[TUHS] OT: critical Intel design flaw

Larry McVoy lm at mcvoy.com
Thu Jan 4 12:26:04 AEST 2018

On Wed, Jan 03, 2018 at 06:13:59PM -0800, Bakul Shah wrote:
> > To add to Ted's points.  I was good friends with one of the core guys
> > on the QNX team a long time ago (he died early in 1998 of brain cancer.
> Dan Hildebrand? I used QNX in 86 and had read his papers but never
> met him.

Yep, great guy.  We could argue long and hard but it was always about
the tech, never about the person.  An engineer's engineer.

> > The problem is that most people / companies are not that disciplined.
> The whole idea is not to hack on the ukernel endlessly but to
> build apps on top of it. On something like Mill you won't even

Um, I've been reading about Mill for at least a decade.  It's not 
real until it ships.  It's still vaporware, no?

> > I'd argue that microkernels are indeed the best answer but only if you
> > have the best programmers.  Which nobody does even though everyone claims
> > they do.
> > 
> > Monolithic kernels are far more amenable to less than awesome people
> > messing with them.  Sad but true, I'd love a microkernel world but I
> > fear we are too stupid to get it.  Something, something, something,
> > this is why we can't have nice things.
> A monlithic kernel reimplemented as a set of services on top
> of ukernel would be even more amenable. 

That's been the claim but there is no data to support that claim.  In fact
the opposite.  History has shown that microkernels can work if you are 
super super careful.  Monolithic kernels work in spite of all the idiots
checking in stupid stuff.

I *love* the idea of a microkernel with a bunch of processes implementing
the OS, it's so much a better design.  I also have been in the real world
long enough to think that I'm not going to see Linux replaced with a 
microkernel in my lifetime.  I wish, but I don't see it happening.


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