[geeks] And The Linux Weenies Wonder Why They Aren't Mainstream...`
velociraptor at gmail.com
Thu Mar 2 11:25:47 CST 2006
On 3/2/06, der Mouse <mouse at rodents.montreal.qc.ca> wrote:
> > Just using two architectures will shake out most problems. Say a
> > Lintel machine and a Sparc system with the Sun compilers.
> Well...if the SPAC is a sparc64. But otherwise, you've got two 32-bit
> machines there, with nothing to smoke out word-size dependencies.
> Of course, if you really want to do a good job of portability testing,
> throw in some even less "standard" machines, like, say, a PDP-10 (or
> more likely a simulator) and a Lisp Machine. (I've been told C
> compilers exist for Lisp Machines, and they are great at finding
> assumptions like "all the world's a byte-addressed flat address space",
> since their pointers really do take advantage of the freedom the spec
> offers about how pointers work.)
Which begs the question, how's it to be paid for?
Right now, the majority of open source project is basically trying to
maintain their own stable of machines, though there are some groups
working together (with all the itinerant problems--read the lists for
OpenDarwin and DarwinPorts to get an idea of how this goes). x86
commodity boxes are the cheapest way for a developer to get into
the loop of a project, so of course that is getting the most attention.
What would be an interesting non-profit foundation would be to build
a datacenter housing all the various architectures, with a good near-line
storage system, whereby OSS projects could schedule time on boxes
that they didn't normally have access to. The near-line storage could
be used to keep archived snapshots of the project's work environment
so that when their time is up, that gets removed and the new team's
environment gets put in.
The problem is the start up costs and finding a team of good grant
writers to get that money, and then the ongoing costs of maintaining
aging hardware. Plunk it down in some economically depressed area
where warehouse->DC conversion would be cheap (you don't need
a lot of bandwidth)--i.e. the mid-west.
Heh. Sounds like your typical rescuer's dream job.
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