Nobel Peace Prize to Linus Torvalds: A Northwest Nobel option?

Christopher Browne cbbrowne-Re5JQEeQqe8AvxtiuMwx3w at
Tue Nov 24 20:30:16 UTC 2009

On Tue, Nov 24, 2009 at 2:53 PM, Lennart Sorensen
<lsorense-1wCw9BSqJbv44Nm34jS7GywD8/FfD2ys at> wrote:
> On Tue, Nov 24, 2009 at 12:54:53PM -0500, Christopher Browne wrote:
>> Yes, had Linux not been "available enough," then they might have put a
>> higher priority on Hurd.  It languished for quite a long time because
>> Mach wasn't quite available/usable.
> Funny how the academic circles were so into microkernels at that time
> (I haven't paid attension to what they favour now).  Microkernels haven't
> ever worked in real life as far as I can tell, only ever in theory.
> They certainly don't seem to help get things done and working anytime
> soon.

After the "salting of the earth" that took place when Microsoft bought
everything nearby Mach, followed by the effective "Linux/Windows
battle," there's not a whole lot going on in terms of OS research, not
that would involve new kernels or new approaches to operating systems.

After CMU got "salted," what remained of Mach wound up at University
of Utah, as OSKit, in much more of a "maintenance" mode than anything

MIT had some "exokernel" work going on, which hasn't gone anywhere much.

The L4 microkernel work has pretty much finished; didn't much change
the world.  They showed why microkernels weren't as fast as expected,
which was somewhat useful, albeit in more of a "negative" way.

KeyKOS turned into EROS (which Raymond made a bunch of noise about for
a while), which turned into Coyotos, which effectively died off when
Microsoft hired the main researcher.

Tanembaum kept working on Minix, which is now a multiserver
microkernel system which actually *does* look interesting, and is
still under fairly development, albeit without the big "fire engine
water spew" level of change taking place with Linux.

So, curiously enough, the system that was the inspiration for Linux is
actually still under development :-)
Joan Crawford  - "I, Joan Crawford, I believe in the dollar.
Everything I earn, I spend." -
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