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osOpinion: Extending Linux to Exploit Code Morphing

Mar 17, 2000, 08:48 (6 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Trevor Turton)

[ Thanks to Kelly McNeill for this link. ]

"Now that Transmeta have laid their cards on the table, it seems to me a good time to start a debate about whether and how Linux should be extended to better exploit code morphing processors. I'm sure that this question has already been discussed within Transmeta, but they are in the awkward position that any suggestions that they make in this regard will be branded as self-seeking. As the initial creator and custodian of Linux, Linus Torvalds is in a particularly sensitive position. Any extensions that Transmeta may make to Linux to support code morphing will be interpreted by the enemies of Linux as subversion by its creator to meet his ends."

"It could be argued that it's much too soon to start thinking of extending Linux to support code morphing. Transmeta has just walked out of the change room with a bag of tennis rackets in their hands. Their first match hasn't yet begun. We don't know how well they will play, nor how long they will survive. Maybe we should wait a while and see how things pan out for them. But as with most ideas in IT, nothing is quite as novel as you might think. The code morphing concept has been around for a surprisingly long time in various guises. To quote just two examples:"

"The Java JIT Compilers...."

"IBM's AS/400...."

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