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  • Jim
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    Jim
    Posts: 4957 from 2009/1/28
    From: Delaware, USA
    Quote:


    takemehomegrandma wrote:

    Porting to x86 would be even more difficult, but it would make a lot more sense...

    ;-)


    I question that assertion.

    While an X86 port would offer a wealth of new, low cost equipment, it also brings along something I personally would prefer to avoid - the X86 processor.

    Has anyone looked at the current X86 instruction set recently? It is impossibly large, with additions specific to particular processors (not implemented across the entire X86 family).

    While assembly language is still a possibility on a PPC, I would not want to attempt it on an X86.

    And, if we are going to have to use higher level languages and tools to create code, who is going to create these tools for MorphOS (or are we going to have to develop programs under other OS')?

    Beyond all that, AROS already exists for the X86 processor and OSX and Windows also run on the X86.

    Does MorphOS stand a chance against competition that already has a gigantic base of available software?

    I don't think so, and I lost this bet taking a different stance in the 90's. No matter how much better your OS is, the installed base of Windows users and the mass of available programs is always going to weight in Windows favor.
    "Never attribute to malice what can more readily explained by incompetence"
  • »23.04.10 - 19:47
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    Andreas_Wolf
    Posts: 11556 from 2003/5/22
    From: Germany
    New picture of Nemo:

    http://amigaworld.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=31070&forum=33&start=80#554554
  • »27.04.10 - 11:35
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    takemehomegrandma
    Posts: 2707 from 2003/2/24
    Quote:

    Has anyone looked at the current X86 instruction set recently?


    Frankly, who on earth cares about instruction sets? Face it, if you want scalability from low power mobile up to true desktop performance, if you want broadly available hardware at best possible price, and if you want a safe and secure path into a sustainable future, then there is only one option to choose from (and no, it's definitely not PPC).
    MorphOS is Amiga done right! :-)
    MorphOS NG will be AROS done right! :-)
  • »27.04.10 - 11:50
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  • Paladin of the Pegasos
    Paladin of the Pegasos
    jcmarcos
    Posts: 1178 from 2003/3/13
    From: Pinto, Madrid ...
    Quote:

    Jim wrote:

    Has anyone looked at the current X86 instruction set recently?


    Me scratching head... Why exactly should we care about the instruction set of the CPU? I'm sure you know that word... "compiler":

    Quote:

    if we are going to have to use higher level languages


    "IF"? You are scaring me, Jim!

    Quote:

    who is going to create these tools for MorphOS?


    You mean we can't use an existing x86 compiler? I fear I'm missing something very big, because I'm puzzled.

    Quote:

    Does MorphOS stand a chance against x86 competition that already has a gigantic base of available software?


    Sure not. But that's not the idea. The idea is having cheap and good hardware, that's all. I'm not saying it's easy to do, though.
    MorphOS Team are a bunch of geniuses, and even porting from one apple to another apple takes a lot of effort.

    Back to the x86 topic, that CPU's instruction set might look like shit, but last time I checked, regular pecees were very good computers.

    Anyway, no problem: MorphOS for x86 won't happen. God bless the Mac Mini port! Roll on PowerMac version, to increase the fun even more!
  • »27.04.10 - 12:00
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  • Jim
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    Jim
    Posts: 4957 from 2009/1/28
    From: Delaware, USA
    Obviously, the last posts miss my major points.

    Were MorphOS to be rewritten in X86 machine code, program code compiled for MorphOS would have to be specific to MorphOS. Who's going to write to tools we're going to need to create this code. You're not going to be able to create X86 code that addresses MorphOs system calls by developing on another system.
    We're going to need all the development tools other X86 OS' have and that means porting such tools to X86 Morph.
    Now as to assembly language and the size of the instruction set. Currently the relatively small instruction set of the PPC processor makes the direct creation of machine code relatively easy.
    The X86 processor family has a much larger instruction set (partially due to its CISC nature), but further complicated by decades of additions to the instruction set.
    While it is still possible to directly create efficient machine code on a PPC, the almost 1000 instructions in the X86 instruction set make it virtually impossible to create the tight code generated by an assembler. Virtually all X86 software has to be created by higher level tools. Code produced is larger and inefficient.
    Currently there are decent PPC processors that would allow us to continue to develop the compact, tight, efficient and fast code that MorphOS and AmigaOs are known for.
    Moving to an X86 architecture will produce a larger and less efficient system.

    And, to close, I can't see MorphOS (after it loses its advantage of compact quick execution) being able to compete against the already well established X86 OS' already on the market.

    In a word, you're wrong, adopting an X86 platform would be a mistake
    "Never attribute to malice what can more readily explained by incompetence"
  • »28.04.10 - 03:22
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  • ASiegel
    Posts: 1320 from 2003/2/15
    From: Central Europe
    Quote:

    Were MorphOS to be rewritten in X86 machine code, program code compiled for MorphOS would have to be specific to MorphOS.


    First, assembler code is rarely used for the PowerPC-compatible versions of MorphOS. Why would this change if it ever supported another processor architecture?

    Second, why exactly would the need for OS-specific code become bigger on another processor architecture?

    I fail to understand the reasoning behind your initial assumption as well as your conclusion.

    Quote:

    You're not going to be able to create X86 code that addresses MorphOs system calls by developing on another system.


    Why?
  • »28.04.10 - 06:39
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  • Butterfly
    Butterfly
    Britelite
    Posts: 66 from 2003/6/4
    From: Finland
    @Jim

    Just a quick question, have you actually ever programmed anything in the last decade or so?
  • »28.04.10 - 07:06
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  • Paladin of the Pegasos
    Paladin of the Pegasos
    jcmarcos
    Posts: 1178 from 2003/3/13
    From: Pinto, Madrid ...
    I share both Andre and Britelite amazement at Jim's comments, but I think I grasp something, but I'm not sure what exactly are his worries. Nevertheless, it's an interesting debate.

    Of course, to move to another processor, we would need a new developer toolchain. But that toolchain already exists, if we choose a much more widestpread processor. Moreso, it's more than probable that compilers for that processor are way better than por PowerPC.

    But I need more light in the subject of making function calls in a different processor scenario, if endianess really only affects input/output, etc. Yes, let this be the starting point for the MorphOS to x86 project (yeah, right).

    As for x86 machine code being inneficient by definition, I guess any talented programmer can write efficient code in any language. What's more interesting is that, from what I learnt some time ago, current compiler and code generators for x86 are able to do amazing wicked tricks to optimize code, even some that a seasoned assembly language programmer wouldn't think of.

    Compilers are very, very interesting animals. Not only they are the "invisible" medium that enables
    human communication with copmuters, they also challenge to be MORE clever than the very programmer.

    Just like the fascination and fear about what unexpected things can do a creature you've built yourself.
  • »28.04.10 - 08:27
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  • Moderator
    Kronos
    Posts: 2055 from 2003/2/24
    @jcmarcos

    Every compiler can only optimize in way that the compiler-developer can.

    Everyone with some understanding of the target CPU and full documentation can optimize to that level, it would only take years instead of seconds ;)
  • »28.04.10 - 10:06
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    Andreas_Wolf
    Posts: 11556 from 2003/5/22
    From: Germany
    Addendum:

    > the southbridge, which is rumoured to be the AMD SB600.

    Seems the rumour was spot on. Compare:

    http://amigaworld.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=31514&forum=33&start=80#557201 (1st link therein)

    vs.

    http://img.tomshardware.com/us/2008/03/04/amd_780g_chipset/amd_780g___sb600.jpg
  • »08.05.10 - 03:02
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  • Order of the Butterfly
    Order of the Butterfly
    Dreamcast270mhz
    Posts: 152 from 2009/12/9
    From: Virginia,USA
    Think about it, BeOS was on PPC, was doing great, but it decided to try X86. It perished woefully against a company like MS. Don't think for a second we aren't any different:

    Small user base to start with
    Lack of all modern features
    Very expensive OS
    A small group of developers with extremely limited resources, fixes specific to OS cannot be currently "Hotfixed".

    And, it would make us fall into the other minority OSes, and against them we don't stand a chance.
    My Macs:
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    Powermac G4 MDD 1.5GHZ OSX.5.8 MOS2.7

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    Amithlon is amazing, questions and help I can provide.
  • »08.05.10 - 04:44
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    Kronos
    Posts: 2055 from 2003/2/24
    Reality-check:

    BeOS did not great when they had their own HW, sure the BeBox was cool but also far to expensive and therefore sold badly.

    Afterwards BeOS failed again on PPC when the were trying to backstap Apple, as a result Apple closed their HW and Be ran out of (PPC) options.

    Then they went x86, where they sold reasonable numbers, but again decided to go head-on this time against MS. What a suprise when MS fought back and forced HW dealers to stop bundling BeOS if they wanted to continue to get OEM versions of MS-SW.

    So yes BeOS did fail on x86, but the reason wasn't x86 it was Be themselves.
  • »08.05.10 - 08:21
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    takemehomegrandma
    Posts: 2707 from 2003/2/24
    As I recall it, Be Inc did some really bad bets in the dot-com bubble, and that more than anything else killed the company.

    A commercial desktop OS will always compete with and be compared to other desktop OS's, especially if they have the same ambitions. Instruction sets of the CPU doesn't have anything to do with that.

    It could help though, if you at least have your OS on HW of the same price and performance. Having your OS locked to HW that is *more obscure* and *less performing* can't be considered a good competitive strategy IMHO, and even less so if it's extremely expensive. The Sam and "X1000" hardware can in no way be considered a strength or opportunity for OS4, but only a *burden*; it's like a big block of concrete chained to its feet, that will ensure for certain that it won't go anywhere.
    MorphOS is Amiga done right! :-)
    MorphOS NG will be AROS done right! :-)
  • »08.05.10 - 10:06
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  • Priest of the Order of the Butterfly
    Priest of the Order of the Butterfly
    Velcro_SP
    Posts: 929 from 2003/7/13
    From: Universe
    |||

    [ Edited by Velcro_SP 20.04.2011 - 07:14 ]
    Pegasos2 G3, 512 megs RAM
  • »08.05.10 - 10:23
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    Zylesea
    Posts: 2027 from 2003/6/4
    Quote:


    Andreas_Wolf wrote:
    Addendum:

    > the southbridge, which is rumoured to be the AMD SB600.

    Seems the rumour was spot on. Compare:

    http://amigaworld.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=31514&forum=33&start=80#557201 (1st link therein)

    vs.

    http://img.tomshardware.com/us/2008/03/04/amd_780g_chipset/amd_780g___sb600.jpg


    Yes, and?
    --
    http://www.via-altera.de

    Whenever you're sad just remember the world is 4.543 billion years old and you somehow managed to exist at the same time as David Bowie.
    ...and Matthias , my friend - RIP
  • »09.05.10 - 00:21
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    Andreas_Wolf
    Posts: 11556 from 2003/5/22
    From: Germany
    > Yes, and?

    Nothing "and". The assumption I mentioned before turned out to be true. That's all I wanted to tell.
    Btw, there've been doubts by some that the SB600 can be properly used together with non-AMD northbridges. Refer to:

    http://www.powerdeveloper.org/forums/viewtopic.php?p=11961#11961
  • »09.05.10 - 02:34
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  • Order of the Butterfly
    Order of the Butterfly
    Dreamcast270mhz
    Posts: 152 from 2009/12/9
    From: Virginia,USA
    Bottom line: If MOS becomes x86, I'm leaving because it would become, overtime, just another OS, with nothing special to it any longer, for x86, Linux and UNIX win hands down. I'm buying an x1000 within a year of its release, and for me, my current PPC line has been my greatest investment, all of my x86 boxes were crap and most were brand new, and are now probably in pieces on I-95, if the fragments havent already caused an accident. My macs are at least twice as fast as they were, and most have half the power. PowerPC isn't dead until the last G5 PMac dies my friend, or the last X1000. Go tell to the MOS devs about making a switch, I have neither the willingness nor the power to assist you, or go make a blog and post there, I'm tired of this x86 switch spam
    My Macs:
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    Amithlon is amazing, questions and help I can provide.
  • »09.05.10 - 05:41
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    takemehomegrandma
    Posts: 2707 from 2003/2/24
    Quote:


    Dreamcast270mhz wrote:
    Bottom line: If MOS becomes x86, I'm leaving


    So if MorphOS 3.0 would introduce x86 support (or ARM support, which is also an option), you would quit using the PPC version of it?

    Quote:

    because it would become, overtime, just another OS, with nothing special to it any longer, for x86, Linux and UNIX win hands down.


    ...which isn't any dfferent from PPC, if it is the merits of *nix that you want and need and *not* those of MorphOS. But the same PPC limitations then applies - PPC hardware (like Pegasos, PPC Mac's, and even more so the Sam and X1000) has a lousy bang for the buck ratio compared to x86, they are more obscure and difficult to get a hold of, etc.

    I could have bought your Point of View had you been a low level SW developer specialized on writing ASM in PPC, or HW developer or such. But if you like most (all?) of us here is mainly interested in *the merits of MorphOS*, i.e. it's features, performance, price for a system etc, then your POV doesn't compute. The merits of MorphOS *does not change* with the underlying ISA. The OS is all the same! But with better cost for a system, much better performance (performance that could also allow new features and applications), and a safer future.

    It's not the ISA of the CPU that makes *an OS* special, it's the specs and merits of the OS itself! No regular user cares about CPU's and ISA's anyway, you don't look at the CPU, you don't think of it, you don't notice it (except when you gets annoyed and curse it because you can't play those 1080p x264 streams). it's the merits of the OS that is important. Those merits would still be there, but with a far better bang for the buck ratio, and it would make the OS accessible for the broad general public out there.

    Quote:

    I'm buying an x1000 within a year of its release,


    Good for you then.

    IMHO this would be a prime example though, that you are *NOT* interested in the merits of the OS (like the best possible Amiga NG experience, with best specs, features, Amiga compatibility, and bang for the buck), but only *instruction sets of CPU's* (!!!). Well that, and that you despise money...

    Quote:

    for me, my current PPC line has been my greatest investment,


    I don't regret buying my Pegasos computers either. And I recently bought a Mac Mini G4. I have had a great time with MorphOS.

    But I didn't buy them because they were PPC. I bought them because that was the best and only option to run MorphOS. Could I run MorphOS on better and more powerful and competent HW that's also cheap and easily available, then I would go for the better option. Sorry, but PPC lose there...

    Quote:

    all of my x86 boxes were crap


    Then don't buy crap HW, it's as simple as that! Read some tests, go for premium brands and tried solutions.

    Quote:

    Go tell to the MOS devs about making a switch, I have neither the willingness nor the power to assist you, or go make a blog and post there, I'm tired of this x86 switch spam


    I don't think anyone has to tell them anything, I think they are perfectly aware of the HW situation and the pros/cons with PPC vs. x86.

    Here are some scattered MorphOS Team comments on the subject (some of them from this very thread):

    About choosing PPC as target architecture in the first place: "if we would have known back then what we know today, we would have chosen differently"

    In a response to the comment "I only regret that again we have an annoucement about old hardware", a developer said: "Fair enough, but don't whine if it ain't a PowerPC based box ;)"

    In a response to the comment "Due to lack of another new PPC-based hardware, I can make the only conclusion: this is the end of MorphOS :(", a developer said: "IMHO Apple hardware is the only target that makes sense for PowerPC MorphOS at the moment." (and no, the emphasis was not put there by me, but by the dev)

    In a response to the comment "Were MorphOS to be rewritten in X86 machine code, program code compiled for MorphOS would have to be specific to MorphOS", a developer said: "First, assembler code is rarely used for the PowerPC-compatible versions of MorphOS." (Note: insinuating that PPC versions isn't the only ones)

    All this is highly speculative from my side of course. But for all we know, someone could very well have been working on a non-PPC version of MorphOS for a long time already...
    MorphOS is Amiga done right! :-)
    MorphOS NG will be AROS done right! :-)
  • »09.05.10 - 07:07
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  • ASiegel
    Posts: 1320 from 2003/2/15
    From: Central Europe
    Quote:

    Note: insinuating that PPC versions isn't the only ones


    The quoted sentence is to be taken literally. The PPC qualifier may seem redundant in a short quotation but it makes sense in the context of the original discussion. There is not supposed to be any hidden meaning.
  • »09.05.10 - 08:51
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    Andreas_Wolf
    Posts: 11556 from 2003/5/22
    From: Germany
    > Go tell to the MOS devs about making a switch, I have neither the
    > willingness nor the power to assist you, or go make a blog and post
    > there, I'm tired of this x86 switch spam

    According to threaded view you directed this at me. Why?
  • »09.05.10 - 10:05
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  • Priest of the Order of the Butterfly
    Priest of the Order of the Butterfly
    Velcro_SP
    Posts: 929 from 2003/7/13
    From: Universe
    |||

    [ Edited by Velcro_SP 20.04.2011 - 07:20 ]
    Pegasos2 G3, 512 megs RAM
  • »09.05.10 - 10:31
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  • Order of the Butterfly
    Order of the Butterfly
    Dreamcast270mhz
    Posts: 152 from 2009/12/9
    From: Virginia,USA
    no, just replying to TMHG's post
    My Macs:
    Powerbook G4 ALU 1.5GHZ 15" 1.5GB OSX.5.8
    Powermac G4 MDD 1.5GHZ OSX.5.8 MOS2.7

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    Amithlon is amazing, questions and help I can provide.
  • »09.05.10 - 14:06
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    Andreas_Wolf
    Posts: 11556 from 2003/5/22
    From: Germany
    > no, just replying to TMHG's post

    Okay, then please try to take more care when replying. As it stands now, your post looks like an answer to me because it's not explicitly directed at someone and more so because in threaded view it actually *is* an answer to me.
  • »09.05.10 - 18:18
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  • Paladin of the Pegasos
    Paladin of the Pegasos
    jcmarcos
    Posts: 1178 from 2003/3/13
    From: Pinto, Madrid ...
    Dreamcast, how old are you? Did you "enjoy" the glory Amiga days (well, the company actually, had closed doors) in the nineties, when we stubbornly praised our Motorola 68k CPUs against Intel's Pentiums?

    Does that make any sense now?

    History is useful at least for one thing: To be conscious of past mistakes, not to repest them. Even if they looked like "the right thing" in the past, time makes you learn invaluable things, not to be overlooked.
  • »10.05.10 - 07:43
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  • Order of the Butterfly
    Order of the Butterfly
    Dreamcast270mhz
    Posts: 152 from 2009/12/9
    From: Virginia,USA
    No I did not, I was too young to remember the closing of C=, but I learned back in '05 about PowerPC, Amigas and such, and just last year I got my PowerPC macs and i have decided not to buy x86 any more because PowerPC has given me what I want. I no longer want to be in the rat race of "my PC can kick urs" type stuff, I have game systems for that. I'm willing to pay a premium for PPC because it is better quality and because it isn't a monopoly which has inferior products. The 867Mhz G4 could beat the fastest P4 at 1.7Ghz at its release, the 1.5Ghz trumps the 3gHz P4. And before long, another design will be developed, maybe in the server market, which can defeat the Xeon and i7. The 970MP alone can beat a core 2 duo at the 1.5 times the clock. The 060 is better than teh Pentium, I have done benchmarks in the past with my uncle, who is a web designer and is friends with some of the best US embedded engineers.

    [ Edited by Dreamcast270mhz on 2010/5/10 10:38 ]
    My Macs:
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    Powermac G4 MDD 1.5GHZ OSX.5.8 MOS2.7

    Want a part for a Mac? Let me know, I'll see what I can do.

    Amithlon is amazing, questions and help I can provide.
  • »10.05.10 - 14:37
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