Message from discussion Minix Case Study?
Subject: Re: Minix Case Study?
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From: Markus E L
Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2007 18:36:03 +0200
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> No one has answered my question. If Minix has the abilities of Linux,
> or even a BSD, would you embrace Minix?
No. Those other systems already work for me in their designated
area. Changing to Minix would have be pointless. I'd only change if
Minix had a feature I'm sorely missing in the other system.
> I am posing this question to
> the Minix group, because I thought there would be some fans of Minix
> in here.
I'm a Minix fan regardless. But as soon as investement of time and
money is to be considered, fandom alone isn't a factor.
> I know you think that it is silly to ask such a question, because of
> the obvious.
Because of which obvious what?
> But, remember that Windows and Unix had a share, before Linux came
I'm convinced, strictly speaking, Linux didn't displace Unix, at least
not at the beginning. There was a niche in the market: Inexpensive
Unix on commodity hardware (as opposed to the rather expensive Unix
licenses of the day). Other competitors, like Coherent, didn't make
it, because they lacked networking. And as a hobby OS of the
distinguished CS or engineering student, Linux made the race because
Windows didn't have acceptable networking until Windows 95/98 (the
capabilites of 95 were still rather restricted).
> And for some reason, everyone flocks to Linux, when
> there are other open source alternatives, to the alternative.
me: parse error, '.' expected.
> While I think Linux is great technology, I think much of the
> popularity has to do with its grass roots movement/evangelism.
Only partly. For some time it satisfied an existent need and now of
course it has a user base and a well entrenched base of evangelists.
> Minix3 seems like a great technology, even in its infancy.
Technology needs to be really much much better before being able to
_replace_ existing technology. People have invested (time, money,
knowhow) and are loath to change.
In my opinion the way the change happens, it's that the IT landscape
changes (e.g. form mini computers to personal micros). Then comes a
landslide development where superiority really counts: But only
superiority in satisfying the markets needs. See Microsoft: In a sense
they were successful then, because they took the "personal" in
personal computer serious. Now, of course they are successful because
they are/were successful (meaning: They own the market). DEC on the
other side where successful when the Minis came into the market and
was not flexible enough any more when the micros came, so they went
out of the market.
So the question of course is: What will the next change be?
> I really like the self-healing factor.
Yes, that's cool. It is cool as an academic/scientific exercise. And I
say that with all respect, "academic" for me is a compliment. As
something that might come useful in some niche market. But now tell me
which market that might be, and why Linux (with an uptime of years),
can't serve this market. Note that rebooting or failing over to a
second Linux node is also a valid discovery strategy, so I don't want
to hear 24x7 availability: We can have that already with existing
> I just want to know why someone has not looked to further developing
> instead of the code just stagnating and/or waiting for some grad
> students in Europe to crank it out, in their spare time.
This is putting it overly negative.
> (I would love to develop Minix3, but I am not a OS developer.
> Maybe one day.)
Well, you can develop it in your spare time ...
:-) - Markus