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OneTimer1 
David "Talin" Joiner: Should the Amiga be revived?
Posted on 20-Aug-2021 21:04:50
#1 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 3-Aug-2015
Posts: 676
From: Unknown

David "Talin" Joiner, the author programmer and composer behind 'The Faery Tale Adventure" wrote a blog about "Should the Amiga be revived?" in 2017.

IMHO it is interesting seeing his opinion about the Amiga back when he developed on this plattform and now.
https://medium.com/machine-words/should-the-amiga-be-revived-bdf05166438e

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NutsAboutAmiga 
Re: David "Talin" Joiner: Should the Amiga be revived?
Posted on 20-Aug-2021 22:01:11
#2 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Jun-2004
Posts: 11871
From: Norway

@OneTimer1

"more likely to get togteher and create community standards for things like file formats and API's"

Data Types was part of the OS, the fileformats did come from Amiga, and API's the developers ignored. The IFF standard came from Electric Arts, used on MacOS and AmigaOS.

I don't agree statement that need rewritten from ground up, but it will require disabling some features like AREXX. Libraries and devices need to move to kernel space. And only allow library/device to application communication. not direct application to application communication.

This can enable better use of memory, as application can be moved to high memory above 4GB, when the task is not active, Ownership of resource well need to linked to application, that kind of done with private memory. But sharing memory between child and parent task, is something that has to be preserved, for threading. For secure OS, the ability to patch the OS, need to scarified, and messages between libraries need to be write protected, as well as exec base, so that can’t insert anything should be there. The OS uses hocks, that has to go, no more hooks. Exchange will need to go as well.

The result will be boring OS, that is like other operating systems more or less.

Last edited by NutsAboutAmiga on 20-Aug-2021 at 10:04 PM.
Last edited by NutsAboutAmiga on 20-Aug-2021 at 10:02 PM.

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Mobileconnect 
Re: David "Talin" Joiner: Should the Amiga be revived?
Posted on 20-Aug-2021 22:49:18
#3 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 13-Jun-2003
Posts: 424
From: Unknown

This guy is a genius. Single handedly made the best 'style guide compliant' app using only gadtools and some BOOPSI stuff he wrote himself. They should have turned his code into a multidocument based app framework so all Amiga apps could be so good.

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bison 
Re: David "Talin" Joiner: Should the Amiga be revived?
Posted on 21-Aug-2021 7:15:50
#4 ]
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Joined: 18-Dec-2007
Posts: 1874
From: N-Space

@OneTimer1

This is an excellent article! Thanks for posting.

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NutsAboutAmiga 
Re: David "Talin" Joiner: Should the Amiga be revived?
Posted on 21-Aug-2021 8:44:38
#5 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Jun-2004
Posts: 11871
From: Norway

@OneTimer1

He put a lot of time in this article, takes a bit time to consume,

“Moreover, most of the Amiga developers I knew where forward-thinkers, trend-setters, explorers; they aren’t interested in revisiting the past out of some desire for retro-nostalgia”

The people he knows, and people that are now committed to amiga, is two different groups of people, hitting 40, 50’s, 60’s, some unfinished project, get this out before I die, and try to get the kid to take over in desperation. I do not think we have same spirit as 20-year-old kid, looking to be next game designer, on most popular platforms.

“But making the amiga resistant to this kind of attack would require so mush re-architecting that result wouldn’t look or feel much like an Amiga, at least not from the developer’s perspective.”

So Talin is nostalgic, like he claim amiga developers are not, he does not want to break the retro, anyway to preserve the past you need to sandbox, create a place where the past can transcended, from hardware banging applications, into system friendly applications, from an Amiga hardware perspective its copper, blitter, ciaa/ciab, paula and the other chips, that provided the style of games, and sound. But going from hardware approach to software approach has its weaknesses, emulation is too fast, too slow, using API’s often result complete rewrite. Or continuing writing in an old style, he might be right it won’t be the nostalgic past he was used to. But it’s always possible to be stubborn and ignore the new stuff.


Last edited by NutsAboutAmiga on 21-Aug-2021 at 08:45 AM.

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amigang 
Re: David "Talin" Joiner: Should the Amiga be revived?
Posted on 21-Aug-2021 11:03:09
#6 ]
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Joined: 12-Jan-2005
Posts: 1651
From: Cheshire, England

@NutsAboutAmiga

It is intresting, I always thoughts that if amiga was really developed for the future they can be ways around the Memory Protection issue. WHDLoad if I recall has a clever way of stoping the system from crashing.

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NutsAboutAmiga 
Re: David "Talin" Joiner: Should the Amiga be revived?
Posted on 21-Aug-2021 12:09:04
#7 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Jun-2004
Posts: 11871
From: Norway

@amigang

Quote:
It is intresting, I always thoughts that if amiga was really developed for the future they can be ways around the Memory Protection issue.


Yes, think so, but will need to modify programs and games to run on a secure system.

Quote:
whdload


Stop the OS, move the OS, setup interrupt so you can exit, load kickstart, exit game, copy os back, and start the OS.

But that only work if you have the chipset and it needs whdload to be able to kill the OS and take over, if you wont a secure OS, then disabling the OS is not possible, and being read or write in OS, won’t be possible. it looks like behaves nice, but really, it’s not really.

On AmigaOS4, we force whdload games into EUAE.

Last edited by NutsAboutAmiga on 21-Aug-2021 at 12:14 PM.
Last edited by NutsAboutAmiga on 21-Aug-2021 at 12:11 PM.

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Mobileconnect 
Re: David "Talin" Joiner: Should the Amiga be revived?
Posted on 21-Aug-2021 18:23:33
#8 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 13-Jun-2003
Posts: 424
From: Unknown

There are ways to keep the old APIs and still implement better resource tracking, memory protection and the like, the problem is everyone assumes it has to be done the exact same way that Windows and Unix/Linux do it. As someone who worked on Symbian OS I can tell you there are ways to make it work on Amiga OS without breaking API compatibility. Remember, Symbian originally ran in 4MB of RAM, on old ARM CPUs without MMUs.

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bison 
Re: David "Talin" Joiner: Should the Amiga be revived?
Posted on 21-Aug-2021 21:20:58
#9 ]
Super Member
Joined: 18-Dec-2007
Posts: 1874
From: N-Space

@amigang

Quote:
I always thoughts that if amiga was really developed for the future they can be ways around the Memory Protection issue.

My signature.

Jay Miner. Lead designer: Atari 2600, Atari 800, Amiga.

This segment is interesting too:

(packed) Pixel graphics

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NutsAboutAmiga 
Re: David "Talin" Joiner: Should the Amiga be revived?
Posted on 22-Aug-2021 11:12:22
#10 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Jun-2004
Posts: 11871
From: Norway

@bison

So, talks about commodore before Commodore UK as gone, but after Commodore USA was gone.
1994, so he knows about doom, how that impacted the Amiga, so it’s not shocking to her him say this.

What fortune teller, now everyone using operating systems-based UNIX, even NT kernel is based on UNIX designs, MacOSX is based BSD/UNIX, and have all Linux versions, android is based on Linux.

Last edited by NutsAboutAmiga on 22-Aug-2021 at 11:17 AM.

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Hypex 
Re: David "Talin" Joiner: Should the Amiga be revived?
Posted on 22-Aug-2021 11:57:56
#11 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 6-May-2007
Posts: 10264
From: Greensborough, Australia

@OneTimer1

As a comparison to how Apple did it. Who were facing the same kind of issues that AmigaOS has. Isn't there a story of how Carl Sassenrath tried to add multi tasking to MacOS?

Apple solved it by dumping MacOS totally. Then producing a new OS to replace it. With a MacOS emulator. That actually booted when a classic was ran. Then ran with a classic look. Old and new integration is opaque to user but is automatic.

There are two modes of thought. Retrofit modern ideas like memory protection, multi core and threads into the existing model. Or replace it with some form of hybrid that wraps the Exec kernel onto a modern kernel and transparently translates.

The OS4 way reproduced it as close as possible to the API but broke source compatibility by expanding the library system so there was an extra step needed to open a library or any similar OS resource. 68k apps are emulated on their own task. And ran with a modern look. Old and new integration is transparent to user.

The MorphOS way is a hybrid way. Exec is a part of the A/Box which runs under the Q/Box master kernel. It maintains source compatibility. 68k apps are emulated in a sandbox. And ran with a modern look. Old and new integration is transparent to user.

By comparison AROS reproduced it as close as possible to the API with source compatibility. Portable design breaking binary compatibility. 68k apps directly incompatible. 68K support through emulation but not supported directly. Old and new integration is opaque to user and needs manual intervention.

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bison 
Re: David "Talin" Joiner: Should the Amiga be revived?
Posted on 22-Aug-2021 19:35:13
#12 ]
Super Member
Joined: 18-Dec-2007
Posts: 1874
From: N-Space

@Hypex
Quote:
Isn't there a story of how Carl Sassenrath tried to add multi tasking to MacOS?

There's this:
Quote:
My job at Apple ATG was to design the next multitasking OS - to become the successor to the Macintosh.

Interview with Carl Sassenrath

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OneTimer1 
Re: David "Talin" Joiner: Should the Amiga be revived?
Posted on 22-Aug-2021 21:26:46
#13 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 3-Aug-2015
Posts: 676
From: Unknown

Quote:

Hypex wrote:

Apple solved it by dumping MacOS totally.


Yes, just imagine a fictional 'Amiga Company' setting up a Unix/Linux kernel adding a good integrated emulator (UAE like) and some Amiga like APIs (without using shared memory) and the crisis would have been over at 1995.

But you would have to dump hardware banging and accept a performance loss on applications running under UAE.

Well this could have been a theoretical model for a transformation of an AmigaOS to an Amiga look alike OS. But you would have had to start very early and get some interested application developers to follow this transformation. In reality most application developers went away from the Amiga as fast as they could, the Amiga just became another exotic platform causing trouble, the Amiga could compete when you could run your applications and games on a bare A500.

You have to ask yourself:

"When did the competitors to the Amiga became more powerful and cheaper"?


We all know the story: AGA came to late and was slow on an A1200, PCs with HD, VGA, Audio and CDs became cheap and Windows95 was stable, had memory protection and looked good enough.

Last edited by OneTimer1 on 22-Aug-2021 at 09:36 PM.

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OneTimer1 
Re: David "Talin" Joiner: Should the Amiga be revived?
Posted on 22-Aug-2021 21:32:50
#14 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 3-Aug-2015
Posts: 676
From: Unknown

@bison

Quote:

bison wrote:

Quote:
My job at Apple ATG was to design the next multitasking OS - to become the successor to the Macintosh.

Interview with Carl Sassenrath


Thank you, nice link.

IMR Apple worked on two different replacements for the outdated MacOS. Partners from IBM (remember the AIM alliance) where impressed but in the end they could not decide when and what they wanted to sell as the next MacOS.

So most of it was dumped when Jobs returned and brought in the BSD/MachOS he developed for the ill fated NextStep computer.

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SHADES 
Re: David "Talin" Joiner: Should the Amiga be revived?
Posted on 23-Aug-2021 1:55:06
#15 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 13-Nov-2003
Posts: 702
From: Melbourne

@OneTimer1

AMIGA OS needs user space accounts. Shared libraries etc are fine but user space account protection needs to happen.
Been saying this for years.
Of course it's not the only thing, a modern browser is also a must but that's outside the OS development. Multi-threading to use newer hardware is also something that really needs addressing. I understand AROS has tinkered with this?
Getting onto a cost effective platform should be the most important thing right now, above all.
If it's easy to set up, buy-in, then development can open up a lot quicker and these things can push forward. It's long overdue and it's always about cost.

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agami 
Re: David "Talin" Joiner: Should the Amiga be revived?
Posted on 23-Aug-2021 6:28:33
#16 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 30-Jun-2008
Posts: 629
From: Melbourne, Australia

I agree with most of Talin's points and I've even written about them almost a decade ago.

The problem that arises when approaching the topic of a potential resurrection for the Amiga, is the bipolar nature of the existing Amiga market. "Stay with Charlie Babbitt and go back to Wallbrook".

The solution is simple right? Just have Charlie Babbitt move into Wallbrook.
Wrong. Because a Charlie Babbitt confined to Wallbrook is no longer a true Charlie Babbitt.

As per the core narrative of Talin's post, resurrecting the "Amiga" is not simply about releasing new hardware with some Amiga NG OS. It's a lot more about the developer community. Ergo, it's about the overall ecosystem and the shared appreciation for what is being achieved.

But if I or anyone else start talking about resurrecting the Amiga in spirit, capturing the essence and philosophy of what Amiga was to the personal computing revolution of the late '80s and transposing it to today, creating a new ecosystem and a new development community, y'all decry it as a false Amiga since it will not be compatible with software from three decades ago. Especially if it will not bother calling itself Amiga, or run an OS of classic Amiga OS lineage.

Imagine Apple never got its bailout in 1995 and suffered the same fate as NeXT and Commodore, and Be, and Atari. Then someone in 2021 released a new OS, based on BSD, running on x86, inspired by the workflows and simplicity of System 7.5, but with a modern look, new APIs, tools and new SDK for development of natively multi-threaded applications. In essence today's macOS. Would it need to be compatible with the 68k and PowerPC software from the early and mid '90s? If not, what would make it a Mac? What made a Mac a Mac anyway?

What attracted most of us to the Amiga is that it was a different answer to the personal computing question. Today's personal computing landscape is for the most part occupied by three variations on the same theme: Windows, macOS, Linux distros. Is there room for a new player to provide a paradigm shift? Absolutely. At best such a system would be a distant cousin to Amiga, but hopefully just as culturally significant, giving the world a new generation of creative problem solvers.

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Jose 
Re: David "Talin" Joiner: Should the Amiga be revived?
Posted on 23-Aug-2021 10:46:26
#17 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 10-Mar-2003
Posts: 956
From: Unknown

@NutsAboutAmiga
"...but it will require disabling some features like AREXX."

Disabling ? Why ? ARexx was one of the greatest things the Amiga had in the some pro environments of the day that made possible some things there other platforms simply didn't have. Like a script joining together various video programs to make a whole batch process in one go, including iterations of it.
All documented and integrated very well.
Normal users probably disregarded it and the marketing of Commodore sucked .... But it's one of the things that made the Amiga great, disabling it makes no sense.

Last edited by Jose on 23-Aug-2021 at 10:47 AM.

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Hypex 
Re: David "Talin" Joiner: Should the Amiga be revived?
Posted on 24-Aug-2021 14:38:27
#18 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 6-May-2007
Posts: 10264
From: Greensborough, Australia

@bison

Quote:
There's this:


Thanks. Looks like it has a little less details than the stories I recall.

And also:

Quote:
This segment is interesting too:


It's almost inconceivable. Planar is at the heart of Amiga bitmaps. A bitmap isn't a bitmap without being planar. Though I wonder if they should have built into the design a way to choose planar or packed, t change the orientation, with a pixel width register. Even if it was not available in OCS, with features that came later.

But, just like the C64 running on little endian, planar bitmaps were foreign to Commodore computers. Not only did Commodores have a text matrix like a PC. The bitmap format used in the C64 was planar in two colour but packed in four colour multicolor mode.

So Commodore producing the Amiga was really a product with foreign concepts.

Last edited by Hypex on 24-Aug-2021 at 04:08 PM.

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Hypex 
Re: David "Talin" Joiner: Should the Amiga be revived?
Posted on 24-Aug-2021 15:49:59
#19 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 6-May-2007
Posts: 10264
From: Greensborough, Australia

@OneTimer1

Quote:
Yes, just imagine a fictional 'Amiga Company' setting up a Unix/Linux kernel adding a good integrated emulator (UAE like) and some Amiga like APIs (without using shared memory) and the crisis would have been over at 1995.


I can only imagine it receiving as much enthusiasm as the rumour about Commodore replacing AmigaOS with WindowsNT on the next Amiga. Another OS to replace AmigaOS that is not AmigaOS. Using AmigaOS was one of the features and without it you may as well jump ship. Especially when hardware needs to be emulated.

Quote:
But you would have to dump hardware banging and accept a performance loss on applications running under UAE.


That had to be done and there were warnings about it.

Quote:
Well this could have been a theoretical model for a transformation of an AmigaOS to an Amiga look alike OS. But you would have had to start very early and get some interested application developers to follow this transformation. In reality most application developers went away from the Amiga as fast as they could, the Amiga just became another exotic platform causing trouble, the Amiga could compete when you could run your applications and games on a bare A500.


And that's the crux of the issue. A look alike AmigaOS. It makes the AmigaOS look so bad and out of touch even though it was one of the few OS with long filenames multitasking and ability to run application macros amongst other things. Where did it go wrong? Why could not the OS be updated or forged into a new AmigaOS creation rather then be replaced?

Quote:
"When did the competitors to the Amiga became more powerful and cheaper"?


About 1990. Commodore would be selling the A500 for a few more years without updating it. The desktop version of the A500, the A2000, would be out of reach of the average consumer. While the PC was standardising on VGA, fast processors and sound cards.

Quote:
We all know the story: AGA came to late and was slow on an A1200, PCs with HD, VGA, Audio and CDs became cheap and Windows95 was stable, had memory protection and looked good enough.


And also, Windows wasn't replaced by UNIX or any other OS. It was replaced by another Windows. I think AmigaOS really needed replacing by another AmigaOS, not a replacement OS.

Though, if you look at OS4, and brushing aside the hardware not being any special Amiga and the price, it didn't really take off. Most Amiga people were still hooked on the chipset, 68K and playing old games. Things haven't changed today. About the only thing is Amiga users hating AGA for some reason and being total A500 heads. Maybe they missed the upgrade when you could buy one. So, maybe the OS doesn't matter after all. The Vampire recreates the chipset and builds on it, and is more popular than an AmigaOne right now. Even though the solo one technically doesn't run AmigaOS as standard.

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NutsAboutAmiga 
Re: David "Talin" Joiner: Should the Amiga be revived?
Posted on 24-Aug-2021 16:54:45
#20 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Jun-2004
Posts: 11871
From: Norway

@Jose

Quote:
Disabling ? Why ? ARexx


it passes pre allocated strings, or message ports.
there is no user level authentication, one program with low level clearance can send command to programs with high level clarence.

Image you are hosting an Ftp server running admin privileges that have AREXX support, someone logs into your Amiga as guest over telnet or ssh, and write a ARexx script that changes the configuration of Ftp server, by sending commands to it.

Message ports are technically part of Exec, so it's doable, it need to changed so you only find messages port same or lower privileges. but as linked list of message port has too go, no more snooping lists.

Last edited by NutsAboutAmiga on 24-Aug-2021 at 07:31 PM.
Last edited by NutsAboutAmiga on 24-Aug-2021 at 07:29 PM.
Last edited by NutsAboutAmiga on 24-Aug-2021 at 04:55 PM.

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