Acolyte of the Butterfly
Posts: 105 from 2003/2/10
From: Lightning capi...
I have been a strong proponent for siezing control, not just of our OS, as MorphOS has done by freeing us from the Amiga, Inc foolishness, but of the rest of the system. While initially we use someone elses ARM technology, the vision should be for our own license, so if and when we have vendor issues, we go to another fab without much interruption. Take control of our product, and we take control of our market. Vertical integration to protect us from the outside forces, and to deliver the value that I know we can.
For which market? There is virtually none, not even if multiplied by 10 or 50. At least none that would justify or sustain production of your own silicon. There is much, much momentum inside the processor market. Powerful processors are mostly driven today by Intel, Intel and again Intel. *They* dominate the market and they will continue to do so. So, *if* breaking with a big endian processor and leaving the niche under this nice stone called ppc, then it seems wise to me to go the most popular way. the way with the most benefit.
x86 based computers are everywhere and will continue to be everywhere (at least for a long, long time). You don't get yourself in some weird dependency. Support x86 and you will never ever (next 50 years at least) again have a hardware shortage.
ARM will dominate the mobile phone other 32 bit emebedded market, but I don't want MorphOS neitehr on my mobile nor on my navigation device or the dishwasher (well, that one probably conatins a 8051, but I guess it is clear what is meant).
Anyway, one step after another. First lets get the Mac Mini port, and then we will see what comes next. But I doubt neither x86 nor ARM will be a good option for MorphOS. Both architectures will yield to a binary incompatible fork from MorphOS PPC. If ARM would fully support big endian mode, I'd have voted for ARM. But since it is de facto little endian I don't see much benefit in ARM over x86.
But, okay, if breaking with binary compatibility anyway and do the required changes in MorphOS it would be wise to change the OS to maximum portability anyway. Then it could easily support ARM and x86. but this would be some kind of different OS (because it would be stupid then not to take teh oppartunity to change some annoying internals of MorphOS which are still in there for legacy reasons). Then you could straightly turn to Anubis (which I think is an interesting attempt with a good approach).
ARM does support Big Endian, so I am quite perplexed by your comments there. Only the XScale model does not. That eliminates 1 series out of dozens. And nobody is proposing that we get silicon, at least, not at this time. But having the option, should it present itself, would be a worthly long term goal.
But porting to the PPC MacMini, you realize that you are insisting on focusing all effort on a machine that was discontinued over 3 years ago? The existing models are aging, and will be that much older when we are ready for it. That is my concern. I would note, I own a PPC Mac myself that would likely be able to run MorphOS with a MacMini port, so I would directly benefit from the effort, and I'm the one saying it is not the wisest investment in time and energy at this stage in the game. Our market is too small to gamble and waste energy on dead ends.