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Upside: Vita Nuova breaks new OS ground [with Plan 9]

Nov 29, 2000, 13:09 (9 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Sam Williams)

"The primary design goal, says Jeffrey, is to move beyond the current "ego-centric" operating system model, where a specific PC or workstation server hosts the kernel and controls the outer-lying portions of the network. Because all devices and processors in a network are treated as equal components, a user or application can access the network's resources even if the central file server is momentarily disconnected."

"I think of Plan 9 as a stepping stone to a future where the distribution of applications transcends the argument of are you on an embedded device, are you a desktop, are you a server?" Jeffrey says."

"Such transparent access to the network is a design issue currently bedeviling open source programmers and their allies in the commercial world. While interface projects such as GNOME and KDE have achieved arguable breakthroughs using the object-oriented design model, both projects are limited by the underlying 30-year-old architecture of the Unix or Unix-like systems that run them."

"If anything, the increased popularity of open source projects such as Linux, FreeBSD and other Unix descendents has limited developers' ability to look beyond the current client-server model, Jeffrey says."

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