Tuesday, March 28
There seems to be a certain furore going on over the latest delays in Windowsville. Since, as far as I can tell, every feature planned for Vista has been removed except for the new resource-sucking layer* I'm not sure I really care. Windows XP is a more-or less adequate operating system, as long as you're not trying to develop a flexible server application. Windows in general sucks beyond belief for that; any version of Linux or Unix or even something like VMS blows Windows into the weeds in that scenario.
But for desktop apps, and for developing desktop apps, it's not too sucky. Still sucky, yes, but at a level one can deal with while retaining some shreds of sanity and self-respect.
Except for the virtual memory system, which as far as I can tell has survived unchanged since the release of NT 3.1. Back then you were likely running with 16MB of memory; these days if you're doing anything remotely serious you have at least a gigabyte, even in a notebook. A virtual memory system tuned to work well with 16MB of memory is a festering pile of crap when you have a hundred times that amount.
There are two things that need to be fixed in Windows. One is the networking, which I thought they swiped from BSD, but doesn't act like it. Windows has the most thoroughly screwed up network behaviour of any operating system on the planet. Look, Bill, just go back to BSD and swipe their TCP stack again. Easy enough, surely.
The other thing they need to do is steal /proc/sys/vm/swappiness from the Linux 2.6 kernel, so I can set it to 0. Every time I copy a large file you swap my applications out. Stop it, you morons!
Two little things, guys. Then no-one will care if it takes a decade to push Vista out the door.
Microsoft employing the best that share options can buy is constantly delayed. To be fair Apple have said "tough luck" to people with old apps or backward compatibility to a large degree. Altho Apple are bending over backwards to assist everyone they can in porting universal binaries.
Microsoft trying to maintain compatibility ad infinitum to keep these businesses and people on board is to their detriment. Even the internal engineers and managers are hopping mad about the delays.
Posted by: Andrew at Tuesday, March 28 2006 09:42 AM (RWEVY)
The one thing that Microsoft have managed to get working (the new GUI) is the same thing that Apple have bolted on top of BSD. It's just that Apple haven't wasted $5 billion developing the rest of the stuff.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Wednesday, March 29 2006 12:05 AM (LUBRF)
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