[Arm-netbook] Reframing The Holy War

Paul Boddie paul at boddie.org.uk
Sun Dec 9 23:45:42 GMT 2018

On Sunday 9. December 2018 17.24.14 Jean Flamelle wrote:
> Linux's amplifying complexity hampers security.

Of course, one could look more closely at microkernel-based systems for a 
possible remedy. Sadly, ever since the famous Torvalds versus Tanenbaum 
discussion, plenty of people cling to the remarks of the former as he sought 
to ridicule the work of the latter, oblivious to the fact that...

 1. Microkernel performance was always a tradeoff (acknowledged by the DMERT
    work done by Bell Labs in the 1970s and in other contemporary work).
 2. Performance has improved substantially over the years and in some cases
    wasn't that bad to begin with, either.
 3. Billions of devices have shipped with microkernels.

Some people also probably cling to the idea that Torvalds "won" his debate. 
Now that MINIX 3 runs in every Intel CPU supporting Management Engine 
functionality, it is clear who actually won, at least in terms of the "bottoms 
on seats" measure of success that the Linux kernel developers tend to 
emphasise over things like GPL compliance by vendors (some of those vendors 
being Linux Foundation members, of course).


P.S. I wasn't going to dignify this thread because of the inflammatory 
terminology used in the subject suggesting some kind of irrational fervour. In 
fact, demanding and ensuring complete control over the technologies we use is 
a pragmatic and entirely justified strategy for anyone who cares about their 
data, their computing capabilities, and even their quality of life.

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