

  • after running this "OS"I was very underwelmed, i command their effort, but am not impressed. it seems to me they are simply trying
    to be a linux wanabe by making open source. I also have a suspicion that the slashdot response is directly responsible for this.

    they saw that only a small group of people we're interesting in a bairly functional OS if it was closed. this is another of many recant
    demonstrations that the Open Source Movement(tm) is effecting the world.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I surfed around the V2OS site, and found no useful information about the OS whatsoever.

    Design goals? Closest they mention is that it's "fast" and written in assembler. So is an FFT, but it's got a designed purpose and scope.

    Architectural decisions? Tradeoffs? Security services?

    The sole example is a DOS-Int style "hello world" program, and that doesn't look much cleaner than DOS itself.

    As to downloading a raw image of a foreign OS, booting it off floppy, and trusting that it'll leave my HDDs alone -- not a chance! Provide some info first, then maybe I'll take a look.
  • by Martin Ling ( 37984 ) on Saturday December 25, 1999 @02:20AM (#1446558) Homepage
    Excuse me, but I come along here, see this being slagged off, and feel I need to apply the cluebat. This isn't trolling or flamebait, it's just me trying to clarify what the point of this is and what it isn't.

    For one thing, it's been out less than a month. I've never seen development pick up so quickly on anything. Linux 0.01 was released in 1991, that was eight years ago. And there are people trying to compare.

    Contrary to what most Linux advocates would seem to tell you, different OS's are good for different things.

    V2 is not designed to be desperately stable, and certainly not portable. 100% assembler = 100% CPU power. This is a demo coder's OS, and damn cool it's going to be too. A lot of the old demoscene is waking up to this, and I've no doubt some very good stuff is going to show up soon.

    But let's not take it for what it isn't. Yes, maybe this is a toy OS. Don't you guys have a sense of fun? :)

    Martin J. Ling

  • "Design goals? Closest they mention is that it's "fast" and written in assembler. So is an FFT, but it's got a designed purpose and scope."

    The Fastest Fourier Transform in the West [fftw.org] is completely written in C.
  • by tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <slashdot@wor[ ]et ['f.n' in gap]> on Friday December 24, 1999 @08:11PM (#1446569)
    ASM != arcane and difficult.

    Well, ASM in general isn't (IA-32... well, Intel screwed up. Learn something easier, say MIPS or 68K or HC11 or PPC or StrongARM).

    Also, C compiler optimization is a limit of knowledge of the optimization programmers (i.e., how well do they know the architecture, and what language construct modifications can reduce the architecture instructions [taking advantage of instructions that do more than one thing at the same time {integer division often returns both the quotient and the remainder - save several hundred cycles by storing the remainder if its used later}]). While *in general* a C compiler can probably generate pretty good assembly, nothing does beat handcrafted ASM (with proper comments), rather than looking at the compiler output before assembly.

    Likewise, from the Art of Assembly (book available online, don't have URL) by Randall Hyde, it's possible to create lousy assembly that runs slower than its C counterpart, but it's also possible to make asm much faster than a C compiler can ever generate. Plus, if you know the processor well, you can take advantage of architectural efficiencies (like helping branch prediction) by reordering asm code without having to look too convoluted. Additionally, you get some raw power that is difficult to do with C (bit twiddling is much easier with asm than C, plus, it's easy to initialize a large data memory allocation in asm to some specific value (initialize pointer. Write value using largest processor can do, using a post-increment addressing mode. Is value of pointer > end of data block [which can be of various types]? If so, end, else repeat). Of course, this has serious alignment issues.
  • I dont know anything about Assembly language, but it seems like it could be hard to program a OS with it. One thing that does amaze me is that the download is 37k. This operating system doesn't do much with 37k but I'm for sure someone could add everything else need to make it do something interesting within a small amount of space. The whole computer could run off a 128k rom. Another plus might be the fact a computer could run entirely within Cache. I really think this small size thing could be useful if someone wanted to make a simple and very fast computer for really cheap price.
  • Agreed. Though debugging it is a bigger pain then debugging in C.

Take an astronaut to launch.