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Internet News   Internet News : QNX Has gone Open Source
   posted by Colin_Camper on 12-Sep-2007 16:04:56 (5355 reads)
Full story and interview on OS News

The embedded OS that many people had (and still have) a high regard for and expected to be the basis for AmigaOS - NG has gone Open Source.

    

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Giovanni 
Re: QNX Has gone Open Source
Posted on 12-Sep-2007 16:19:07
#1 ]
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Joined: 19-May-2003
Posts: 322
From: Munich, Germany

Remains to be seen if this is a good step. Back then, when QNX was the basis for the new AmigaOS I was quiet impressed about the size/performance ratio of this OS. Does anyone remember the 1.44MB demo disk which you could download from their website with a full OS demo + web browser, and some other nice stuff?


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Returner 
Re: QNX Has gone Open Source
Posted on 12-Sep-2007 16:28:05
#2 ]
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Joined: 10-Feb-2007
Posts: 60
From: Unknown

No, its not open source. Its proprietary source, only registered users of QNX have redistribution rights. (Free registration though). And that is the non commercial version of it..

Last edited by Returner on 12-Sep-2007 at 04:29 PM.


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NutsAboutAmiga 
Re: QNX Has gone Open Source
Posted on 12-Sep-2007 16:35:11
#3 ]
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Joined: 9-Jun-2004
Posts: 11116
From: Norway

I tried QNX once I was disappointed because was like Linux, I did not feel like AmigaOS; thats becose it was not.

Last edited by NutsAboutAmiga on 12-Sep-2007 at 04:36 PM.


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Plaz 
Re: QNX Has gone Open Source
Posted on 12-Sep-2007 17:40:00
#4 ]
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Joined: 2-Oct-2003
Posts: 1567
From: Atlanta

Quote:
Does anyone remember the 1.44MB demo disk


I do. I might still have it around here some where in one of my boxes. I was impressed that I could be browsing the internet from just the floppy back then. You had to have a NE2000 or compatible network card though. I might have the disk, but I doubt I stil have a nic to go with it.

I recall being excited about what QNX and Amiga might be able to combine and create when they announced their partnership. I remember also the disappointment when the deal crashed. Things haven't been any better since except for the small bright spot of OS4.

Plaz

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stevieu 
Re: QNX Has gone Open Source
Posted on 12-Sep-2007 19:37:06
#5 ]
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Joined: 23-Apr-2003
Posts: 647
From: England, UK

Quote:
Does anyone remember the 1.44MB

Yes! I tried that out and took it to school to show my IT teacher. He had no clue to what it actually was, but was rather miffed and walked off frowning when I explained. I too, was very impressed.

When Amiga announced the QNX deal, I wasn't too disappointed. It's secure, efficient and fills a small footprint. It is stable (this is why it's used in nuclear power stations and for space programs). The people at QNX seemed to share the same vision and understood what the Amiga was about. It is also known, that the developers behind Neutrino et al are passionate and we found some to be ex Amiga developers/users too. Dan Dodge seemed extremely excited about the deal (but that's another thing Amiga, Inc managed to screw up).

Quote:
The big difference is in the licensing: Rather than publish our source code under a reciprocal license like the GPL, we've opted for a licensing model that offers flexible terms for derivative works. So if you modify QNX source code, you can either keep your modifications proprietary or donate them back to the QNX community. The choice is yours.

We'll see how this pans out

Steve

Last edited by stevieu on 12-Sep-2007 at 07:40 PM.
Last edited by stevieu on 12-Sep-2007 at 07:39 PM.


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simplex 
Re: QNX Has gone Open Source
Posted on 12-Sep-2007 22:05:52
#6 ]
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Joined: 5-Oct-2003
Posts: 768
From: Hattiesburg, MS

Quote:
When Amiga announced the QNX deal, I wasn't too disappointed. ...(but that's another thing Amiga, Inc managed to screw up)

The deal was before Amiga, Inc's time, so we can't blame McEwen & co. for that. The QNX deal was screwed up by Gateway.


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pixie 
Re: QNX Has gone Open Source
Posted on 12-Sep-2007 23:48:26
#7 ]
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From: Figueira da Foz - Portugal

And who did Collas's speeches? You guess right, Bill himself...


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Raffaele 
Re: QNX Has gone Open Source
Posted on 13-Sep-2007 0:06:03
#8 ]
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Joined: 7-Dec-2005
Posts: 1853
From: Naples, Italy

@ Returner

Quote:

Returner wrote:

No, its not open source. Its proprietary source, only registered users of QNX have redistribution rights. (Free registration though). And that is the non commercial version of it..


This is the announcement:

Quote:

QNX has announced that they are going to open up the source code to their QNX microkernel operating system. The press release reads: "Effective immediately, QNX will make source code for its award-winning, microkernel-based OS available for free download. The first source release includes the code to the QNX Neutrino microkernel, the base C library, and a variety of board support packages for popular embedded and computing hardware".

[CUT]


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Rob 
Re: QNX Has gone Open Source
Posted on 13-Sep-2007 1:10:02
#9 ]
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Joined: 20-Mar-2003
Posts: 5818
From: S.Wales

@stevieu

If QNX could have been made to look and feel like Amiga OS, they would have had a real winner while there was still a sizable captive audience. The Linux announcement brought things crashing straight back down to earth.

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ShadesOfGrey 
Re: QNX Has gone Open Source
Posted on 13-Sep-2007 3:57:13
#10 ]
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Joined: 25-Mar-2003
Posts: 290
From: Unknown

@Rob

Quote:
If QNX could have been made to look and feel like Amiga OS, they would have had a real winner while there was still a sizable captive audience. The Linux announcement brought things crashing straight back down to earth.


Agreed. Amiga could have been in the same boat as Apple with OSX. If the QNX deal had actually come to fruition. Sadly, that didn't happen and the idea of Linux as an Amiga OS kernel sounded pretty weak.

Nothing against Linux, but there are two big reasons that Linux was a bad idea. For one, why buy Amiga OS when you can get Linux 'for free'. Perhaps there were serious plans to marry Amiga to Linux that would've created a value added Linux experience... But some how I doubt that. Especially since Amiga nor Linux had any real "killer apps" at the time.

QNX though was in itself the "killer app". A scalable OS that could perform transparent cooperative computing? That would have been sweet. 'My' PDA, desktop, media center, laptop, and server could all cooperate an a seamless environment (long before DE was conceived). QNX just needed to break out of it's embedded OS stereo-type, the Amiga brand could have probably done that (back then).

Next, Linux was and still is a monolithic kernel. I don't think the Amiga OS could ever work with a monolithic kernel. Yes, I know there are stripped down versions of the Linux kernel that work in embedded devices, but Linux was engineered as a monolith and that legacy is not easy to shake.

However, QNX was a nearly perfect fit. I'm fairly confident it wouldn't have been all that difficult (given Gateway's & QSSL's resources mind you) to create an integrated compatibility layer for QNX (think AROS) to make it source compatible with the legacy apps. A product or products like E-UAE, AmigaXL, and/or Amithlon could have handled emulation where source was unavailable.


Now I'm not knocking what the Hyperion and crew have accomplished. I'm very impressed with what they were able to do with the resources and climate they had to work with. Ifni knows the kind of rabbit they pulled out of their hat. But I personally think that even they'd agree that a modern, ready made solution would have been far easier to adapt. As opposed to having to re-write and then re-re-write Amiga OS for today's and tomorrow's market. And I'm pretty much limiting myself to the 'Amiga' market there.


In a perfect world, I would have loved to have seen what could have come from an Amiga, QNX, TAOS/Elate/intent combo. I know there's a lot of bad blood about AmigaDE, but I thought the concept behind TAOS, was fascinating.


WOW! This is probably the longest post I've written here in ages. I guess I'm feeling really nostalgic today... So, take what I've said with a grain of salt and chalk it up to an Amiga fan's whimsy.



BTW, not to leave MorphOS out, but I don't really know enough about it to make comparisons between it, AmiaOS 4, Linux, and QNX... I was part of the red camp when the whole red vs. blue dust up occurred. As such a really haven't followed its development (shame on me). I was not all that happy with the way Phase 5 (et al) 'left' the Amiga scene; I thought the approach Amiga/Hyperion were taking was more reasonable (again, given the resources at the time); BC and FM spun a good yarn and were relatively karmicly(?) clean; I distrusted Bill Buck intensely after the whole Viscorp fiasco. Of course I now consider BC and FM in the same league as BB. Crooks, cheats and liars.*



* - If the moderators feel I've crossed the line they are welcome to omit that last sentence. It describes my observations based on historical fact.


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gary_c 
Re: QNX Has gone Open Source
Posted on 13-Sep-2007 8:28:01
#11 ]
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Joined: 1-Mar-2004
Posts: 874
From: Chiba, Japan

Quote:
The deal was before Amiga, Inc's time, so we can't blame McEwen & co. for that. The QNX deal was screwed up by Gateway.


Amino/Amiga, Inc. and QSSL were talking about using a QNX base for the new Amiga OS but Fleecy blew them off, for reasons that didn't seem to have anything to do with technology (all I can recall now is Fleecy's tantrums on the mailing list). This was in the early Phoenix consortium days, and sometime thereafter Tao's intent was announced as the new platform for Amiga. So McEwen & Co did have the opportunity but, uh, burned that bridge and ended up going another way.

-- gary_c


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ikir 
Re: QNX Has gone Open Source
Posted on 13-Sep-2007 10:01:52
#12 ]
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Joined: 18-Dec-2002
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From: Italy

Amiga OS5 is coming!!!

banana?


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Hans 
Re: QNX Has gone Open Source
Posted on 13-Sep-2007 17:28:20
#13 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 27-Dec-2003
Posts: 4912
From: New Zealand

Returner
Quote:

No, its not open source. Its proprietary source, only registered users of QNX have redistribution rights. (Free registration though). And that is the non commercial version of it..


How is that not open source? Open source does NOT mean that everyone automatically has the right to the source-code. With GPL, only people who have the binary have a right to the source-code (although GPL code usually ends up being publically available).

Hans


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Returner 
Re: QNX Has gone Open Source
Posted on 13-Sep-2007 18:25:32
#14 ]
Member
Joined: 10-Feb-2007
Posts: 60
From: Unknown

This is the open source definition:
http://www.opensource.org/docs/osd

For example, only allowing registered qnx users to be able
to share modifications with each other breaks this.

Not being able to sell it (non commercial) breaks this.

And.. see Dan Dodge's answer to question # 7 here:
http://www.osnews.com/story.php/18596/QNX-Opens-Neutrino-Source-Code-Interview-QNX-CEO/

Also check:
http://www.qnx.com/download/feature.html?programid=16868

Last edited by Returner on 13-Sep-2007 at 06:51 PM.


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Troels 
Re: QNX Has gone Open Source
Posted on 14-Sep-2007 0:54:31
#15 ]
Super Member
Joined: 8-Mar-2003
Posts: 1980
From: Unknown

The Gatesway plans where not bad IMHO.

QNX could have been made more Amiga like and we'd have a more mature modern OS today. Backwards compatibility could be almost the same via emulation, and the list of ported applications much much bigger than today.

I know it would never have been a real AmigaOS clone but sometimes big steps needs to be taken and back then I thought this was a step in the right direction. Kinda like what happened to MacOS, just that we would have been a step ahead if we had made the move back then.

I am using Ubuntu Linux everyday on my laptop (where's that new portable Amiga, ehh just any new Amiga!) and that I am almost getting used to. So an AmigaOS like QNX would probably have been great.

Also remember the 1.44mb Floppy demo, very impressive.


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Hans 
Re: QNX Has gone Open Source
Posted on 14-Sep-2007 2:13:57
#16 ]
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Joined: 27-Dec-2003
Posts: 4912
From: New Zealand

@Returner
Ok, I see it now. So they've put extra restrictions on the code use.

Hans


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elwood 
Re: QNX Has gone Open Source
Posted on 14-Sep-2007 13:55:12
#17 ]
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Joined: 17-Sep-2003
Posts: 3418
From: Lyon, France

Dan Dodge says: "The big difference is that we now expect more people to choose QNX for their commercial projects."

But why QNX was not chosen for commercial projects??? Is it bad?


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Hypex 
Re: QNX Has gone Open Source
Posted on 14-Sep-2007 14:59:48
#18 ]
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Joined: 6-May-2007
Posts: 9581
From: Greensborough, Australia

Quote:
Remains to be seen if this is a good step. Back then, when QNX was the basis for the new AmigaOS I was quiet impressed about the size/performance ratio of this OS. Does anyone remember the 1.44MB demo disk which you could download from their website with a full OS demo + web browser, and some other nice stuff?


I remember a QNX mini-CD I got from ACE 2000. I wonder if it will work in PC-Task? He he.

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Hypex 
Re: QNX Has gone Open Source
Posted on 14-Sep-2007 15:04:39
#19 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 6-May-2007
Posts: 9581
From: Greensborough, Australia

@ShadesOfGrey

Quote:
Agreed. Amiga could have been in the same boat as Apple with OSX. If the QNX deal had actually come to fruition. Sadly, that didn't happen and the idea of Linux as an Amiga OS kernel sounded pretty weak.


Depends how you look at it, Amithlon was almost AmigaOS on a Linux kernel. A lot of people in my club were keen on that, and when OS4 was announced they all thought it was a waste of time. They thought Amithlon should have become OS4, and it wasn't even an OS! That's how great people thought it was. I would hear arguments like this driver on OS4 was based on the AROS one, or some other x86 C compatible version, therefore OS4 should be Amithlon.

Last edited by Hypex on 14-Sep-2007 at 03:05 PM.

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ShadesOfGrey 
Re: QNX Has gone Open Source
Posted on 14-Sep-2007 19:41:27
#20 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 25-Mar-2003
Posts: 290
From: Unknown

@Hypex

I guess, except that first Amithlon was either nonexistent, in planning, or early development when Gateway switched from QNX to Linux. I don't recall exactly though. So if some one has a better recollection, please correct me. Anyway, at the time the idea of switching from a genuine micro-kernel to a monolithic kernel seemed to me like a downgrade. Why not give users and developers something closer to the spirit of the original Amiga OS?

Second, Amithlon quite probably could have been just as happy on QNX as it was on Linux. I imagine that if Gateway had proceeded with QNX, Bernd Meyer & Harald Frank may very well have developed Amithlon for a QNX based Amiga OS.

Third, and you acknowledge this yourself, Amithlon is an emulator sitting on top of the Linux kernel. It is not an OS in it's own right. While Amithlon does a lot to make use of the underlying x86 hardware, as far as I know it doesn't actually expose the various APIs available under Linux. And while this may be adequate for running 'old' 68k apps, what could Amithlon offer for the future? Back in the day, I happen to think QNX would have been a better choice for future development and Amithlon would have been great for legacy apps. Today our choice for future development are AmigaOS 4, AROS, and MorphOS (maybe we can throw Haiku and Syllable in the mix, too?)... That is unless there's the will out there to finish what Gateway & QSSL started?


FYI, I've never actually used Amithlon. I know only what I've read.


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