Subject: Re: Compiler timings on varous MVII NetBSDs etc.
To: Chuck McManis <>
From: Lord Isildur <>
List: port-vax
Date: 01/23/2001 12:01:31
On Tue, 23 Jan 2001, Chuck McManis wrote:
> Its a start, and remember that the counter statement to this is, "_runs_ on 
> any platform does not require that it _build_ on any platform." The Linux 
> folk claim to run on the Motorola Coldfire but they don't build there.

yeah, but then it's not nearly the same ball game. for a system to be 
fully supported, i woudl say it should be able to stand alone, not 
require cross-development from some other arch.. :) 

> What I (and I believe others as well) object to is it not building on a 
> machine that in its day would support 30 - 40 interactive users and ran the 
> _original_ VAX BSD.

this is a big one. these machines are no sluggish toys- they were the 
seriousest of serious hardware for a long time, and theres no fundamental 
reason why theyre no longer capable now of what they could handle with 
ease 10 or 15 years ago. BSD was largely developed on a VAX 11/750 with 
4 MB of memory. 

> Also let me caution against too much negativity, performance goals are just 
> that, a goal that has to be reached. It is like getting the system to 
> compile without errors. Bloat can be cured by #ifdef :-)

usually. but there's no single bytesaber (gosh i finally got to use that 
wonderful word from decwars in real conversation!) to slice out bloat.. 

> >a few of us are lucky enough to own this cool old iron.  to make it useless?
> >i'd rather run VMS.
> This is fortunately an alternative, a full featured OS with decent 
> performance. But again, the sky is not falling, it is clearing up. NetBSD 
> 1.5 is a _huge_ advance on the VAX, it runs on lots and lots of systems. 
> Getting it to run faster is an analysis game with well known rules.

this is an important point id like to make and comment on-
the huge advances are NOT an inherent feature of it being 1.5. 
they are the result of the constant and heroic effort by folks right here 
on this list who hack netbsd! if 1.4 was still the current kernel, then these
advances, im certain, would be features of 1.4. and 1.3, and 1.2. the 
fact that we have to deal with lots of bloat that doesnt even cmoe from 
the port-vax people when we hack on port-vax, that is rather 
disappointing. 1.5 i dont think is such a great netbsd. the fact that 
some newer VAXen arent supported in any older versionsmeans we have to 
run 1.5 in some cases, but its not that it is 1.5 that makes it great, 
but the hardware support- the fact that it is 1.5 is tolerated only cause 
otherwise we'd be running vms on these beasties :) 
I'd much rather be runnign 1.4 than 1.5 (and i do still run 1.4) 

just my .02