O/S design & implementation - was Re: FPGA tricks - Re: using new technology on old machines

Paul Koning paulkoning at comcast.net
Tue Jun 16 09:50:59 CDT 2015

> On Jun 15, 2015, at 9:21 PM, ben <bfranchuk at jetnet.ab.ca> wrote:
> On 6/15/2015 7:11 PM, Paul Koning wrote:
>>> On Jun 15, 2015, at 8:09 PM, ben <bfranchuk at jetnet.ab.ca> wrote:
>>> On 6/15/2015 4:42 PM, Toby Thain wrote:
>>>> I think Tanenbaum should be fine? A lot of it is fairly
>>>> timeless.
>>> The latest version is *useless*. The racoons on the cover tells
>>> alot.
>> Or you could just read “The structure of the THE operating system” by
>> E.W.Dijkstra, and follow its principles.
> a)  Not online to my knowledge

http://www.cs.utexas.edu/users/EWD/ewd01xx/EWD196.PDF — the same site that has the full archive of all EWD papers (except for some very early ones that have been lost) — a total of 1300 or so.  

> b)  Most likely in German

None are in German, naturally, since Dijkstra was Dutch.  Some early ones are in Dutch, but this one is in English.

> c)  and the most important thing ... I do not have any Mag Tape

Not relevant; the THE OS does not rely on magtapes.  It uses drum for paging and spooling, but the design is nicely layered so the system also works without drum (this is explicitly mentioned in one of the reports on its development).  

In any case, I did not point to this paper as a specific OS to implement, but rather as a demonstration of how to design a modest size but quite useful OS, with very modest effort and extremely high reliability.

EWD1303 (http://www.cs.utexas.edu/users/EWD/ewd13xx/EWD1303.PDF) is another note about that effort, looking back from 2000.


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