Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Experimental version of Sysel integrated into HelenOS

HelenOS now features a prototype version of the Sysel programming language interpreter developed by Jiri Svoboda. What advantage will Sysel bring to HelenOS?

In the first place, it is a language which was designed specifically for HelenOS (even though it runs on POSIX systems too), so there are no problems with meeting its build dependencies. The language has / will have similar features as some popular high-level languages like C#, but is incomparably easier to deploy on HelenOS. Just imagine the heroic effort and tons of bloat needed to port Mono to our system...

Additionally, using an expressive and high-level language like Sysel will enable us to write our system software on the appropriate level of abstraction, focusing on the business logic of the server processes themselves and avoiding low-level stuff like manipulating strings in C. As a consequence, the code should contain fewer stupid bugs and should take less time to write.

While we certainly do not plan to abandon C, Sysel will hopefully prove itself as a high-level language suitable for HelenOS system programming. The expectations are high, so let's see how the Sysel scene evolves.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Join #minix!

No, I have not deserted to the worshipers of the old Raccoon. Instead, I have done something really bold which truly exercises one's courage and also tries one's survival instinct. On IRC, I entered the chat room used by the followers of the Herd of Gnus, also known as #hurd. Then I felt like visiting #minix too, so I entered the IRC command used to enter new rooms:
/join #minix
The problem was that I accidentally omitted the leading slash. This resulted in inviting all the on-line Hurd developers and followers to join perhaps their biggest rival (besides HelenOS :-), the MINIX 3 project. I realized my mistake soon enough and corrected myself so that I was not stoned. They actually reacted with something I would describe as slight amusement, which was good.

As an epilogue to this short story, I found out that my deed raised me an apprentice, who boldly repeated the same invitation today. Looks like they are slowly getting used to it.