I know I haven't really said much on this list due to some technical
difficulties with email on my side, but I do want to say a couple
First, I think both Shapiro and AMS have valid points. I think
Shapiro makes a good case that the underlying system (what the users
and application developers do not see) does not have to be POSIX.
In fact, on a good system, a POSIX layer shouldn't be terribly
difficult to implement.
Secondly, I agree with AMS that POSIX should not be considered a second
class citizen. Yes, a lot of command-line interfaces (CLI) are
based on POSIX interfaces, but so are a lot of other software. I
suppose an example of this would be any sort of app a developer may
write in python or perl. Things like IPC semantics are derived
from the POSIX idea of IPC. I know that this now sounds like I'm
arguing for a developer's sake, but developers write software for end
users. If developers don't have familiar platform when coding, a
lot less developers code for the platform; hence, less end users get
software they really need.
So, I think that what we should really be concentrating on is a good
chassis (primary system design) and add a POSIX layer as we go. I
think having the POSIX layer should be the de-facto layer that
end-users see. In fact, my initial interpretation of the Hurd
design was that it was a POSIX-compliant OS that offered useful
extensions, such as capabilities and distributed processing. This
was my interpretation, and I'm sure it will be the interpretation of
others that follow me.
Sorry if I'm rambling, but I just wanted to be clear about my personal
opinion on this matter. I really don't see why Shapiro and AMS
can't be simultaneously satisfied. It seems that they are both
arguing for virtually the same things but on slightly different sides
of the spectrum (Shapiro for more GUI-based library support and AMS for
the more classical POSIX approach). I guess I could be missing
something, and maybe I will need to explain further why I think both
people (hence, both sides of the spectrum) can be satisfied
simultaneously with good engineering. However, I'll wait for
-- William M. Grim Student, Souther Illinois University at Edwardsville Unix Network Administrator, SIUE, CS. Dept.