[openbeos] Re: May I contribute.

  • From: "Michael Phipps" <mphipps1@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: openbeos@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 22 Sep 2003 21:36:36 -0400

>Hello everyone,
>May I contribute a suggestion? Please take it seriously and not as a joke.

Nope! It is a suggestion I hear quasi-frequently.

>Is there a way to make OBOS a "server-level" operating system. Surely there 
>is plenty of BSD code that could be drawn from.

Yes, this could be done.

>It is the sole thing I would love to see and use in a professional production 
> environment.

There are many pros and cons to this. 
The questions I always come back to are "what is our goal", "what makes BeOS 
special" and "what is the cost/gain ratio".
Our goal, recreating BeOS, would lead us away from making a server. BeOS was 
never good at being a server.
What makes BeOS special? If you take away the stuff that BeOS has that everyone 
else has (POSIX, basic windowing, etc), you are left with what? BFS, Media Kit, 
Translation Kit, Low Latency Kernel, C++ API. Almost all of which is worthless 
in a server environment.
Finally, cost to gain. Gain is somewhat relative, based on your needs. Cost is 
not, though. It would require all sorts of work on the kernel to make it 
exceedingly secure. It would require building logins and the whole security 
mechanism. It would require all sorts of caution about what hardware can do. 
Reworking of the APIs, too. (Can I send a QUIT message to *ANY* app? Even if I 
don't own it?). There is a fair amount of thought and design around security 
and multi-user. Would it be worth waiting another YEAR to get? Not to me. Not 
to many people. 

That is not to say that the ability to be a server, either small or large scale 
is bad. It is not one of the things that we are aiming for, right now. What I 
have strongly considered and think is a neat idea is the ability to use 
BeOS/OBOS as a workstation. How cool would it be if BeOS hosted X apps 
natively? And had network admin tools for Linuxen, BSD's and others? That would 
put it clearly on a lot of sysadmin's desks. A good thing.

I hope that answers your question. If you want to take this offlist, I am more 
than willing.

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