What’s in a name?

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What’s in a name?

Postby Ultibo » Sat Jul 22, 2017 4:32 am

How do you describe something like Ultibo so that people can decide if it is what they are looking for or not?

At various times, and depending on the audience, we use terms like bare metal, unikernel, embedded platform and so on but none of them really seem to capture both the purpose and the possibilities of the Ultibo project. There are a number of purposes that drive what we are doing but it can be easy to miss the whole story if you just look at any one element. If you focus on just the technical details of creating programs without an operating systems and the necessities of drivers, devices and boards then you might not notice that there is a learning aspect to the project as well.

The world needs more good programmers to drive the development of future systems and applications, sadly there has been a catastrophic failure of industry, schools and universities to educate new generations of developers, many have no concept of how a pixel appears on screen or a packet crosses the internet, let alone the ability to understand the intricacies of modern computing. We don’t claim that Ultibo is the complete solution but without tools that make it possible to concentrate on learning instead of being swamped by the idiosyncrasies of an operating system then the situation is not likely to change.

On the other hand if you see Ultibo only as a teaching tool or a way to learn about the low level functionality of a computer then you miss the fact that Ultibo is a powerful platform which can be used for serious development and creating real products, without the unnecessary overhead and complexity of a full desktop operating system.

It’s a simple question with a multitude of answers, we don’t want to make Ultibo sound too complex or unapproachable so that people think it is beyond their knowledge, at the same time if we make it appear too simple then those who have a definite purpose in mind might think it is not advanced enough for their needs. In truth it should be possible to accommodate both ends of the spectrum, we still don’t know the best way to describe it but you can be sure we’ll continue thinking.
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Re: What’s in a name?

Postby Gavinmc42 » Sat Jul 22, 2017 8:10 am

At one end is microcontrollers and the other is general purpose computers running OS's like Windows, Linux, Unix, BSD....
Ultibo is somewhere in between with lots of overlap.

I have been calling it polished metal instead of baremetal or Arduino on steroids.
It continues to evolve and blends even more between MC/PC.
Hmm, NC (Not a Computer), OC (Organic Computing, ie evolving, growing ) :lol:
NOC instead of NUC?

Toolbox filled with lots of hammers?
Next gen Arduino?
The QEMU version adds even more to the confusion, VC(virtual computing), VOS(Virtual OS)......
UCC (Ultimate Computing Controller)?

Ten years time, everything will be done this way(which way?), there will be a name then?
TTO( The Third Option), not a RTOS, not an OS, it's UOS. Short version US, Ultibo System.

Maybe it is a Triangle now MC, PC, UC. Cheap, Expensive, Quick......
Sort of exploring new territory.

The Ultibo System or the Ultibo Method?
The Ultibo Method of Forging Alternative Systems?
TUMFAS :lol:

I call it using simpler, quicker coding that works better ;)
Faster, Stronger, Better - it's the 6million dollar man, er box, ah ?????
Call it Steve.
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Re: What’s in a name?

Postby Jyv » Sat Jul 22, 2017 9:38 am

From a SysAdmin point of view,
Linux landscape is full of specialized distros, programmers keep creating news distros for specific purposes (security, network appliances, embedded, ...)
Using Linux paradigm, even if comparison is no reason,
the way I see Ultibo is the ability to create your custom distro by adding in the uses clause the parts you want to embed,
- I like the ability to declare my Ultibo distro in pascal,
- I like to have my Ultibo distro being built in few seconds (and not hours to rebuild a custom Linux kernel)
- I like my Ultibo distro that weights few MB (and not hundreds of MB compared to Linux distros),

For me, Ultibo is a way to build custom distro. (using the Linux paradigm)
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Re: What’s in a name?

Postby pik33 » Sun Jul 23, 2017 6:14 pm

Ultibo is programming freedom.

You can do what you want with Ultibo; the imagination, skill and RPi computing power are only limits. They are natural limits, not imposed by OS creators.

You have a vast library of function you can use, but then, you don't have to.

If you want, you can write high level object oriented code, but then, if you want, you can use assembler and low level direct hardware access.

If you want, you can use scheduler to schedule your threads, but then, if you want, you can free some cores from scheduling and even from interrupts.

You can use interrupts, timers, dma channels, whatever, without switching to the supervisor mode, as the cpu is already in it.

The program memory is write protected but then, if you want, you can unprotect it and write self modifying code.

You can use memory manager, but then you can use unallocated memory and nothing bad will happen until you overwrite some important data... which you can of course do, and this leads to the conclusion: it is your system and you have freedom to screw it up it in the way you want... then you can simply swap the SD card. This is beautiful :)
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Re: What’s in a name?

Postby markokrajnc » Mon Jul 24, 2017 1:00 pm

I would call it "unikernel" or "library operating system", because - in comparison with traditional OS - only the needed parts will be linked in your runtime.

Bare metal is usually used for something which is much more limited (for example has no multi-threading, Unicode, etc.)
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Re: What’s in a name?

Postby evanpand » Mon Jul 24, 2017 3:51 pm

Abstracted and not obstructed bare metal leaving you -the programmer- the choice (as pik33 said) to either work in the high level or in the low level. I wish this could stand the same for the broadcom blob. IMHO, the design of Ultibo is great and can achieve this for a magnitude of platforms but IoT and large scale parallel processing could be benefitted the most from this approach.
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Re: What’s in a name?

Postby mark » Mon Jul 24, 2017 4:45 pm

Ultibo wrote:The world needs more good programmers ...
... or fewer computers. I fancy myself somewhat of a futurist. I predict a bold new world where computers are replaced by humans. Best cheers, Mark.

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