[OpenBIOS] Re: boy is EFI a kludge!

Thierry Deval tdeval at primeobj.com
Tue Aug 28 17:41:43 CEST 2001

On Tuesday, August 28, 2001, at 01:18 , Gavin Robert Brewer wrote:

> ...
> The server farm is a cool idea. If you want, I can submit the outline
> design idea for my new multiprocessor machine. Building a multiprocesing
> server is quite easy, (some dudes in a UK uni. managed to cobble one
> together from old 486 CPUs)..the problem is the operating system...
> As a solution to this, I would suggest porting and using Mach. The
> source is very much complete, and is available from Carnegie-Mellon
> university at:
> http://www.cs.cmu.edu/afs/cs.cmu.edu/project/mach/public/www/mach.html
> In my view, there is no dichotomy between useful and aesthetically
> pleasing.
> I would even go as far as to say that functionality and form are united
> under the heading of Quality, (see Zen and the art of Motorcycle
> Maintenance).
> Textual interfaces are pretty much obsolete. You should be able to
> emulate them at will, but the quality of the system fonts is often poor,
> and given today's PCs, could be a LOT better. Whilst we are at it, we
> might as well have a GUI at startup.

Are you talking about a BIOS ?
I think you're well beyond the subject...

While I too valuate the look&feel of an OS (I bought a Mac to have Mac 
OS X running), the goal of a good OpenBIOS is to initialize all the 
hardware components of a "PC" to a known state, and then give the hand 
to a boot process which will eventually load and run an Operating System.

The graphics part of the BIOS could be as simple as initializing a 
framebuffer and maybe present a logo (à la SUN or Silicon Graphics), or 
a hint to the BOOT process (à la Apple)
I don't think it's really useful to show some animations for the 
detection of devices (disk controllers, network cards or mass storage) 
or the amount of memory present in the system.

OTOH, focusing on an implementation of the IEEE 1275-1994 standard would 
benefit a larger goal : allow the development of tiny F-Code drivers for 
each optional components (you know, PCI is supposed to support that)
Of course the main part should stay C/Assembly for speed, even the 
display part (damn, those OpenFirmware based scrolls are too slow !!!)



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