[self-interest] Re: Self on Linux (was: Self 4.1)

Gordon Cichon gordon at cichon.de
Wed Nov 17 10:32:13 UTC 1999

Hi Thorsten,

you made a lot of good points in your last posting.
I would like to add the following:

In the meantime, I got access to an ancient sparc station 10.
(BTW, how do I find out how much memory it has?). I also tried
to download Self 4.1 last week which did not work then. 

I appreciate your commitment to Self very much. Thank you for
considering supporting its further development. Please consider
instead of buying a small machine on which Self already runs,
buying a powerful machine for compiling the system. When I was
developing on Self for Linux I pretty much overcame already the
stage where I would have needed a running system for reference.
Thanks to Mario's book on Sparc, I was able to figure out what's
happening inside to the appropriate extent. It bugged me much more
that I got really long turnaround times when recompiling the Self
VM. Whenever I changed something in a header file which occurred
quite frequently, I got to wait for half an hour to an hour to 
recompile. It takes already nearly ten minutes to load Self's symbol
table into the debugger. I already upgraded my memory from 64M to
128M last January which helped a lot, nevertheless my working on Self
was still strongly limited by compilation speed. Self has even a
sophisticated environment for doing parallel compiles which I
unfortunately had not the pleasure to take advantage of.

IMHO, doing a Linux/i386 port of Self is particularly good coice
1) Virtually everybody can install Linux on her PC and use Self.
At most she has to buy a new harddisk but not a new Computer.
2) Linux users are the right audience for Self at the current
stage because they tend to have a deeper technical knowledge and
can track down and fix problems by themselves. Usually, Linux users
have much less inhibitions to use a debugger than Windows or Mac

Torsten, it would be a pleasure to meet you in person.


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