Python Operating System???

Roose b at b.b
Sun Jan 9 01:24:20 EST 2005

"Paul Rubin" <> wrote in message
news:7xr7kv8bmt.fsf at
> "Roose" <b at b.b> writes:
> > My point was that you can't do a lot of hardware interface programming
> > pure Python -- there would be so much non-trivial code in C that it
would be
> > hard to call it a Python OS.
> Why do you say that?  Is the same thing not true of C, where you need
> some assembly code at the lowest levels?  Because Linux has some
> assembly code, would you say that it's not written in C?

It's a difference of degree, but an important difference.  I haven't looked
at Linux or Windows NT source, but my guess is the assembly used is just
small functions for accessing special CPU instructions for atomicity,
context switching, and the like.

I KNOW they don't have huge amounts of assembly simply because they run on
different architectures.

But are you really going to write a virtual memory system in Python?  Are
you going to write a file system, and a task scheduler in Python?  Are you
going to have people write device drivers in Python?  I'm not saying it
can't be done, but it would be a poor engineering decision, and the
rationale thus far seems to be "Python is cool, I like OSes, let's write a
whole OS in Python".  If that's not the case then let me know what your
rationale is.

The right tool for the right job.  I love Python probably more than any
other language.  But it's not the right tool for every job.  I don't know
why people would think it is, just as C is not the right tool for every job
(which is one of the reasons I learned Python, being a C programmer first).

> > So this basically proves my point -- that you need different hardware
> > altogether in order to make an OS in a high level language like Lisp or
> > Python.
> It doesn't prove anything of the sort.  The Lisp hardware was needed
> for performance reasons, back in the day.

OK, then give me an example of Lisp OS that runs on a PC.  I would like to
install it on my PC tomorrow.  Or maybe my Mac.  That was your whole point,
originally, that since it could be done in Lisp, why not Python?

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