I was reading a book titled "UNIX Papers: for UNIX developers and
Power users" edited by Mitchell Waite and published in 1987 by the
Waite Group and came upon the following passage. I felt folks on
either list would find it somewhat interesting.
| As a basis for operating system development, the UNIX kernel has
| grown somewhat large and unwieldy (at least by UNIX standards), and
| it might be thought that UNIX system evolution would become more
| difficult, as new ideas need to be fitted into the old system.
| Fortunately, the complexity of the kernel has been recognized as a
| problem. In one recent effort at recoding the entire kernel, MINIX,
| UNIX returns to its roots: the kernel is indeed nothing more than an
| I/O multiplexer. The only functions that the kernel provides are
| process creation, Interprocess communication, and controlled access
| to peripheral devices, and the CPU. All other activities,
| including, file system management, terminal drivers, network
| protocols, and so on, are done as non-kernel system programs that
| send and receive messages from applications. The result is a new
| kind of simplicity and modularity that could engender an entire
| generation of UNIX system evolution, particularly because the
| sources of MINIX are so readily available, unlike UNIX sources
| -- Dan Franklin, 1987.
Well, all's well that ends.