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Old 14 October 2016, 11:33   #32
Olaf Barthel
Registered User
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Lehrte, Germany
Posts: 157
Originally Posted by kolla View Post

But you know, the community crowd is just not smart enough to handle a project like this.
Harsh words.

I do not see this issue in terms of of "smarts", it's just that developing a product such as AmigaOS, with Kickstart (ROM) and Workbench (disks), for the 68k platform, on the existing codebase, is very, very complex and challenging work.

Those developers who excelled at these challenges have long been drawn to different challenges (you are bound to find them at Google, Facebook or Sony, to name just a few companies). Some may be close to retirement. Those people who worked on the AmigaOS 3.5/3.9 updates and beyond are now old enough to have grown-up children. There is little enough time to do Amiga software development as a hobby, it is even harder to make time for operating system development as a side-project.

Getting into AmigaOS development is difficult. The developer documentation (the RKMs, etc.) can be found on and a select few other web sites. Example code and tutorials are around, but they are arguably difficult to learn from without knowing a lot more background about the Amiga than you can quickly absorb today. Even the toolchain needed to build Amiga applications is something of a mess today. Worse still, Amiga operating system development hinges on the knowledge of the 'C' programming language (and to a certain degree 68000 CPU family assembly language). These are not the top programming languages the curious will grow up with today (JavaScript and Python, anyone?).

I am not convinced that it will be "easy enough" to change this situation, so that more curious people will find their way to discover the Amiga as a software development platform. That's my pessimistic streak. However, I believe it is not impossible to improve the situation, it just takes commitment and time to make it happen. Which is hard to come by. Would you rather have some guy like me take a spanner to the Amiga operating system, or have him mentor the next generation of Amiga enthusiasts who want to get into programming? It probably can't be both, so it would have to be one or the other.

One last parting shot: open sourcing the operating system (which I believe is not permitted by the current rights owner, the Pentti Kouri estate) will not solve the organizational and technical problems that need to be tackled. It's part of the whole problem, and (I believe) the smallest part.
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