Re: Warning: Rant. Please disregard. [Was: Re: [9fans] Is IBM ThinkPadR60e notebook compatible with Plan9?] - Plan9

This is a discussion on Re: Warning: Rant. Please disregard. [Was: Re: [9fans] Is IBM ThinkPadR60e notebook compatible with Plan9?] - Plan9 ; Vester Thacker wrote: > What is the purpose of writing an > operating system if you don't expect average folks to use it or > develop for it? What is the point of developing a formula 1 racing car if ...

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Thread: Re: Warning: Rant. Please disregard. [Was: Re: [9fans] Is IBM ThinkPadR60e notebook compatible with Plan9?]

  1. Re: Warning: Rant. Please disregard. [Was: Re: [9fans] Is IBM ThinkPadR60e notebook compatible with Plan9?]

    Vester Thacker wrote:
    > What is the purpose of writing an
    > operating system if you don't expect average folks to use it or
    > develop for it?


    What is the point of developing a formula 1 racing car
    if you don't expect average folks to use it or
    produce aftermarket accessories for it?

    I no more expect "average folks" (who are these, BTW?)
    to use or develop for (or even notice the existence of) plan9
    than I expect them to turn up at the shopping mall
    in in an F1 Ferrari.

    The following statements are provably untrue:
    * Making something more popular makes it better.
    * Making something better makes it more popular.
    There are far too many counterexamples (Adolf Hitler, Betamax, ...).

    So why do you care whether something is more popular?

    Given a wonderful OS used by 10 people or a crap OS used by
    10E6 people, I'll take the former.

    D.


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  2. Re: Warning: Rant. Please disregard. [Was: Re: [9fans] Is IBMThinkPad R60e notebook compatible with Plan9?]

    On 5/16/07, Dave Lukes wrote:
    >
    > So why do you care whether something is more popular?


    If you have a cure, wouldn`t you`d like to share it? Why not provide
    benefit to others?

    This reminds me of "The Parable of the Excellent Physician and His
    Sick Children".
    http://www.nst.org/articles/Physician.txt

    Yours faithfully,
    Navin.r.j

  3. Re: Warning: Rant. Please disregard. [Was: Re: [9fans] Is IBM

    Dave Lukes wrote:
    >
    > So why do you care whether something is more popular?


    Actually, I do care. The way I care in traffic that motorcycles are
    not more popular and my life as a motorcyclist in greater danger
    because of that. But I do not care to make my and all other
    motorcycles more car-like because of it. It defeats all the
    objectives of motorcycling in the first place.

    And, yes, I rather like to think of Plan 9 as the hot-iron of the
    OSes, the lean, mean machine. The analogy is even better suited than
    the Ferrari and/or F1 variety.

    ++L


  4. Re: Warning: Rant. Please disregard. [Was: Re: [9fans] Is IBM

    > If you have a cure, wouldn`t you`d like to share it? Why not provide
    > benefit to others?


    Not if the others are religious nuts who refuse treatment and are
    likely to burn you at the stake for using infernal means to cure them.

    That, by the way, is the reason why I will _not_ read the parable.

    ++L


  5. Re: Warning: Rant. Please disregard. [Was: Re: [9fans] Is IBM

    > This reminds me of "The Parable of the Excellent Physician and His
    > Sick Children".

    ``Of the children who were more gravely poisoned, the
    effects of the toxin were more severe and had consequently effected
    their reasoning.''
    well, surely that speaks for itself, but presumably the messenger
    sent by the most excellent physician to tell his children
    of his (feigned) death is Uriel? certainly he's always delivering that message!


  6. Re: Warning: Rant. Please disregard. [Was: Re: [9fans] Is IBMThinkPad R60e notebook compatible with Plan9?]

    More than that; hobbyists, however enlightened, cannot provide continuing
    funding for Plan 9 development. Witness current hardware support. Plan 9 has
    to grow or eventually die.


  7. Re: Warning: Rant. Please disregard. [Was: Re: [9fans] Is IBMThinkPad R60e notebook compatible with Plan9?]

    grow or die
    this seems to me to be a statement, not an argument.

    you also imply that hobbists can't write drivers. does being
    a hobbist set some bit in one's brain that inhibits the device-driver
    region?

    i suspect the real reason more devices are not supported is:
    hardware makers often make it hard or impossible to
    obtain specifications. there are big exceptions to this. ahci
    was fully documented, for example.

    with proper documentation there is nothing magic about a
    device driver that makes it any more difficult to write than anything
    else.

    by the way, there are plenty of professionals working on plan 9.
    (and at least 4 new drivers this year.)

    - erik

  8. Re: Warning: Rant. Please disregard. [Was: Re: [9fans] Is IBMThinkPadR60e notebook compatible with Plan9?]

    Dave Lukes wrote:
    > Given a wonderful OS used by 10 people or a crap OS used by
    > 10E6 people, I'll take the former.


    The problem with that is that, except perhaps for research purposes,
    an OS is not an end in itself, but rather a platform supporting
    applications, which are what actually satisfy human needs.
    As time goes on, the popular platforms acquire a large number
    of apps that become ever more essential (PDF reader or MPG viewer,
    for example). If the OS developer population is below some
    critical mass, it can't keep up with such user requirements and
    eventually the platform becomes in effect unusable for what have
    become everyday needs. (There are similar problems in keeping up
    with device driver support for new hardware.) Linux seems to
    have reached the critical threshold, so it is "alive and well";
    Plan9 seems to be well below that threshold, and has become
    largely irrelevant, except perhaps as a testing ground for ideas
    that may get adopted into more popular platforms.

  9. Re: Warning: Rant. Please disregard. [Was: Re: [9fans] Is IBM

    > More than that; hobbyists, however enlightened, cannot provide continuing
    > funding for Plan 9 development. Witness current hardware support. Plan 9 has
    > to grow or eventually die.


    Well, we've been warned.

    Given the alternative between diluting Plan 9 to suit the demand for
    snazz (who's going to deliver that, anyway?) and watching Plan 9
    become irrelevant to the marketplace, I'll pick the latter any time.

    As for the real alternative, which is for Plan 9 to become more
    Linux-like which means more Windows-like, then what's the point?
    Linux is there, Windows is there, why have a third contender? What
    innovation does Plan 9 contribute that the public is actually
    clamouring for?

    In fact, I'd hazard that Linux's only asset is its cost, in the eyes
    of the consumers. Sadly, no other OS can beat that cost. Actually,
    delete that "sadly".

    ++L


  10. Re: Warning: Rant. Please disregard. [Was: Re: [9fans] Is IBM

    > Linux is there, Windows is there, why have a third contender? What
    > innovation does Plan 9 contribute that the public is actually
    > clamouring for?


    good sense of humour


  11. Re: Warning: Rant. Please disregard. [Was: Re: [9fans] Is IBM

    >> Linux is there, Windows is there, why have a third contender? What
    >> innovation does Plan 9 contribute that the public is actually
    >> clamouring for?

    >
    > good sense of humour


    Sorry, I don't qualify. I have been accused of not having one.

    ++L


  12. Re: Warning: Rant. Please disregard. [Was: Re: [9fans] Is IBM

    lucio@proxima.alt.za wrote:
    >> More than that; hobbyists, however enlightened, cannot provide continuing
    >> funding for Plan 9 development. Witness current hardware support. Plan 9 has
    >> to grow or eventually die.

    >
    > Well, we've been warned.
    >
    > Given the alternative between diluting Plan 9 to suit the demand for
    > snazz (who's going to deliver that, anyway?) and watching Plan 9
    > become irrelevant to the marketplace, I'll pick the latter any time.
    >


    That doesn't really seem to be the choice. There is a middle ground.

    'Current' drivers for networking would seem to be critical path, audio-visual not.

    > As for the real alternative, which is for Plan 9 to become more
    > Linux-like which means more Windows-like, then what's the point?
    > Linux is there, Windows is there, why have a third contender? What
    > innovation does Plan 9 contribute that the public is actually
    > clamouring for?


    Think PDA, phone handset, 'thin client' (terminal) and the heavy-hitters for
    storage and computation located somewhere else on the network.

    Sure - the need is being filled with WinCE, Palm, Symbian, even stripped-down
    Linux already.

    But if ever there was a market born to take best advantage of Plan9's long suit,
    handheld, or 'wearable' has to be the most obvious contender, and on power nd
    bandwidth consumption as much as CPU cycles or 'local' RAM capacity.

    >
    > In fact, I'd hazard that Linux's only asset is its cost, in the eyes
    > of the consumers. Sadly, no other OS can beat that cost. Actually,
    > delete that "sadly".
    >
    > ++L
    >
    >


    The *BSD's beat Linux 'cost' quite handily - even if CD's for both are
    purchased, not downloaded.

    Linux rapid and 'diffused' devel model and plethora of 'distros' creates a need
    for for more time invested in migrating, porting, upgrading, seeking answers -
    retraining, 'er 'keeping current'.

    Grant, a *BSD might not be the best choice for playing music, videos, or games
    (save perhaps OS X).

    But OS X *also* beats Linux' cost, hands-down - and even on 50% to 100% more
    costly hardware - unless one values time at a *negative* per-hour figure.

    None of which is all that relevant to what Plan9 is best at.

    Sharing networked resources per se? Not that *alone*.

    Scitek/IBM/MS NETBIOS & SMB 'net use' or Novell 'attach' were there years
    earlier than 'bind', get much the same end-results.

    So too other Xerox-derived contemporaries (VINES, StreetTalk, etc.). Even MAP/TOP.

    But most of those are not as clean or efficient, let alone 'orthogonal' as the
    Plan9 model.

    Nor are their communications necessarily as robust. 'Early' Netware the
    exception, when it still generally had an essentially 'no-fail' and
    deterministic network physical layer, i.e. ARCNET, TCNS, 100-VG-AnyLAN.


    On technical merit, Plan9 *should* be making inroads into the networked mobile
    market. And Alcatel-Lucent *are* players there.

    But too many folks are willing to either consider Plan9 effectively dead or
    would like to keep it in a coma so as to 'feel righteous'. скопцы - like.

    Was it 'Glenda' that Willie Nelson was singing about?

    "...And sometimes it seems ... that she ain't worth the trouble at all
    But she could be worth the world ...if somehow you could touch her at all.."


    Bill




  13. Re: Warning: Rant. Please disregard. [Was: Re: [9fans] Is IBM

    > Think PDA, phone handset, 'thin client' (terminal) and the heavy-hitters for
    > storage and computation located somewhere else on the network.
    >
    > Sure - the need is being filled with WinCE, Palm, Symbian, even stripped-down
    > Linux already.
    >
    > But if ever there was a market born to take best advantage of Plan9's long suit,
    > handheld, or 'wearable' has to be the most obvious contender, and on power nd
    > bandwidth consumption as much as CPU cycles or 'local' RAM capacity.


    You have to be nuts to use Plan 9 for such things when you can use Inferno.

    uriel

  14. Re: Warning: Rant. Please disregard. [Was: Re: [9fans] Is IBM

    Uriel wrote:
    >> Think PDA, phone handset, 'thin client' (terminal) and the
    >> heavy-hitters for
    >> storage and computation located somewhere else on the network.
    >>
    >> Sure - the need is being filled with WinCE, Palm, Symbian, even
    >> stripped-down
    >> Linux already.
    >>
    >> But if ever there was a market born to take best advantage of Plan9's
    >> long suit,
    >> handheld, or 'wearable' has to be the most obvious contender, and on
    >> power nd
    >> bandwidth consumption as much as CPU cycles or 'local' RAM capacity.

    >
    > You have to be nuts to use Plan 9 for such things when you can use Inferno.
    >
    > uriel
    >


    Trolling, are you?

    Aside from their common roots 'native' Plan9 retains an efficiency edge over
    'native' Inferno & limbo.

    Most Inferno installs seem to sit atop another full-size OS, and too-seldom is
    that OS Plan9, or even remotely similar. Efficiency is bound to suffer.

    I do NOT like 'C' - but the interpreted language has not yet been born that can
    come close to matching compiled-C for speed of execution. Not to mention the
    massive weight of publically available prior art - and the 'artists' with
    experience to adapt and create.

    And those do still matter.

    Bill


  15. Re: Warning: Rant. Please disregard. [Was: Re: [9fans] Is IBM

    > Think PDA, phone handset, 'thin client' (terminal) and the heavy-hitters for
    > storage and computation located somewhere else on the network.


    I do, but what induces the IT manager in a 200+ organisation to think
    Plan 9? And why would I want her to?

    ++L


  16. Re: Warning: Rant. Please disregard. [Was: Re: [9fans] Is IBM

    lucio@proxima.alt.za wrote:
    >> Think PDA, phone handset, 'thin client' (terminal) and the heavy-hitters for
    >> storage and computation located somewhere else on the network.

    >
    > I do, but what induces the IT manager in a 200+ organisation to think
    > Plan 9? And why would I want her to?
    >
    > ++L
    >
    >


    I'd class that as a de-facto impossibility.

    WTH - we couldn't get OS/2 'sold' in an organization ten times that size and
    more. Even though it was largely IBM mainframe dominated, and whose senior
    management *liked* IBM .... and against, of all things, Win 3.X - despite a more
    robust and then still fully compatible Win-OS2 being built in to OS/2. (Win-95
    was still years away at the time).

    I don't see Plan9 ever even starting down the 'populist' road in that manner.

    But the choice of embedded and 'appliance' OS'en is not made the same way, and
    the 'Windows' cachet as not as hard to compete with.

    Virus host in my cellphone? No thanks!

    But cellphones, to name just one - can easily sell half-a-million 'seats' in two
    years or fewer - and to folks who could give a Massachusetts as to what brand is
    on the underlying OS software.

    Those who have WinCE on their 'devices' know it. Those who have 'ABM' often
    *don't* know - or care - what they are using. So long as it JFW.

    To the extent Plan9 can support a 'bespoke' UI and show life-cycle cost and
    performance advantages, STB, hand-held, and other 'appliance' makers can adopt
    it without it being directly 'in the face' of the end user.

    And by 'bespoke UI' I don't mean folks here porting X-Windows, re-inventing
    drawterm or anything of the sort.

    Rather, the device-maker's own team putting up something customized - more like
    GEM or the iPOD interface - even QNX' 'Photon' approach.

    Something that 'JFDI' whatever the device is expected to do.

    Not having a heavy and entrenched GUI already in place to 'fight with' is
    actually an advantage for Plan9 on that score.

    Just do a file-count and 'du' before and after an install of
    Xorg+wm+desktop+tools of-choice on any *n*x.

    Then weep over the waste of it all. And prepare for version Hell on upgrades.

    There has to be a better way.

    Bill

  17. [9fans] Wearables

    > lucio@proxima.alt.za wrote:
    > But if ever there was a market born to take best advantage of Plan9's long suit,
    > handheld, or 'wearable' has to be the most obvious contender, and on power nd
    > bandwidth consumption as much as CPU cycles or 'local' RAM capacity.
    >


    A friend and I are starting a project to create a simple wearable computer. We've
    got some hardware to get started; probably will begin with a laptop, our camera
    viewfinder HMD, and a keyboard strapped around the waist (crude, I know) or
    some form of home-brewed chording device. I considered using Plan 9, but since
    we don't plan to include a pointing device yet, and the viewfinder can only display
    low resolutions and in black and white, I think we'll end up going with something
    designed to be used 80x24 characters at a time... Linux. If somebody can present
    me with some good reasons to use Plan 9 instead, we can try it, but I really
    don't think Plan 9 actually is ideal for a wearable.

    John


  18. Re: [9fans] Wearables

    hello

    import wearable_thing_in_front_of_me /n/friend
    cp $home/images/friendly_foto.jpg /n/friend

    :-?

    may be you can speak with Nemo, i think the wearable thing is just the
    same work they are doing with planb/plan-c?, so he probably has not
    only ideas, but experiencies in doing such things.

    slds.

    gabi


    On 5/17/07, john@csplan9.rit.edu wrote:
    > > lucio@proxima.alt.za wrote:
    > > But if ever there was a market born to take best advantage of Plan9's long suit,
    > > handheld, or 'wearable' has to be the most obvious contender, and on power nd
    > > bandwidth consumption as much as CPU cycles or 'local' RAM capacity.
    > >

    >
    > A friend and I are starting a project to create a simple wearable computer. We've
    > got some hardware to get started; probably will begin with a laptop, our camera
    > viewfinder HMD, and a keyboard strapped around the waist (crude, I know) or
    > some form of home-brewed chording device. I considered using Plan 9, but since
    > we don't plan to include a pointing device yet, and the viewfinder can only display
    > low resolutions and in black and white, I think we'll end up going with something
    > designed to be used 80x24 characters at a time... Linux. If somebody can present
    > me with some good reasons to use Plan 9 instead, we can try it, but I really
    > don't think Plan 9 actually is ideal for a wearable.
    >
    > John
    >
    >


  19. Re: [9fans] Wearables

    On 5/17/07, john@csplan9.rit.edu wrote:
    > > lucio@proxima.alt.za wrote:
    > > But if ever there was a market born to take best advantage of Plan9's long suit,
    > > handheld, or 'wearable' has to be the most obvious contender, and on power nd
    > > bandwidth consumption as much as CPU cycles or 'local' RAM capacity.
    > >

    >
    > A friend and I are starting a project to create a simple wearable computer. We've
    > got some hardware to get started; probably will begin with a laptop, our camera
    > viewfinder HMD, and a keyboard strapped around the waist (crude, I know) or
    > some form of home-brewed chording device. I considered using Plan 9, but since
    > we don't plan to include a pointing device yet, and the viewfinder can only display
    > low resolutions and in black and white, I think we'll end up going with something
    > designed to be used 80x24 characters at a time... Linux. If somebody can present
    > me with some good reasons to use Plan 9 instead, we can try it, but I really
    > don't think Plan 9 actually is ideal for a wearable.
    >


    What are your requirements that disqualify Plan 9? Or is just a "feeling"?

    Coraid puts Plan 9 in their storage products. It's performing a
    useful task, and you don't even need to know it's there. But it's
    still powering the device.

    Small and simple can still be beautiful and elegant :-)

    > John
    >
    >



    --
    - Passage Matthew 5:37:
    But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever
    is more than these cometh of evil.

  20. Re: [9fans] Wearables

    john@csplan9.rit.edu wrote:
    >> lucio@proxima.alt.za wrote:
    >> But if ever there was a market born to take best advantage of Plan9's long suit,
    >> handheld, or 'wearable' has to be the most obvious contender, and on power nd
    >> bandwidth consumption as much as CPU cycles or 'local' RAM capacity.
    >>

    >
    > A friend and I are starting a project to create a simple wearable computer. We've
    > got some hardware to get started; probably will begin with a laptop, our camera
    > viewfinder HMD, and a keyboard strapped around the waist (crude, I know) or
    > some form of home-brewed chording device. I considered using Plan 9, but since
    > we don't plan to include a pointing device yet, and the viewfinder can only display
    > low resolutions and in black and white, I think we'll end up going with something
    > designed to be used 80x24 characters at a time... Linux. If somebody can present
    > me with some good reasons to use Plan 9 instead, we can try it, but I really
    > don't think Plan 9 actually is ideal for a wearable.
    >
    > John
    >
    >


    'Ideal' only in two senses:

    - Very well-suited to having the 'heavy' resources remoted over reasonably
    efficient (low bandwidth) networking.

    - lacking a GP GUI (rio/acme are, IMNSHO, a coder's IDE, not a GP GUI), but
    having lightweight tools to implement one (drawterm, VNC) - so you can do
    'locally' only what your app really *must* do locally.

    As to 'pointing device' - why not a tilt-disk, 'clit' or trackball? All of which
    are cheaply salvaged from new or used hardware. Chording the 'Plan9 way' is not
    an absolute requirement - just one already built-in.

    Viewing device? 'Virtual reality' headset, perhaps?

    Or go the other way...

    text-to-speech in an earpiece, speech-to-text from a mic.

    'Heavy' CPU to convert bothways accurately is remoted.

    Might mean the heaviest thing you have to wear is...

    ....a 'dumb' telephone handset and a thin LCD for graphics when needed.

    My biggest personal objection to most modern PDA/phone rigs (Blackberry, Treo,
    et al) is the need to grab a stylus and/or otherwise use BOTH hands when NO
    hands is a nicer goal, and ONE hand was possible even with the ancient HP-200-LX
    (thumb-typing).

    Belt-mount and Bluetooth or similar seems a good idea though.

    Linux? Far too 'heavy', even stripped - which is not as easy as it sounds if you
    need even basic functionality). if not Plan9, then Minix3 revanche is lighter
    (and very Posix compliant)

    But might be better-off with DRDOS and GEM. Seriously.

    Find an HP-100/200-LX (MSDOS, not DRDOS) and see what was possible lo those many
    years ago with a couple of the right PCMCIA cards and lithium AA batteries.

    Used to carry a pair of clip leads and external twin D-cell holder to send faxes
    and login to CompuServe from hotel rooms. Purchased and discarded batteries
    locally so as to not have to carry the weight or a charger. ELSE 'borrowed' the
    rechargeable emergency flashlight found in many hotels.

    'Too soon we forget' how much could be accomplished with a lowly VT-whatever
    'dumb terminal' connected to the right support infrastructure at a mere 1200 -
    9600 bps.

    These need not replace the entire laptop/desktop 'puterish experience - just
    bridge the gaps.

    Bill

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