[LispM-Hackers] Target platforms for porting
James A. Crippen
Mon, 19 Mar 2001 12:37:34 -0900 (AKST)
I'd like to ask what our primary target platforms are. I know we're
already developing primarily on Linux/x86. That guarantees compatibility
with at least half of all the Unix systems out there. Here's a list of
other platforms that we should consider.
This is another large chunk of Unix systems. Porting to it also
provides much of the groundwork necessary for compatibility to most
other BSD based systems.
This is what Kappa is running, and is thus a convenient test
platform. I also have another Linux/UltraSparc at home. AFAIK all
Linux/UltraSparc systems are totally compatible with Linux/Sparc as long
as no UltraSparc-specific assembler is used. That we probably won't be
doing much of.
My roommate (not my SO:) has two Alphas at home, one Multia and the
other an AlphaStation. Both can run Linux handily. I suspect he'll be
installing Linux on at least one and we can put that box on the net for
* Digital Unix/Alpha
Digital Unix (aka DUX, aka DEC OSF/1, aka Compaq Tru64 Unix) is a
possibility for porting. I think Tom (the roommate) has a copy which
could be run on one of the Alphas for testing, but I'd have to ask.
I don't particularly care about Solaris on the Sparc because it's much
slower than Linux is on the same architecture. But Solaris on the
UltraSparc is markedly more interesting. Apparently someone has such a
system? Speak up, please. Can this be net-accessible for testing?
* IRIX/SGI Mips
I have one Indy R4400 that I plan to get IRIX 5.3 running on. The
roommate has another with the same goal in mind. I could put mine
online for testing. It's a very basic system but certainly would make a
good platform for porting. The graphics hardware can make your eyes
bleed. I'd love to hack OpenGL support in as some low-level macroop
extensions for supporting 3D. Neato.
JM is quite insistent about porting to these two monstrosities, and I'm
perfectly willing to let him handle all the porting to these two
targets. I suppose this will be good for expansion of the user base.
* Mac OS X/PowerPC
This is probably a good idea but I'd say we should wait until the OS
actually stabilizes. It's all GNU tools and is BSD derived so the work
shouldn't be hard. Doing the graphics could be interesting.
Below are a list of platforms that I don't give two shits about. If
anyone really wants to try porting to them they're certainly welcome, but
IMNSHO they should be consigned to the permanently unported drawer.
Any other Unix running on x86 is a waste of time. Solaris/x86, for
instance I believe can be ignored. Obviously a port is possible, but
I'll leave that up to someone who really needs it. Porting to other
such crap as Unixware, SCO anything, Minix, Amoeba and any other of
those buggers is just wrong. I guess someone might want to port to
the HURD, but I'm guessing that's not entirely likely.
Even at 11.x HP-UX still sucks in unbelievably major ways. I refuse to
care about it. I don't think we should consider it seriously at
all. Someone could make a joke port though. :P
AIX is still a huge PITA to port to, but large quantities of people
(or really, organizations) still use it. I think I'll leave it up to
some desperate bozo to try a port. Remember that there are a number of
different processors that AIX runs on, like POWER, PowerPC, and Intel
x86. They all behave differently in nonobvious ways.
* Ultrix/VAX and Ultrix/MIPS
People still run these. I'm not ever going to port to them. Ever.
Yeah, right. While it would be interesting, I think that it'd be more
efficient to create an application that sends data over the network to a
Cray to be processed there with the native tools and languages. In any
case, around most Crays a large number of SGI front ends can be found,
so I'd guess that the SGI port would be more useful to such people.
People using SunOS on the Sparc should probably either upgrade to Linux
or NetBSD, or downgrade to Solaris. Supporting it would be futile, I
think. Particularly since all the above OSes mentioned as alternatives
are available freely in one fashion or another.
Can anyone think of other platforms and which category to file them
under? Any other comments?
I'd also be interested in ports to Linux/PPC, Linux/m68k, Linux/ia64,
Linux/S390, Linux/Mips, NetBSD/dreamcast, NetBSD/newsmips,
NetBSD/playstation2, NetBSD/n64, and a few other ports of the free OSes.
But those are definitely Blue Sky material.
James A. Crippen <firstname.lastname@example.org> ,-./-. Anchorage, Alaska,
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