Not just worse-is-better

By: Mark Roulo (nothanks.delete@this.xxx.com), June 29, 2022 3:21 pm
Room: Moderated Discussions
Kester L (nobody.delete@this.nothing.com) on June 29, 2022 2:43 pm wrote:
> Rayla (rayla.delete@this.example.com) on June 29, 2022 2:14 pm wrote:
> > Kester L (nobody.delete@this.nothing.com) on June 29, 2022 1:49 pm wrote:
> > > https://queue.acm.org/detail.cfm?id=3534854
> > >
> > >

> > > The linear address space as a concept is unsafe at any speed, and it badly needs mandatory CHERI
> > > seat belts. But even better would be to get rid of linear address spaces entirely and go back to
> > > the future, as successfully implemented in the Rational R1000 computer 30-plus years ago.
> > >

> > >
> > > Your thoughts on this article? I was under the impression that a lot of the 80s attempts
> > > at capability machines (or really, anything that wasn't trying to be a glorified PDP-11)
> > > floundered because of performance and cost issues (i.e. the Intel i432).
> > >
> > >
> >
> > 432 was a seriously substandard implementation with good ideas,
> > and has been getting used to proclaim that descriptors/caps
> > are fundamentally broken ever seince. Meanwhile, Burroughs
> > Large Systems (still 1000+ sites, almost all very
> > large companies or governments) and IBM i (over 100k sites,
> > occasionally even greenfield customers) both quietly
> > zoom along running production workloads today, but are ignored because they aren't UNIX.
> >
> > The Colwell paper on 432 is an interesting read, and heavily implies
> > that the 432 could have been greatly improved with only minor tweaks.
>
> So basically the only real reason why PDP-11-esqe systems with flat memory spaces proliferated
> is basically because of the old worse-is-better effect where an easier-to-initially-implement
> system dominated because it's easier to get started with it at better performance given
> the limitations of the technology of the era (i.e. Unix).

It wasn't ONLY the i432 doing poorly.

The antagonist group working on the Fountainhead Project in Tracy Kidder's "Soul of a New Machine" was fairly similar to the i432. Similar enough that the FHP guys put out a white paper explaining why their minicomputer was better than the i432.

But the FHP computer failed, too.

And Intel's 80386 selectors are another approach to non-linear address spaces with privileges attached to selectors. Everyone uses 80386 and following as flat address space machines.

There IS an aspect of worse-is-better here in the sense that being late enough to market (and with poor enough performance) obliterates any *theoretical* edge one might have. But we also don't know what sort of issues arise in one of these machines if 100M folks try to use it for general purpose computation. Running at 1/2 the speed of the competitor isn't a case of "worse is better" but a case of "the market doesn't want what I think it should."
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TopicPosted ByDate
Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]Kester L2022/06/29 01:49 PM
  Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]Rayla2022/06/29 02:14 PM
    Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]Kester L2022/06/29 02:43 PM
      Not just worse-is-betterMark Roulo2022/06/29 03:21 PM
        Not just worse-is-better---2022/06/29 07:07 PM
  Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]2022/06/30 12:08 AM
    Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]Groo2022/06/30 12:56 PM
      Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]Michael S2022/06/30 02:17 PM
  Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]Eric Fink2022/06/30 01:43 AM
  Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]dmcq2022/06/30 03:17 AM
  Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]Adrian2022/06/30 05:36 AM
    Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]anonymou52022/06/30 07:28 AM
      Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]Anon42022/06/30 04:37 PM
        Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]anonymou52022/06/30 06:19 PM
          Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]dmcq2022/07/01 04:16 AM
            Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]anonymou52022/07/01 05:40 AM
              Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]dmcq2022/07/01 06:11 AM
                Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]anonymou52022/07/01 08:09 AM
              Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]dmcq2022/07/01 06:11 AM
                Why the duplicates?dmcq2022/07/01 06:18 AM
              Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]2022/07/01 10:41 PM
    Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]Foo_2022/06/30 07:43 AM
      Fragmentation: Both Size and LifetimeMark Roulo2022/06/30 08:25 AM
        Fragmentation: Both Size and Lifetime2022/06/30 10:09 AM
          Fragmentation: Both Size and Lifetimedmcq2022/06/30 11:12 AM
          Fragmentation: Both Size and LifetimeBrendan2022/06/30 04:08 PM
            Fragmentation: Both Size and Lifetime2022/07/02 03:12 AM
              Fragmentation: Both Size and LifetimeBrendan2022/07/02 01:56 PM
                Fragmentation: Both Size and Lifetime2022/07/04 05:34 AM
                  Fragmentation: Both Size and LifetimeBrendan2022/07/04 06:33 AM
                    Fragmentation: Both Size and Lifetime2022/07/04 07:35 AM
                      Fragmentation: Both Size and LifetimeBrendan2022/07/04 04:21 PM
                    Atom is just living at the Dunning-Krueger peakHeikki Kultala2022/07/04 09:26 AM
                      Atom is just living at the Dunning-Krueger peak2022/07/04 09:57 AM
      Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]Adrian2022/06/30 08:31 AM
        Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]Foo_2022/06/30 09:07 AM
          Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]Adrian2022/06/30 09:43 AM
            Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]Foo_2022/07/01 03:21 AM
              Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]Adrian2022/07/01 09:58 PM
                Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]Foo_2022/07/03 02:45 AM
                  Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]Adrian2022/07/03 10:04 PM
                    Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]ananon2022/07/04 02:35 AM
                    Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]Foo_2022/07/04 03:11 AM
                      Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]Adrian2022/07/05 01:36 AM
                    Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]2022/07/04 04:18 AM
                    Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]TAG2022/07/04 07:50 AM
                    Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]Brendan2022/07/04 04:54 PM
                      Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]Brendan2022/07/04 05:05 PM
                      Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]Adrian2022/07/05 02:18 AM
                        Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]Brendan2022/07/06 05:16 PM
                          Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]Adrian2022/07/07 12:33 AM
        Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]2022/06/30 10:40 AM
    Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]---2022/06/30 08:28 AM
      Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]Michael S2022/06/30 01:00 PM
    Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]Jörn Engel2022/06/30 05:34 PM
      Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]Adrian2022/07/01 12:55 AM
        Sorry, typo correctionAdrian2022/07/01 01:04 AM
        Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]2022/07/01 04:01 AM
          Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]Adrian2022/07/01 11:00 PM
            Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]rwessel2022/07/02 07:16 AM
        Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]Jörn Engel2022/07/01 09:40 AM
          Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]Adrian2022/07/01 11:15 PM
  Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]Brendan2022/06/30 11:09 AM
    Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]dmcq2022/06/30 11:20 AM
      Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]Brendan2022/06/30 03:52 PM
        Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]dmcq2022/07/01 06:06 AM
          Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]Brendan2022/07/01 01:24 PM
            Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]rwessel2022/07/01 08:55 PM
  Linear Address Spaces - Free lunch?Björn Ragnar Björnsson2022/07/02 06:44 PM
    Linear Address Spaces - Free lunch?dmcq2022/07/03 04:30 AM
      Linear Address Spaces - Free lunch?Björn Ragnar Björnsson2022/07/03 04:50 PM
  Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]Paul A. Clayton2022/07/18 07:49 AM
    Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]Adrian2022/07/18 10:21 AM
      Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]Brendan2022/07/18 03:11 PM
        Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]anon22022/07/18 04:54 PM
          Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]Adrian2022/07/18 10:22 PM
            Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]Michael S2022/07/19 01:00 AM
              Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]Adrian2022/07/19 05:50 AM
        Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]Adrian2022/07/18 11:02 PM
          Linear Address Spaces: Unsafe at any speed [article]Brendan2022/07/19 08:29 PM
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