[Oberon] Current Oberon System
zen53397 at zen.co.uk
Mon Dec 17 05:30:44 CET 2012
On 15/12/2012 14:48, Bernhard Treutwein wrote:
>>> 5. Which line of Oberon system is being currently developed? x86
>>> (Native) Oberon? System 3? A2?
>> I think AOS or A2 is more a research project than a true OS.
> My imporession is that all Oberon Systems are/were research projects about
> OS design and the only one, which is currently still developed is A2
> But the active group is much too small ...
> Oberon at lists.inf.ethz.ch mailing list for ETH Oberon and related systems
This comment serves to emphasise the heavy reliance which Oberon users
have on university research projects for the continued availability of
compilers. In turn this raises the question of of whether Oberon has a
long term future as a viable programming language.
By contrast an earlier iteration of Wirth's ideas about language design,
Pascal, continues to be actively developed as FreePascal and has an
'industrial strength' compiler which is available for a range of
operating systems making it a 'write once, compile anywhere' language. I
will allow others to speculate on why there is no similar Oberon project.
Wirth's message about the virtues of strong typing, initialisation of
variables and detection of errors at compile time now extends beyond
Pascal, Modula 2 and Oberon. Safe-C which can be found at
http://chat-webcam-samuro.com/safe-c/start-en.html has been strongly
influenced by these ideas and gives about the same degree of type safety
and compile time error detection as Pascal.
I don't know whether Safe-C has a long term future but it does have the
advantage that potential users do not have to learn a completely new
user interface. Whatever the virtues of the Oberon TUI (Textural User
Interface) in 1990, a time when in many instances computer monitors were
used as little more than glass teletypes, it does not compare with the
present day windowing interfaces available for BSD, Linux and MS Windows
and now may well serve only to deter potential users from adopting Oberon.
I understand the nostalgia for a time when computing was simpler and
memory was measure in kilobytes not gigabytes but unless standalone
compilers are developed for other operating systems I do not see any
substantial number of new users being attracted to Oberon.
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