Why Operating Systems Matter
By stern on Oct 29, 2006
Long form: I love it when things don't turn out exactly as scripted. We have been working on a video edition of our podcast for a few weeks, and actually recorded the whole show in about a take and a third (the third was me suffering through lip flap, dub flub and assorted other recording maladies caused by too much cold medicine and not enough coffee). The three of us just kept on talking, with tape rolling, and ended up in a discussion of operating systems and why they matter. Still. Or more than ever, depending upon your point of view.
Clearly, this is my own point of view, as I've been quoted before saying that as soon as you try to remove the operating system, you start adding in things like networking and resource management and filesystems and soon enough, you have an operating system. The trick is to make the operating system strike the right balance of hard-core performance and soft-spoken general purpose uses. Make it broadly appealing, and the hard-core developers will find ways to make it scream for a variety of applications.
Recording this -- essentially unexpurgated, unedited, and unprompted -- reminded me of the similarly direct-to-tape track It's About Time by Pierre Moerlen and Gong. The band is in a tight groove, you hear a door open as someone delivers a needed piece of equipment, the rejoinder "It's about time" from the band, and then direct to groove again.
A quick Google check confirms this as the first public linkage of Greg, Jonathan and "groove" as a feeling, not a developer environment.