Yokemate of Keyboards
Posts: 2793 from 2006/3/21
From: Northern Calif...
I think the MorphOS team does the right thing now when they are exploiting the existing PPC HW base to the fullest. They are porting it to "everything PPC that makes sense", and there are lots of powerful and cheap Mac's out there that are very capable machines.
But then what? What follows after the second hand Mac's?
The only new interesting 32bit PPC CPU today, is the 8610. It's one of the most powerful 32bit PPC CPU's ever, kind of the peak of the evolution, and it has some cool features. But then what? AFAIK, the e700 path was canceled altogether, and I'm not aware of any new e600 chips in the pipeline?
I'm hoping for the MPC8610 Open Source Mainboard
to become a reality, but even then, this will at best *postpone* the inevitable architecture jump.
At some point, sooner or later, MorphOS will have to go either ARM or x86. And if there is going to be a jump, maybe "sooner" is better than "later"?
Why jump too soon? Might as well keep working on maturing the OS further and encouraging native software development, then when the MPC8610 is a reality and in use in the embedded market, or where ever it is aimed and the price to obtain it is well established and not too expensive, then complete the port to it of MorphOS3.x.
I am sure the development team is thinking heavily about all of these possibilities and will begin porting to the 8610 or some other hardware when they think the time is right. It does not really serve any purpose for MorphOS to be ported to any unproven or well established mobo. They do not have the resources to design their own mobo, or to take the chance to port to something that is not going to be mass produced for other markets as the MorphOS market is far too small for any production runs solely for MorphOS users.
The decision to take advantage of the used PPC Mac models has been the best thing the development team could do at this time and I applaud them for their choices so far. I think they are doing a great job, but I am also not jaded in any way from the 2 or 3 years that little progress was apparently made just prior to MorphOS2.0 being released.
The MorphOS development team has bought themselves the time needed (for the majority of MorphOS users IMHO) by working on the ports to various PPC Mac models. Hopefully there will be several boards that will use the MPC8610 produced in mass quantities in the very near future so the team will have more than one board design to analyze as a possible choice for the next MorphOS mobo candidate after they run out of PPC Mac models that make sense to work on porting to. After that, I think we have a couple of years before MorphOS will need new hardware beyond and above the performance specifications of the hopeful 8610 design(s). During all of that time the team will no doubt be looking for other alternatives, including ARM and x86 and perhaps something new will come out over the next 2 to 3 years that will be a better fit for the team to consider porting MorphOS to.
We have the decided advantage that MorphOS is so small and resource efficient that it runs so well on older, less powerful systems and allows us to have a computing experience faster and better than other OSes which must have the latest and fastest CPU's and 3 to 5 times more resources like RAM to provide an acceptable and almost comparable computing experience.
So, I think that trying to rush the jump to a different architecture, we should enjoy the speed and elegant way that MorphOS runs right now, encourage the development team to continue working on improving and adding new features to it. Also, we can help show it off to other potential new users and those with the skills can write native programs for MorphOS that will help all current users and entice new users to join us.
MorphOS - The best Next Gen Amiga choice.