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Operating Systems Still Matter In a Containerized World

Urkki Re:Of Course They Do! (126 comments)

"No, stripped to the bone, operating system offers no APIs at all"
I think we called those Kernels and it's already done in the linux and bsd world not windows.

Mmm, yeah, a barebone OS would not have almost anything except the kernel. But Linux and BSD kernels offer a complex API: all the system calls. Not barebone at all.

yesterday
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Operating Systems Still Matter In a Containerized World

Urkki Re:Of Course They Do! (126 comments)

Or

It would have to be able to shut itself down, on PC probably by ACPI events.

Oh, that's communication, then you can hack it.

I don't know, it could be made to be one-time trigger, which starts the shutdown. If there's no way to get altered input through, that will not allow hacking. It should be simple enough to,be made bug-free.

yesterday
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Operating Systems Still Matter In a Containerized World

Urkki Re:Of Course They Do! (126 comments)

Note that discussion is about users noticing performance gain with OS running on bare metal in the year 2020. At that time, with harware of that time, they'll need a benchmarking software to notice the difference between native and VM host, even for stuff like games.

In fact, at that time, I think state-of-the-art games etc PC software will be delivered as VM images, because the OS part of those images is going to be so small part of total size of the game that it is inconsequential, and developing against a fixed virtual OS is going to save tons of time, especially on the compatibility testing.

yesterday
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Operating Systems Still Matter In a Containerized World

Urkki Re:Of Course They Do! (126 comments)

How would you even know if it's running?

Well, for the totally barebone version, you could run it in a VM and examine its memory contents there.

I think even barebone OS would need *some* functionality. It would have to be able to shut itself down, on PC probably by ACPI events. It would probably need to be able to start the first process/program, because I think an OS has to be able to do that, even if that process then wouldn't be able able to do anything due to lack of APIs. Etc. So even barebone, it still needs to do something.

More practical than examining a VM, much like physical skeletons on display, most likely there would be some extra support to be able to see what is going on. Equivalent of wires and rods for a real skeleton would be some kind of debug features for the barebone OS: display messages on screen or over RS232, possibly accept some commands like reboot or dump information, even provide machine language debugger/disassembler.

yesterday
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Operating Systems Still Matter In a Containerized World

Urkki Re:Of Course They Do! (126 comments)

No, stripped to the bone, operating system offers no APIs at all, and it will not run any user applications.

Uh, what would be the point of such an operating system?

Point would be to have a stripped to the bone OS.

Actually it's kind of same as having a stripped to the bone animal (ie. skeleton): you can for example study it, put it on display, give it to the kids to play with... ;)

2 days ago
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Operating Systems Still Matter In a Containerized World

Urkki Re:Of Course They Do! (126 comments)

First, assumption is that we're talking about the kind of virtual machines people run in VirtualBox etc, using the native CPUs etc. IOW, not talking about emulators like QEMU.

VM host RAM overhead is essentially static, while VM guest memory sizes go up along with all memory sizes, so actually RAM overhead asymptotically approaches 0%.

30% CPU, just how do you get that number? Virtual memory page switches etc may have some overhead in VM maybe, I don't know, but normal application code runs at the raw CPU just like code on the host OS.

And there's normally no emulation of hardware, there's just virtualization of hardware in the normal use cases. Hardware can also be directly connected to the VM at the lowest possible level, bypassing most of the host OS driver layers (non-performance-related, this is very convenient with mice and keyboards in multi-monitor setups, where each monitor can have a VM in full screen with dedicated kb&mouse in front of it, no more looking at one VM while focus is in another).

2 days ago
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Operating Systems Still Matter In a Containerized World

Urkki Re:Of Course They Do! (126 comments)

Except there will be no performance boost. There may be a blip in some benchmark.

Additionally, programmers are already running *application code* on bare metal when that kind of performance matters, most commonly on GPUs.

2 days ago
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Operating Systems Still Matter In a Containerized World

Urkki Re:Of Course They Do! (126 comments)

No, stripped to the bone, operating system offers no APIs at all, and it will not run any user applications. It will just tend to itself. Then you add some possibilities for user applications to do things, the less the better, from security and stability point of view. Every public API is a potential vulnerability, a potential window to exploit some bug.

2 days ago
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Can We Call Pluto and Charon a 'Binary Planet' Yet?

Urkki Re:What debate? (115 comments)

Planet and Dwarf Planet are arbitrary labels defined by the IAU.
How can you "debate" about that?

Well, they're not really arbitrary. There are at least three points you can argue about:

1. Argue to change the definition (actual written words), which determines which is which and what isn't either.

2. Argue about interpretation of the defintion. Though, if this succeeds, then it makes the definition ambiguous, and the classification of border cases does become arbitrary.

3. Argue about the chosen terms "planet" and "dwarf planet". For example I'm personally not too happy having "dwarf planets" which are not a subclass of "planets", it's a bit unintuitive to me.

about two weeks ago
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Can We Call Pluto and Charon a 'Binary Planet' Yet?

Urkki Re:Binary yes, planet no. (115 comments)

neither has Jupiter. Zing.

"Cleared its orbit" means, the planet controls everything which shares or crosses orbit with it. This may mean the usual moons, but also oribtal resonance (such as the Pluto-Neptune resonance) and minor bodies oribiting the Lagrange points of the planet (Trojans at L4/L5) instead of the planet itself like the usual moons.

about two weeks ago
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Digia Spinning Off Qt Division Into New Company

Urkki Re:Doing it wrong (59 comments)

we often end up competing against ourselves instead of competing against other technologies

You don't compete against technologies, you compete against other businesses.

Ideally, no. If you have to compete against other businesses, you need to set your prices to match the competition. When you compete against other technologies, you can set the price according to what the market can bear. Consider Apple, they have their own technology, which competes against for example Microsoft and Linux related technologies. Now they can set their price according to what those who want their technology are willing pay, and rake in big profits. While in (for example) Windows PC/laptop or Android phone business, companies are competing against each others, and many are struggling to make any profit.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: What To Do About the Sorry State of FOSS Documentation?

Urkki Obvious solution (430 comments)

Obvious solution to poor documentation: don't read it!
.
There's a lot of decent, good and even excellent documentation to read too, after all. Why would anybody read the bad documentation instead?

about two weeks ago
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Comparison: Linux Text Editors

Urkki Re:Have you seen Gedit lately? (402 comments)

Anyone can learn vi in about 1 hour. You really only need an explanation between edit and command mode, about eight commands to get started, and three basic command pattern variants, and one searching pattern (fixed string)

You are drawing a false equivalency between "learn vi" and "get started with vi". Using vi before one has learned it well is... painful. Really painful. Knowing what you want to do, but not knowing how to do it in vi effectively. While at this stage of learning, not knowing many vi commands, one tries to do the editing tasks using same methods as with a more conventional text editor. And that is painful, being force to think about the editor instead of thinking about the content.

To use vi effectively, one needs to learn an entirely new way of thinking about editing text, and that takes time before it stops being distracting. Not to mention, one needs to learn far more than 60 commands, options, settings and so on. Just pick a random vi cheat sheet / reference card, and count the items. Learning and *remembering* one per minute is kinda... optimistic.

Then if you don't know regular expressions beforehand, you can double the time it takes for one to learn to use vi well enough for it to be practical.

about two weeks ago
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The Hobbit: the Battle of Five Armies Trailer Released

Urkki Re:Such a Waste (156 comments)

WTF? It's fantasy with wizards, elves and dragons, and you're talking about suspension of disbelief?

Yes! It's a fantasy world with its own rules. Suspension of disbelief needs to apply to the rules of that fantasy world. Should be easy, when the world is all made up, right? I mean, they have all the fantasy stuff to play around for "unbelievable" stuff, which would still be perfectly believable and "realistic" (for the lack of a better word) in the context of the fantasy world.

In a fantasy film, there's no excuse to bend the basic physics too much, when you can apply magic to make it believable, as long as the magic is applied in a way that is consistent with the particular fantasy world. Failing at this breaks the suspension of disbelief, and when that happens in a fantasy movie, there's really nothing left, it's ruined.

about three weeks ago
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seL4 Verified Microkernel Now Open Source

Urkki Re:Unfortunately? (82 comments)

(only, no "or later versions clause" unfortunately)

You mean, fortunately. Now, it's more likely to actually be used.

How does the "or later" clause hinder use? Licensing under GPLv3 might have (I'm not going to argue that either way), but what does the "or later" clause matter?

about three weeks ago
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UEA Research Shows Oceans Vital For Possibility of Alien Life

Urkki Re:Correction (97 comments)

Only a few dozen million years ago "we" were small furry rodents.

Now I have to nitpick. According to Wikipedia, last common ancestor of Rodentia and "us" lived about 90 million years ago, and wasn't a rodent. So, strictly speaking, "we" have never been rodents (furry or not), and 6-7 (dozen million years) is more than "a few" even if you take the last common ancestor.

about a month ago
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The debate over climate change is..

Urkki Re:n/t (278 comments)

Me too, but sorry, that's not an option. Stable climate isn't really a thing, and merely removing human influence won't get you a stable climate.

On human timescales, let's say a maximum lifetime of an average building, on most places climate would be stable. This means, adaptation of human society happens automatically, for example as new buildings are being built in different locations, new fields are planted in different locations etc.

With human influence, in particular their massive release of CO2 and it's feedback effects, it looks like climate can and indeed will change so fast, that buildings close to oceans may get submerged in massive scale, farmland may become unarable faster than it's economical to create new farmland with all the food production infrastructure that goes with it etc.

about a month ago
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The Last Three Months Were the Hottest Quarter On Record

Urkki Re:Well here we go again. (552 comments)

Lazy bum.


# wget popcorn-6.2.1.tgz

# tar xvf popcorn-6.2.1.tgz

# cd popcorn-6.2.1

# ./configure --libs="-lbutter -lsalt"

# make

# make -install

Please forgive errors, I don't eat popcorn anymore so my popping skills are rusty, but still better than that microwave apt-get popcorn.

It'd be better, except the OS versions of libbutter and libsalt are either too old or too new, possibly both. So you need to build them too. But to build the right version of libbutter, you will need a specific version of libcow, which they forgot to actually tag in the source code repo. First you almost try to configure libbutter with -disable-dairy to get a non-dairy version only, but then you realize that it won't be real butter, and you're not desperate enough to consider getting popcorn without real butter yet. Trying random versions from libcow source repo doesn't give success either. So, you decide to get older popcorn version 5.6 instead. But after going through the process of building libcow, libbutter and libsalt, you discover that popcorn version 5.6 has a really annoying bug for your use case. First you see if you can backport the fix, but too much has changed so the fixed code in newer version does not look anything like the broken code in 5.6, and it's not easy to see how you could just simply fix it. So, then you fall back to apt-get source popcorn, because that should have the right versions and fixes and so on. And it does, it builds and installs perfectly!

Then, while enjoying the popcorn, you suddenly realize that it's exactly the same software you would have gotten with simple apt-get install, because you didn't actually change any configure options for your "custom" build.

about a month ago
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White House Punts On Petition To Allow Tesla Direct Sales

Urkki The American way? (382 comments)

WTF? I know US has its problems, and I doubt I'd want to live there, but isn't it supposed to be a free market economy? Isn't this (not being allowed to sell legal goods to people) about as anti-American as it gets? What happaned to "the Land of the Free" etc? Free, except not free to buy a car?

about a month ago

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