Subject: Re: yowza! tenon
To: None <>
From: Brad Grantham in Convenient Vinyl Pouch <>
List: macbsd-general
Date: 03/15/1994 00:08:34
Bill Johnston,, wrote:
> On Mon, 14 Mar 1994, Nicholas Mitchell wrote:
> > Is the professional version as "functional" as A/UX would be
> > (assuming you get "MachTen Prof." plus "MachTen X windows package"
> Not even close.  MachTen is like a unix version of "SoftPC".
> It is an emulator, not an operating system.

Actually, it does provide an interface to UNIX programs virtually
indistinguishable from BSD 4.3.  Be very aware what you mean by
"emulator" in this case.  Anita Holmgren, who is also a member of
the list, may be able to field this question more accurately,
but my impression was that MachTen ran "beside" System 7, taking over
certain functions like interrupts, memory management, and
networking.  In the final analysis, System 7 runs more as a little
brother to MachTen, which has largely taken over the machine.

> It runs as a 
> Macintosh application on top of System 7, which lacks memory
> protection and preemptive multitasking.  This means that 
> a Mac running MachTen is as vulnerable to crashing because
> of a buggy INIT or Mac app as any other Macintosh.

MachTen provides memory protection and preemptive multitasking
for its own processes.  The chief advantage would seem that it
provides a thoroughly BSD environment for development using the
traditional UNIX tools, including conveniences like virtual
memory, sockets, and, well, anything else BSD 4.3-ish.  I
run MachTen on my MacII, and it is a real positive thrill to
be able to develop Motif applications without leaving the MacOS
functionality.  Of course, I hope to be porting X programs to
MacBSD soon enough.  True, I could do the same with A/UX and
Motif, but then I have to contend with Apple's confusing puree
of BSD and System 5.

> MachTen is undoubtedly a well-polished package, but it is 
> going NOWHERE, as far as I can see.

I'm not sure what you base this on.  Your post smacks of unnecessary

> > (i.e. A/uX seems to be at the boot of apple, 
> >  MacBSD doesn't seem like it'll support my centris 650 for quite a while
> >  and Tenon seems to have some sort of future)

Although I'd love to tell you that MacBSD will support the Centris
650 soon, it's simply not likely within several months.  Although
Apple seems to be dropping A/UX support, it is a stable, if not
standard, product.  All these environments have different
disadvantages and advantages that you will have to weigh yourself.

> [ A/UX is ] also a 
> reasonable box for doing MacBSD cross-development, I'd 
> imagine, so buying it doesn't lock you out of making a
> contribution.

I'd say this is mostly true, except that you'll have to deal with
porting the Gnu tools to A/UX or finding ports of them, whereas
they port much more easily to native BSD.

> What would be a waste of time, in my view, is to invest
> [ in ] MachTen -- a proprietary unix emulator that is used
> by a relatively small number of 

Oh, no, it's UNIX, all right.  It may be a waste of time *for you*,
but it may not be a waste for many of the macbsd-general membership
who want a UNIX solution but cannot afford A/UX or run MacBSD, and
MacMiNT doesn't provide the same functionality.

> More power to the guys working on MacBSD and MacMINT, 
> but in the long run I think that the state of the art 
> will be better served by focusing effort on open architectures. 
> [...] why fight [ Apple ] for hardware 
> info that they don't seem to want to share?

Heh...  Well, I can't fight you on this one.  Porting BSD to the
Mac has been... uh... less than easy.  Still, part of the purpose
of our effort is to bring cheap UNIX to older hardware: 1) there
are a lot of Macs around on which people want to run UNIX, and 2)
the Mac is a well-designed machine from a performance standpoint,
if not from a design standpoint.  :)


* UNIX is someone's trademark, but of whom I have lost track.

P.S.  Anyone got a basic English text?
Brad Grantham, ---------- Happily slaved to NetBSD/Mac68k!
 I think "make love, not war" is probably too extreme.  I think the sentiment
	might be better phrased, "make grudging tolerance, not war."
!!! UNIX forever, NT never, UNIX forever, NT never, UNIX forever, NT never !!!