[Oberon] Unlimited Oberon System for any board

Jan de Kruyf jan.de.kruyf at gmail.com
Fri May 8 09:37:26 CEST 2020

Sorry to disappoint you but no rocket scientist is ever going to touch
Oberon, not even with a bargepole.
In the rare case they know Oberon they laugh very loudly and ask: "Which

And I? Well I think I will just carry on using Ada and perhaps Linux for my
hobby projects. It's a bit of an overkill, but then it works, it has the
rich environment, and in the case of Ada it has the speed and the security,
and I know both well.

By the way I did enjoy reading through some of the stuff on your website.
You did a good job for Oberon.


On Fri, 8 May 2020, 02:13 Chris Burrows, <chris at cfbsoftware.com> wrote:

> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Oberon [mailto:oberon-bounces at lists.inf.ethz.ch] On Behalf Of
> > Skulski, Wojciech
> > Sent: Thursday, 7 May 2020 11:01 PM
> > To: ETH Oberon and related systems
> > Subject: Re: [Oberon] Unlimited Oberon System for any board
> >
> > Joerg:
> >
> > > In this discussion, I miss a little bit the SW cost..
> >
> > Do you mean Linux, which is free, or Oberon System, which is also free?
> >
> > Or do you mean the cost of software development by *ourselves*, which
> > somehow was not ever mentioned in this discussion? There was a lot of
> > attention devoted to which SBC is cheaper. Somehow, nobody in this
> > discussion said: "I bought $5 computer, and I spent NNN hours getting a
> > project ABC running. Since my time is worth XXX dollars per hour, the
> > total cost was $5 + XXX * NNN." We mostly argue about $5 or $50 per
> > board. Of course we lean towards $5. Who cares about XXX * NNN?
> >
> That sums up why we should not be concerned about what a hobbyist (as
> opposed to a professional engineer or scientist) is prepared to pay for a
> development board to support the Project Oberon operating system. The
> system
> is much more suited to professionals who value their time and are more
> interested in building solutions. Many hobbyists seem to get some sort of
> devious pleasure from the satisfaction of finally getting a blinker program
> working after spending many weeks cobbling together ten different versions
> of ten different tools from ten different sources. They typically have the
> attention span of a goldfish. Once their development system is ready to go
> and they could start doing some really interesting creative development
> work
> they get bored and start looking for something else to do.
> I get it. I have an occasional hobbyist interest in vintage electronics.
> Recently I restored a 4-valve (a.k.a. 4-tube) 1946 domestic radio set. Most
> of the enjoyment in the exercise was derived from visiting a Sunday morning
> sale of the local Historical Radio Society, which led to a trip to the
> Adelaide Hills where I met a guy who has a collection of 50,000 valves (all
> carefully packaged and catalogued) in two containers. I also tracked down a
> supplier in the USA to get the replacement vintage grill cloth and other
> bits and pieces. The whole exercise, including restoring the wooden
> cabinet,
> took a couple of months and cost a few hundred dollars. Imagine what that
> would have cost if I had employed a professional to do it.
> Now the radio is working do I listen to it? Of course not. It was the
> 'journey not the destination' that I was interested in. Added to the fact I
> was unable to receive authentic radio broadcasts from the 1940's on it - my
> next project is going to be a time machine ;-)
> I believe the best target new audience for the Oberon language and Project
> Oberon is the professional electronics engineer or rocket scientist who
> doesn't enjoy programming for the sake of it but regards it as a necessary
> evil to get a job done. Personally, I don't use Project Oberon as my
> development environment and have no interest in seeing it run on a
> credit-card sized PC. Instead I view it as a brilliant working example to
> prove what can be achieved using the Oberon Language on resource-limited
> hardware. Having said that, it is not just an academic exercise. I see
> enormous potential in the use of the realtime Project Oberon operating
> system kernel as an alternative RTOS to whatever else is currently out
> there. However, to fully exploit and extend its capabilities it is
> necessary
> to have real FPGA hardware available to run it on. I'm currently working
> hard to try and make that happen,
> Regards,
> Chris
> Chris Burrows
> CFB Software
> https://www.astrobe.com/RISC5
> --
> Oberon at lists.inf.ethz.ch mailing list for ETH Oberon and related systems
> https://lists.inf.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/oberon
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