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Old 30 December 2015, 19:08   #61
idrougge
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True, but adding specific fixes to the 3.1 codebase could yield worthwhile results that aren't possible with AROS. Some of the most successful "open source" projects are based on formerly commercial software.
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Old 30 December 2015, 19:17   #62
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Fixes are always nice I must admit. But most of the things I can think of are already been worked on by Cloanto, large drive support for example. It's obviously been available a long time as a DIY fix but it's nice to see a kickstart ROM released with it already fixed.
Perhaps drop them a line with a list of specific fixes you would like to see?
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Old 30 December 2015, 19:43   #63
Olaf Barthel
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What did Finkel do, and when?
Andy Finkel worked as a consultant for Amiga Technologies GmbH in 1995, and as far as I know this would include getting the Amiga operating system code into a usable form again, suitable for product development.

I saw the result and as far as I could tell it did what it was supposed to be doing, but there was one limitation which had to be resolved one way or another. Essential components of the Amiga operating system (intuition.library foremost among them) could only be built using the Green Hills 'C' compiler. Andy Finkel had solved that problem by making the build run on a Sun 3 workstation, which is exactly the environment in which that compiler ran at Commodore. I did not know the exact details of how this would work out, especially how you started the build and transferred the resulting binary to the Amiga (possibly using rsh, rcp or an NFS client).

One problem with this approach was that ESCOM had already liquidated all the Commodore hardware, and what remained were backup tapes of the various workstations. How do you build intuition.library if you did not have a Sun 3 workstation handy?

The other problem was in that ESCOM/Amiga Technologies GmbH certainly did not have a license to use the Green Hills 'C' compiler. As far as I know nobody knew which licenses or contracts Commodore had made, all of this had been lost during the bancruptcy and liquidation.

So we had to find a way to either find Sun 3 workstation, make the compiler work somehow, or find a replacement. eBay as we know it today didn't exist in 1995. This type of hardware was long obsolete, having been replaced by Sun 4 workstations. How do you find such obsolete equipment which was still in good shape for a decent price? We had no idea back then (in 1995 Germany).

In 1996 (too late: ESCOM had already gone bust) I managed to hack the NetBSD 68k kernel so that it would run the compiler, the assembler and the linker, which together would produce exactly the same intuition.library binary as the last production build in 1993 did. Yay! That still left the license issue for the 'C' compiler. Eventually, I would rework intuition.library so that it could be built properly using the SAS/C compiler on the Amiga. Funny thing about that: when I was finished with this effort, I discovered that Peter Cherna, who was in charge of intuition.library at Commodore until the end, had done exactly what I was doing. I wish I had known this earlier

Andy Finkel did something for me which literally changed my life. He pointed me to two books which were new at the time, these being "Debugging the development process" by Steve Maguire and "Dynamics of software development" by Jim McCarthy (Steve Maguire's other book "Writing solid code" blew my mind). Reading these books I realized that there was a professional practice for developing quality software. Andy set me on the path of becoming a professional programmer.
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Old 30 December 2015, 19:48   #64
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I love this.
Looking forward to use a much improved, better version of OS 3.1 and its kickstart.
Isn't even the new icon library and DOS libraries worked by some users here "illegal"? I for one don't give a shit and hope Hyperion fold and stop trying to cash in on the Amiga scene. I love the work of people trying to fix and improve the ROM and its functions and I hope it keeps on happening unconstrained by bullshit legal matters.
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Old 30 December 2015, 21:14   #65
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And what magical pink unicorn is going to appear IF it was open sourced? It would end up abandoned and forgotten just like the thousands of open source projects that lay dormant. Take this simple search of Aminet for example, http://aminet.net/search?query=open+source, a page of results and a page of abandoned software. People wouldn't just appear out of nowhere to start working on 20 year old source code.
If you want open source, it's already here! Work on Aros or Haiku, where development help would be appreciated, or on Linux where it probably would not be.
Open source does not equal a magic pill!
I don't share your cynical view, that's all. If it's open source, then at least there is a chance to get going. No one can do everything themselves but a lot of ppl could make small but useful contributions. (Also, a more cleaned up code base would surely inspire someone to start porting to Raspberry Pi reaching potentially millions of users.)

Anyhow, FYI the Vampire 2 is made by pink Unicorns. ;-)
Did you think someone would produce a magical little card that gives you 100MHz 060 performance + 16 bit gfx with HDMI out for the A600? well, what do you know, someone did..
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Old 30 December 2015, 21:20   #66
ptyerman
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Well good for them! I don't have or want a A600 so why is this relevant? An A1200 with a 020 and modest ram expansion can run run 99% of Amiga software so again, why is this relevant?
This thread is about OS 3 source code, not accelerators. Lets not go off topic like what usually happens!
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Old 30 December 2015, 23:45   #67
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Andy Finkel worked as a consultant for Amiga Technologies GmbH in 1995, and as far as I know this would include getting the Amiga operating system code into a usable form again, suitable for product development.
For me at least, the only gain from this whole event is the interesting posts you are making Olaf. Thanks for your detailed replies to questions.
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Old 30 December 2015, 23:57   #68
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I love this.
Looking forward to use a much improved, better version of OS 3.1 and its kickstart.
I too hope this could lead to something, but other comments seem to indicate that the 'serious' developers cannot even look at this or risk having their work cast into doubt. Imagine progress to date taken down :/
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If it's open source, then at least there is a chance to get going.
My thoughts exactly. If it has a latent future at all this is how it can happen. Since Hyperion seem to have all rights within the constraint of 4.x development, we could see continuations such as 3.91x etc

The raspberry pi would also be a great boon as the hardware side is still expensive. Maybe the endianness could be made moot so that arm could be a potential future target.

But if it's been available for this many years, I imagine nothing is going to change now just because of a headline?
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Old 31 December 2015, 00:01   #69
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I agree, we are getting part of Amiga history with this leak. Thanks.
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Old 31 December 2015, 00:06   #70
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Are the different compilers and assemblers needed because of subtle stuff in the generated code or is about different language standards?
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Old 31 December 2015, 00:18   #71
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Yup, at least as open source it has the opportunity to live on, even if it's only a handful of individuals interested.

Yes, there are abandoned open source projects, but if anyone wants to, development can be picked up by anyone else, or even re-used in other projects.

If it's just in some software vault under lock and key, as soon as the company with the key loses interest, it's forever lost, unless, you know, it gets leaked at some point...
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Old 31 December 2015, 00:30   #72
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@Olaf Barthel

It is really interesting to follow your posts. Ever thought about writing a little book or Blog about your commodore works?
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Old 31 December 2015, 02:04   #73
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For me at least, the only gain from this whole event is the interesting posts you are making Olaf. Thanks for your detailed replies to questions.
+1 - the leak is worth it just because the stories from the events surrounding the source. Priceless Amiga history.

Last edited by jonathan; 31 December 2015 at 02:27.
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Old 31 December 2015, 02:48   #74
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I'd agree with that, loads of interesting little details cropping up because of this, excellent stuff!
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Old 31 December 2015, 03:14   #75
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The leak has also generated publicity for the Amiga community.

You know how that goes. It isn't important what they say about you, as long as they are talking about you.
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Old 31 December 2015, 03:46   #76
copse
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The leak has also generated publicity for the Amiga community.

You know how that goes. It isn't important what they say about you, as long as they are talking about you.
I'd say that the Amiga platform is mostly of interest to those who used it in the past. I'd speculate that a very small minority (at most) of people unfamiliar with it, who read about this, are likely to contribute or get involved.
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Old 31 December 2015, 10:10   #77
Olaf Barthel
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Are the different compilers and assemblers needed because of subtle stuff in the generated code or is about different language standards?
It involves both.

For example, one reason why the code for intuition.library had not been ported to a different compiler was that the Green Hills 'C' compiler generated very tight and efficient, high quality code. No Amiga compiler available at that time could accomplish the same thing.

This was relevant because (of course) intuition.library had to go into ROM. Bugs caused by code generation issues would be hard to find (intuition.library is the single largest component in ROM; going over its compiler-generated code with a fine-tooth comb to look for defects would have been really hard) and to correct, and because intuition.library was part of the operating system which had to run properly at boot time, bugs in it would have been particularly crushing.

Also, the tight, efficient code generation allowed intuition.library to fit into ROM space (which always was a serious constraint on Kickstart development work) in the first place. No other compiler generated an intuition.library quite as short as the Green Hills 'C' compiler.

Relevant, too, is how the compiler translates data structure specifications, specifically how structure packing works out. For example, the intuition.library internals and API functions deal with 2D geometry in many places, often involving the "typedef struct { WORD x,y; } Point;" data structure.

When passing this data structure between functions, the Green Hills 'C' compiler packed the "Point" into a single 32 bit word, which more often than not was used interchangeably with a 32 bit word parameter in intuition.library code. This was permissible under the K&R 'C' language rules which the Green Hills 'C' compiler followed, but different rules applied to passing structures to functions under ANSI 'C'. Making intuition.library compile with an ANSI 'C' compiler therefore required extensive changes because those "Point" parameters were used all over the place

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@Olaf Barthel

It is really interesting to follow your posts. Ever thought about writing a little book or Blog about your commodore works?
Well, in my opinion this stuff is not such a big deal. I'm not the kind of guy who writes a blog, I very much prefer this forum medium instead

I cannot tell a story about my involvement in this piece of Amiga history, it's just bits and pieces. To make a point, I can tell only details about what I saw, or was involved in, and even then I must consider what I can tell because some details I must not share.

There are other stories and other points of view. What I may be able to tell is therefore incomplete, probably biased and may not be accurate. Please keep this in mind.

As for Amiga history, good books have been writte about it already. I personally like Jimmy Maher's "The future was here" best.

(For the record: I never worked for Commodore, I only got involved in this AmigaOS business because I was invited to do consulting work for Amiga Technologies GmbH -- up until then I had been a paying, registered 3rd party developer with "Commodore Büromaschinen GmbH", the local German Commodore subsidiary in Frankfurt).

Last edited by TCD; 04 January 2016 at 11:27. Reason: Back-to-back posts merged.
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Old 31 December 2015, 13:02   #78
Thalion
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Well, in my opinion this stuff is not such a big deal. I'm not the kind of guy who writes a blog, I very much prefer this forum medium instead

I cannot tell a story about my involvement in this piece of Amiga history, it's just bits and pieces. To make a point, I can tell only details about what I saw, or was involved in, and even then I must consider what I can tell because some details I must not share.

There are other stories and other points of view. What I may be able to tell is therefore incomplete, probably biased and may not be accurate. Please keep this in mind.

As for Amiga history, good books have been writte about it already. I personally like Jimmy Maher's "The future was here" best.

(For the record: I never worked for Commodore, I only got involved in this AmigaOS business because I was invited to do consulting work for Amiga Technologies GmbH -- up until then I had been a paying, registered 3rd party developer with "Commodore Büromaschinen GmbH", the local German Commodore subsidiary in Frankfurt).
Of course every story told is is from a personal with but nontheless interesting. As yours is too. Even small bits and pieces are part of that big history puzzle around the Amiga. So i will read everything you will tell us in the future with big interest.
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Old 31 December 2015, 13:30   #79
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Olaf, it's all very much appreciated either way
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Old 31 December 2015, 14:26   #80
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I discovered that Peter Cherna, who was in charge of intuition.library at Commodore until the end, had done exactly what I was doing. I wish I had known this earlier
The leaked source code contains both the Green Hills Compiler version and Peter Cherna´s SASC v6.x intuition.library version.
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