Thread: Genera
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Old 1st May 2015
kmike kmike is offline
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Default Genera

Originally Posted by thirdm View Post
Reading the release notes I love the number of things that have been removed, e.g. support for extra ciphers for passwd and the somewhat large complicated web and mail servers I will never use as a mere hobbyist. In my fantasies I see myself using a much simpler or understandable system, having heard or read allusions to modern computing being bloated and full of needless complexity from the likes of Kay, Wirth, Pike, etc. Or else I imagine myself using something built on a higher level language and with an ideological bent to the architecture that directs the user to the source code live while the program is in use, in sort of the way emacs seems to be designed, and as certain GNU, particularly Guile, developers seem interested in. Realistically, however, my fantasy simple (but not a hairshirt) system seems likely to continue to be OpenBSD.
You would have loved Genera. Genera was the system that Stallman was trying to clone in violation of the source licence agreement. This got him fired from his job at MIT and he stomped off and started the FSF. Everything was built with debugging symbols and full source was available. You could click on any object on the screen and inspect it with the debugger, go poking around in the code, modify it while it was running, whatever you wanted. Open source is nice, but no open source system has ever approached the magnificence of Symbolics Genera.

Genera is still my favorite operating system of all time, I kept a Symbolics XL1200 going until a few years ago. VMS is probably my second favorite, with OpenBSD third. All of these systems were very professionally put together, everything was fully documented, and things did what they were supposed to without frills or frivolities. Windows NT was actually like that in the first version (3.5), but went downhill rapidly after that as the Microsoft disease took hold..
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