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Leo 
Re: Annual Check-in
Posted on 21-Aug-2015 10:33:36
#61 ]
Super Member
Joined: 21-Aug-2003
Posts: 1562
From: Unknown

@OlafS25

Quote:

it might be possible to modernize the OS when dropping compatibility and in fact creating a new "amiga inspired" API

But again... what software will run on it? Who will develop for it?

Same answer as who develops for current API.

As for the apps, you have to start one day. I'm pretty sure a new modern API would give ideas to developers and you'll see some very nice apps in addition to open-source ports you already have now (games, video players,...) that can be easily adapted to any API.

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Leo 
Re: Annual Check-in
Posted on 21-Aug-2015 10:53:59
#62 ]
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Joined: 21-Aug-2003
Posts: 1562
From: Unknown

Amiga was good by 1985's standards, yes. But it had a major flaw most consumer OS (Mac & DOS/Windows) had back then too.

It was tied to a specific hardware and wasn't protected (memory protection, exposed structures, exposed functionnality like forbid(), etc...) . The same went for MacOS & DOS.

The thing is, MacOS fixed this by using Darwin kernel and developing new APIs with MacOSX. Microsoft solved it by developing the new NT kernel with WinNT/XP.

Amiga didn't fix anything. So, as good as it was in 1985, it's outdated today, way outdated. Amiga had a chance to fix it: going PPC was the time when things should have been properly fixed.

AmigaOS 4 didn't fix it: they rewrote a kernel that had the same limitations.
AROS went x86 but again, simply reimplemented the kernel with the same flaws.
MorphOS chose a more clever way, by designing a new modern kernel but alas never properly made use of it.

Amiga could be extended and patched easily since to its modular libs and setPatch stuff. This made possible the PowerUp systems to work with the old OS. That's great, for the short term.

The thing is: this was supposed to be temporary. Of course, implementing a new API takes time, writing new apps, two. But at least that's a goal, with some nice perspectives. What are the perspectives of current API ?

Last edited by Leo on 21-Aug-2015 at 10:57 AM.

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OlafS25 
Re: Annual Check-in
Posted on 21-Aug-2015 11:08:08
#63 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 12-May-2010
Posts: 5098
From: Unknown

@Leo

most here concentrate on OS features as main reasons that devs do not join... I disagree there. I am developing on windows normally and to me the main problem to attract new devs is to have both decent development environments and modern class libraries. On amiga you return to stone age (in sense of developing) and when you come from another platform you need to learn a completely new API. If the complexity would be hidden then the chances would be higher that devs join.

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wawa 
Re: Annual Check-in
Posted on 21-Aug-2015 11:08:47
#64 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 21-Jan-2008
Posts: 5730
From: Unknown

@Turrican3

if you are talking about os4, then an investor already came with tons of money. what we are witnessing is the result of that.

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Trixie 
Re: Annual Check-in
Posted on 21-Aug-2015 12:00:31
#65 ]
Super Member
Joined: 1-Sep-2003
Posts: 1600
From: Czech Republic

@wawa

Who's talking about OS4? It's you again, apparently. Sigh. You'll never learn your lesson.

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Turrican3 
Re: Annual Check-in
Posted on 21-Aug-2015 14:06:52
#66 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 20-Jun-2003
Posts: 297
From: Italy

I was talking about an hypotetical investor willing to bring the Amiga back to its former glory as both a game machine and a powerful, creative personal computer.

And that's why I used the term "true miracle" and "TONS of money" (both of which, by the way, has never showed in the post-CBM era as far as I know).

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wawa 
Re: Annual Check-in
Posted on 21-Aug-2015 15:48:43
#67 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 21-Jan-2008
Posts: 5730
From: Unknown

@Turrican3

Quote:
I was talking about an hypotetical investor willing to bring the Amiga back to its former glory as both a game machine and a powerful, creative personal computer.

And that's why I used the term "true miracle" and "TONS of money" (both of which, by the way, has never showed in the post-CBM era as far as I know


have you skipped on trevors involvement, or do you simply doubt sensitivity of his goals?

one way or the other, it has been reported that the investment in the x1000 development and production exceeded the range of 300.000, taking all the initiatives and projects into account its probably closer to a million now.

that there is someone that comes and invests that kind of money (its what id call tons, certainly) in a dead platform is a miracle of its own. thats sure.

that miracle happened obviously. but apparently the outcome is not satysfying, since apparently another one, bigger, is neccessary.

Last edited by wawa on 21-Aug-2015 at 04:41 PM.

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umisef 
Re: Annual Check-in
Posted on 21-Aug-2015 15:49:58
#68 ]
Super Member
Joined: 19-Jun-2005
Posts: 1655
From: Melbourne, Australia

@Leo

Quote:
It was tied to a specific hardware and wasn't protected (memory protection, exposed structures, exposed functionnality like forbid(), etc...) . The same went for MacOS & DOS.


The thing is, however, that this didn't really hold true for MacOS. Yes, MacOS pre-OS-X had a whole lot of issues, but specific hardware and exposed structures weren't really among them. (1)
Since the very first Mac, Apple was quite clear about "you shall use these nicely abstracted APIs (like Quickdraw), or bad things will happen in the future". And then, Apple went and introduced another Mac, with different memory layout, different ROM, and all sorts of other differences --- and any software that didn't use the APIs, as prescribed, broke horribly. And rather than feel bad about it, Apple basically pointed at their documentation, and said "OK, now will you please use those APIs that we provide? Because we really do break your stuff otherwise, you know....".

Which meant that...

Quote:
The thing is, MacOS fixed this by using Darwin kernel and developing new APIs with MacOSX.


...Apple could fix things by completely changing the foundation of their OS, and "simply" providing the same APIs on top of the different foundation. And Apple could switch architectures (twice), endianness and CPU width, without major disruptions.


Compared to the Amiga 1000, the first Mac was a dog in many ways. But part of the reason for that was a higher level of abstraction, which had a performance price right there and then, but came with huge benefits down the line.


So no, the fact that Apple managed to do this does not mean that Amiga could have, too, given the same resources. Pulling AmigaOS into the 21st century would have been a lot more painful than what Apple had to do (and Apple had a hard enough time with it already).




(1) Making implicit guarantees about run-to-completion of event handlers was the biggest issue

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NutsAboutAmiga 
Re: Annual Check-in
Posted on 21-Aug-2015 16:07:53
#69 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Jun-2004
Posts: 10736
From: Norway

@umisef

+1 like

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umisef 
Re: Annual Check-in
Posted on 21-Aug-2015 16:10:35
#70 ]
Super Member
Joined: 19-Jun-2005
Posts: 1655
From: Melbourne, Australia

@wawa

Quote:
taking all the initiatives and projects into account its probably closer to a million now.


A million is nothing. A million dollars is roughly what Apple spent on R&D every single day from the time they bought NeXT for $400+ million in 1997, until the release of OS-X 10.0 for desktop ("Cheetah") in 2001. And while there is certainly a lot of non-OS R&D cost in there (after all, 2001 also saw the launch of the iPod), it's probably fair to say that they blew a billion bucks on OS-X before they ever sold a single copy of it on a desktop(1). And that's year-2000 dollars; Inflation-adjusted, it's probably half as much again in today's terms.

(More recently, Apple has been spending $10+ million per day on R&D, creeping up towards $15+ million. But of course there is now a lot more non-desktop/laptop related R&D to be done)


(1) There was an earlier release of a server version; The income from that would have been negligible.

Last edited by umisef on 21-Aug-2015 at 04:11 PM.

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NutsAboutAmiga 
Re: Annual Check-in
Posted on 21-Aug-2015 16:48:59
#71 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Jun-2004
Posts: 10736
From: Norway

@OlafS25

You are missing my point totally.

There are so many things we need, we don't need start with braking eggs, there is lots of other things that can be fixed.

Last edited by NutsAboutAmiga on 21-Aug-2015 at 04:52 PM.

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wawa 
Re: Annual Check-in
Posted on 21-Aug-2015 16:57:36
#72 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 21-Jan-2008
Posts: 5730
From: Unknown

@umisef

Quote:
A million is nothing. A million dollars is roughly what Apple spent on R&D every single day


i think investment in the range of six digits can be considered inexpectable miracle, whichever amiga or its offshot is considered. comparisons with companies leading in the field dont really apply here. we must think about it as a "startup", something like what commodore-usa was attempting at. one way or another, the chance, if there was any, is gone.

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itix 
Re: Annual Check-in
Posted on 21-Aug-2015 17:02:49
#73 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 22-Dec-2004
Posts: 3390
From: Freedom world

@Trixie

Quote:

To give an example, take Intuition. The original (1.x) implementation by RJ Mical was essentially a disaster: a badly-designed API with apparently no notion of safety, comfort and future expandability. For sure Commodore did realize they needed to design a better API to remedy the shortcomings.


This is very true. Today when doing modern system GUI programming on Amiga you never use nor need pre-Kickstart 2.0 calls.

Quote:
But the fact that in 2.x they actually introduced TWO fundamentally different, mutually incompatible APIs (GadTools and BOOPSI) to do the same thing (i.e. design a GUI) indicates that at that particular point Intuition development lost a sense of direction. The subsequent mess lasted for decades, and still confuses new programmers when they get to reading documentation.


I dont agree. GadTools was not that bad. It was a bridge from traditional Intuition gadget coding to more abstract API. It is not part of Intuition anyway so in my view it is just utility/tool library for Intuition users.

Quote:

So it's not that all was bright and sunny with Commodore, even with serious funding.


I dont think there ever was serious funging... Commodore had only 3-5 people working there.

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Leo 
Re: Annual Check-in
Posted on 21-Aug-2015 17:18:41
#74 ]
Super Member
Joined: 21-Aug-2003
Posts: 1562
From: Unknown

Quote:

"you shall use these nicely abstracted APIs (like Quickdraw), or bad things will happen in the future"

Couldn't Commodore say the same thing ? I mean: lots of apps hit the hardware directly. And it seems to me Commodore never had the guts to impose APIs, programming guidelines, etc.. to their developers.

Of course, since APIs were exposed, this wouldn't have changed, but at least it could have been easier to change APIs later ? And say: "ok, forget about 3.x, here are new Amiga NG APIs: use them, because the new hardware won't run the OS apps anyway".

Last edited by Leo on 21-Aug-2015 at 05:20 PM.
Last edited by Leo on 21-Aug-2015 at 05:19 PM.

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saimon69 
Re: Annual Check-in
Posted on 21-Aug-2015 18:22:23
#75 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 7-Dec-2007
Posts: 269
From: Los Angeles, CA

A bit OT but sometimes i wonder how absurdly complicated would be to do a system similar to wine on x86 linux (and in example call it Cider) that remaps 68k mac apps and run them natively on Amiga OS... :)

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umisef 
Re: Annual Check-in
Posted on 21-Aug-2015 19:07:18
#76 ]
Super Member
Joined: 19-Jun-2005
Posts: 1655
From: Melbourne, Australia

@Leo

Quote:
Couldn't Commodore say the same thing ?


They could, and to some degree at least they even did. But they didn't follow through on the threat of "bad things will happen in the future if you don't". Which is why ECS is a strict superset of OCS, and AGA is a strict superset of ECS(1), and the 1985 CIAs (which are actually essentially the same chips already used in the C64) were still there in the Escom A3000Ts. And why even OS3.9 still has an ExecBase at address 4, and why a whole lot of OS structures still have misaligned 32 bit members in even OS3.9, even when running on "real" 32 bit processors where that actually hurts performance.

Apple, on the other hand, did follow through, and changed the hardware, changed the software, changed the properties of the screen --- changed just about everything but the APIs. I am sure it lost them some sales early on, when some directly-hardware-hitting program didn't work on their new model. But it got them a software base that could be moved across to new technologies without (major) trouble.

Quote:
And say: "ok, forget about 3.x, here are new Amiga NG APIs: use them, because the new hardware won't run the OS apps anyway".


That's the tragedy of OS4 --- it could have defined strict rules for what is and is not permissible for PPC apps. And it could have enforced those rules, without breaking any existing apps, because there were no existing OS4 PPC apps. Instead, it simply re-implemented the 68k OS on PPC, carrying over all the old crud, and thus ensuring that all the same issues now exist on PPC, too; Now there are existing PPC apps, all of which were written towards an OS interface that shares the mistakes of the 68k one, and any one of which just might break when any one of the many implicit guarantees and liberties of that interface gets changed.

Which would be excusable, if OS4 had, indeed, been a quick-and-easy three-month port of OS3.x to PPC, as Amiga Inc contracted for. But it took several years to get even a "Developer Prerelease" out --- and I find it very hard to find any sympathy for taking that long, and still wasting the one chance for a clean new start....

(1) Or at least as close to a strict superset as they could manage

Last edited by umisef on 21-Aug-2015 at 07:13 PM.

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umisef 
Re: Annual Check-in
Posted on 21-Aug-2015 19:10:55
#77 ]
Super Member
Joined: 19-Jun-2005
Posts: 1655
From: Melbourne, Australia

@saimon69

Quote:

saimon69 wrote:
A bit OT but sometimes i wonder how absurdly complicated would be to do a system similar to wine on x86 linux (and in example call it Cider) that remaps 68k mac apps and run them natively on Amiga OS... :)


Back in, I think, 1994, someone did just that --- only they did it on DOS, emulated the 68k processor, and "simply" re-implemented the APIs. It's called Executor and, as I just learned, has been released under the MIT license 7 years ago.

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itix 
Re: Annual Check-in
Posted on 21-Aug-2015 19:46:30
#78 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 22-Dec-2004
Posts: 3390
From: Freedom world

@umisef

Quote:

and why a whole lot of OS structures still have misaligned 32 bit members in even OS3.9, even when running on "real" 32 bit processors where that actually hurts performance.


It only hurts when memory is not cacheable. The worst case is when 32-bit read is crossing cache line boundary (or L2 cache page boundary but this is relatively rare) but once it is cached there is no performance hit (at least, in most processors).

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Leo 
Re: Annual Check-in
Posted on 21-Aug-2015 20:25:13
#79 ]
Super Member
Joined: 21-Aug-2003
Posts: 1562
From: Unknown

Quote:

Which would be excusable, if OS4 had, indeed, been a quick-and-easy three-month port of OS3.x to PPC, as Amiga Inc contracted for. But it took several years to get even a "Developer Prerelease" out --- and I find it very hard to find any sympathy for taking that long, and still wasting the one chance for a clean new start....

I guess it took longer than expected to port/rewrite most of the OS.

And it seems histroy repeats itself: OS 4.2 seems to take more time than expected too...

I never heard about Executor. I'm curious about performance on x86 of that time.

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Leo 
Re: Annual Check-in
Posted on 21-Aug-2015 20:42:33
#80 ]
Super Member
Joined: 21-Aug-2003
Posts: 1562
From: Unknown

Quote:

That's the tragedy of OS4 --- it could have defined strict rules for what is and is not permissible for PPC apps. And it could have enforced those rules, without breaking any existing apps, because there were no existing OS4 PPC apps

If only the right people took the right decisions...

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