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The future of MiNT
I did not see the text of your initial proposal, or manifesto (I
mistakenly deleted it from my mailbox). I don't suppose that
should keep me from telling you about my views... :-)
Whether MiNT has a long term future on the aging fleet of 68k
computers, strikes me as somewhat irrelevant. MiNT ain't GNU,
or Linux, and is very unlikely to ever get the kind of support
these projects are getting. But that's besides the point. MiNT
doesn't need a five-year plan, it needs attainable short term
objectives and some people to bring them through.
I have followed MiNT development for 4 years now. And I have
learned a lot in the process. But, clearly, MiNT development
has hit a knot. But I still think the project has a chance of
surviving and being developed further.
There has been no development done on MiNT for the last year.
(OK, there was a MiNTnet update.) Before development ground to a
halt, there were discussions on shared libraries, and on virtual
memory for those systems that can support it. Nothing has
happened since. This is partly because implementing these
features (or at least VM) would leave 68000 systems behind, and
people seem unwilling to take that step. In addition, there
aren't as many MiNT kernel hackers as there used to be. Yet,
there are enough programmers out there to keep alive *three*
separate freeware AES replacement projects. No reflection on any
of these fine efforts, but still... one wonders. There are also
others who, perhaps with reason, think time has come to renew
the kernel from scratch. Hence the Fenix project.
I think what MiNT needs right now is one committed
saviou^H^H^H^H^H^H programmer who would have time and energy to
put into the kernel, and into making the design decisions that
need to be made. That individual might act as a catalyst to
renew interest in kernel development. Perhaps that has already
happened, in the form of Fenix. But, personally, I would welcome
more support for MiNT until, some day, Fenix is stable enough to
claim the crown.
(I am foolishly posting this almost on the eve of my departure
for my annual vacations... don't be surprised (be relieved! :))
if I am silent for the next couple of weeks.)