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 Post subject: Irix Open Sourced
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 8:46 pm 
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Now that rackable systems has taken control of SGI has anyone asked them if they'll ever open source Irix a la Open Solaris? I wasn't able to find any threads on this topic, but I know we've had some whisperings in the past about open sourcing Irix. If we could somehow convince them to do this it'd really give our machines quite a bit of life!


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 Post subject: Re: Irix Open Sourced
Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 1:19 am 
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evil ppc wrote:
a la Open Solaris?


Open Solaris are threatening to hand the keys back to Oracle.

http://developers.slashdot.org/story/10/07/14/1448209/OpenSolaris-Governing-Board-Closing-Shop

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 Post subject: Re: Irix Open Sourced
Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 1:45 am 
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A similar discussion just occurred in another topic: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=16723469&p=7325428&#p7325428

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 Post subject: Re: Irix Open Sourced
Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 11:34 am 
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Extremely depressing for Solaris fans! I just acquired an E450 too. :(

As for the SGI side of things (and after reading the other thread you linked) I think we should push for it at some point as a community. I think it's at least worth opening a dialog with rackable/sgi and see what they say. With the source we'd also have access to more info about our hardware making repairs easier!


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 Post subject: Re: Irix Open Sourced
Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 11:46 am 
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How exactly would it benefit, us?

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 Post subject: Re: Irix Open Sourced
Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 12:11 pm 
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evil ppc wrote:
As for the SGI side of things (and after reading the other thread you linked) I think we should push for it at some point as a community. I think it's at least worth opening a dialog with rackable/sgi and see what they say. With the source we'd also have access to more info about our hardware making repairs easier!

Sorry to sound pessimistic, but there really is no chance for such an effort to be successful. The main reason (liability) is detailed in SAQ's post in that thread that recondas mentioned: viewtopic.php?p=7325445#p7325445

Even if the open source effort were limited to just the kernel, it would still be a lengthy, complex undertaking, almost certainly beyond SGI's current capacities.

jan-jaap's notion of releasing hardware documentation and diagnostics is more practical, but it's not clear that there are enough people at SGI who would know where to look for the information, if it even still exists for machines older than the Octane2. Even then, SGI is not exactly printing money, so it's very hard to imagine a scenario where they would pay to free up the staff to do this.


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 Post subject: Re: Irix Open Sourced
Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 3:32 pm 
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I dream of a way that irix could be saved from death... but it takes a whole lot of work, and a VERY large community
to maintain an entire operating system's codebase. Even if all the IP problems were put aside, I doubt we'd have enough support from people who can actually work with the code, and want to.

Frankly, im quite impressed with whats available to us. Nekoware is a great, clean, functional software collection. That is something other "fringe" operating systems dont have. I find theres enough software to get a great degree of functionality out of our systems, granted that they have the horsepower for the apps. ANY kind of development for IRIX makes me happy to see. IRIX is no linux, we'll never have the same userbase/supporters. Even solaris I would put on another level of acceptance compared to IRIX, and they can barely keep it together as a community maintaining the OS.

With that said, I think this community, and nekoware collection will ensure I get to play with my SGI's for a long time to come. They cant take what we've allready got! The only part that scares me is the slow fade into obselescence in terms of compatibility with the internet/ other operating systems.


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 Post subject: Re: Irix Open Sourced
Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 4:10 pm 
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pilot345 wrote:
IThe only part that scares me is the slow fade into obselescence in terms of compatibility with the internet/ other operating systems.

We need a decent browser. All the users of older hardware need a decent browser. This is the largest, most pressing need for anyone with slower hardware, yet we get Fireflop 3 and nothing but lies from the Fireflop group.

The open source movement is a joke and a fraud. It has produced a few decent programs but in the greater scheme of things, it's just another pipe dream. That doesn't mean that commercial programs are necessarily better but at least we know they are out for nothing but themselves. Open source is a disappointment because the people writing it are selfish, ignorant fools claiming to be altrruistic, careful craftsmen.

There is no easter bunny :(


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 Post subject: Re: Irix Open Sourced
Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 5:34 pm 
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Quote:
There is no easter bunny :(


haha! well put!

OSS is the "free lunch" that ends up being not so free...


My father, who is a programmer, (has spent his adult life writing software, and owns his own software company.)
has always been baffled by the "open source" movement. He could never understand how these so called
"programmers" that write code for free ha! could ever produce a quality product. Wheres the incentive to release
quality code? It seems like , people producing quality code on open source projects are paid through some sort of corporate funding anyway. A company sees a piece of open source software they like, so they invest in it to transform it into a real product.

When I was younger, I advocated open source software, and linux, but over the years its become more and more apparent how much of a half assed job most of the software does. When it comes down to it, people are most concerned with the software just "working" so they could complete the task at hand. They are not concerned with the "ideals" or licencing issues involved with the software. With open source stuff, the whole "copyleft" mantra comes first. Who cares if the software only half works, or its full of bugs, when its under our god approved wonderlicense, thats the only reason we use it! Time and time again, developers put this above function and feature.

I would dare to say, to most users, they could care less about licensing of their software, costs and ideals are not of much concern, as long as the software does what its supposed to, and does it well, they will pay. This is where the gap between end user and the open soruce developers exists. No incentive to produce quality code, if its going to be forever locked to the ideals of the GPL, the OSS contributor probabally has a day job where he produces that code.

Now, we all have OSS to thank for some things! Nekoware for one.. It has its successful projects. It has attracted the love of the masses, but at the cost of support for other unix variants. It seems as though its reached a status where it has lots of "fanboys" who will support it regardless of its quality. I think its the same buzzword status that drove it into corporate acceptance. It always seemed to me that corporate support for linux must be comming from people who dont understand exactly what it is. It has all the hype, regardless of how well it can deliver on its promises. I guess at the end of the day, its always hard for me to see how its an effective way to develop high quality software. Hell, proprietary unices can always benefit from OSS, as seen by all of the freeware projects for various unices. Why you would want to trust the core programming of an operating system to volunteers? I guess the world has decided for us..



end rant

Oh yeah, wheres the developers for our Motif browser?? LOL!
We all want it, but who can/will actually write it ?


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 Post subject: Re: Irix Open Sourced
Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 5:42 pm 
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hamei wrote:
The open source movement is a joke and a fraud. It has produced a few decent programs but in the greater scheme of things, it's just another pipe dream. That doesn't mean that commercial programs are necessarily better but at least we know they are out for nothing but themselves. Open source is a disappointment because the people writing it are selfish, ignorant fools claiming to be altruistic, careful craftsmen.


There are also a number of people who are interested in developing software (either as amateurs or as "midnight engineers"), but they're interested in doing what they're interested in. The result is that the OSS movement often resembles Dante's "uncommitted", with software developers chasing after a eternally shifting banner. Undoubtedly the best OSS projects have a strong leader with a definite vision to give the projects direction, but some aren't strong and some are definitely in it for other reasons as Hamei notes.

I seem to recall that OSS used to have a number of CS students cutting their teeth on it. Inexperienced, yes, but when they have the desire to produce a good project good things can come of it. Not sure about the population now.

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 Post subject: Re: Irix Open Sourced
Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 7:12 pm 
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As I pointed out earlier, the only way you could possibly get IRIX released would be to find a way to create an entity that would assume all the risks and difficulties of "sanitizing" the source, and then have SGI "sell" the IRIX source to that entity, who would then go about the task of finding all licensors and affected code and either getting permission to keep it or purging it. You could write a detailed description of what the code did for someone else to reimplement prior to removing it.

It's a lot of work, and SGI definitely wouldn't play ball until the end of IRIX support in 2013, but you could always put together a proposal for then... Quite a lot depends on who gets UNIX when the SCO train wreck finally grinds to a halt (yes, I know Novell officially still owns it unless it gets overturned on appeal, but it's best to wait until everything is settled).

As Jan-Jaap pointed out hardware documentation and firmware would be potentially even better, though with both of them you could do a 900MHz Indy and who knows what with the Octane - provided that you could get competent SW developers to do the firmware and IRIX tweaks.

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 Post subject: Re: Irix Open Sourced
Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 7:29 pm 
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Given this evening's fiasco with the gimp... I need to rant somewhere.

You see, I got this little magnetic macro lens for my camera. great. Take a few snaps of things around the house, to be honest I didn't leave my room. (Earth really is full of Things!) Look at them on the 'pooter... well gee, the lighting in here kinda sucks... maybe we can tweak the contrast or white balance... naaah. hmm... posterize? you can still easily tell what the subject of the photo is... that won't work AT ALL. Surely I can make this picture into something suitable for a desktop wallpaper without any creative input? filters... here we go. Run a bunch of adjustments and filters all at once with a random script (created years ago by somebody else as an academic exercise) PERFECT!:
Attachment:
f50.jpg
f50.jpg [ 251.55 KiB | Viewed 1181 times ]


So to save. Click "save as..." and... oh boy... right, gimp can't use the normal windows "save" function that every other program uses... it's special, and takes a long time to load if you have more than a few pictures on your memory stick. So I go make some tea and come back, and the whole machine is locked up tighter than (insert colorful metaphor here). 3-finger salute does nothing... hold down the power button until it shuts off and turn her back on... the damn computer WON'T TURN ON AGAIN.

Now I'm MAD. try the windows "startup repair" function to no avail. Unplug my joystick headphones and zune from the computer and try again. Give up and start shopping for macs. Take a look at the printer and... the little LCD on the printer is also hung. Unplug the printer and the thing boots right up again. Somehow by trying to save a picture, gimp crashed itself, windows explorer, the entire computer, and somehow put my printer in a state that prevented the computer from booting up. Free's great but you get what you pay for.

edit: I should add that my printer is also my MS reader.

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Last edited by guardian452 on Sun Jul 18, 2010 12:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Irix Open Sourced
Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 7:44 pm 
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How portable is IRIX? I've read here that its loaded with MIPS assembly, and would be exceedingly hard to port, but I also read, that SGI had tried porting to x86.

It seems to me that for IRIX to attract enough attention for continued development, it would have to run on something besides outdated MIPS hardware.
With hardware specs, is

Quote:
though with both of them you could do a 900MHz Indy and who knows what with the Octane


this a real possibility? This would be a fun thing to see :D

oh, and the GIMP, besides having a bad name, is very bloated piece of software,
I personally find it annoying, its slow on any of my computers.


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 Post subject: Re: Irix Open Sourced
Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 7:48 pm 
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I do enjoy using the gimp, but more than half of the time it will crash while saving or loading a file especially when running on windows. Most of the time I just use it to crop or scale a picture.

A 900mhz o2/indy? Wouldn't the bottleneck just be shifted to somewhere else?

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 Post subject: Re: Irix Open Sourced
Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 8:14 pm 
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Yeah, we all saw what happened with OpenSolaris after Oracle acquired it. I got so sick of waiting for them to unfreeze the dev builds that I have switched to Ubuntu 10.04, which, having used it for a few weeks now, seems superior in terms of performance. Of course there are Solaris features I will miss, but hey, if Oracle can't get their act together, then they will just lose all the users. I think a lot of other OpenSolaris users / devs have already switched, too.

OpenIRIX would be nice, but given how closely IRIX was bound to the hardware, I think it would not get very far.

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