One is left to wonder, why?

Story: Continued funding for MinixTotal Replies: 6
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Apr 28, 2009
7:13 PM EDT
I have nothing against Minix. I have nothing against the design philosophy, nor the development goals.

My "why?" is "why hasn't Minix found funding in the market?"

It's not like several BSDs, Linux, Minuet, FreeDos, and I don't have any idea how many others, and Minix, not to mention the profit-oriented variations on a theme, aren't already being actively, voluntarily, developed.

Apr 28, 2009
9:46 PM EDT
Early on, Minix had an "academic use only" license. It wasn't until the current version (v3) that it was moved to the GPL.

Apr 29, 2009
4:47 AM EDT
And even though it's now under a GPL license it's goal and main use is still academic research into OS design. The market funds Linux, BSD, FreeDos and the rest because it derives value from them. The market does not derive direct value from academic research, so funding is poor.

Apr 29, 2009
9:33 AM EDT
I really didn't want to get into a political mess, again, with this. So Sander, please try to see the simple, practical question I'm trying to ask. Public Choice provides the political answer for why the funding took place.

> The market does not derive direct value from academic research, so funding is poor.

But if it is used as a teaching tool, that means there are hundreds, if not thousands, of students who get good grades if they make improvements, and colleges get tuition paid to them for teaching it. As far as I can tell, companies make lots of money printing textbooks even for esoteric niche disciplines.

I'm not seeing how those thousands of developers in some x number of colleges, are not deriving "direct value". That is supposed to be the market for Minix, those who derive direct value from its existence.

Why, with (dozens) hundreds of professors, (hundreds) thousands of developers, and A.T. and his graduate students collecting and keeping what best works, was there any need what so ever for such a grant? If 10 people can constitute a self-sustaining "developer community" for other F/OSS projects, what is special about Minix that it is not self-sustaining with all those motivated, interested people working on it?

Apr 29, 2009
12:01 PM EDT
Academic research doesn't necessarily mean that students are involved and that it can be paid for from tuition fees. Academic research is also carried out by professors. Perhaps those professors even need to hire a couple of developers to do implementation work (You know how those CS types are. All theoretical wisdom but couldn't hack their way out of a paper bag).

Apr 29, 2009
12:40 PM EDT

If the students aren't involved, then how can they be using it as a teaching tool? Are they not studying it? Examining how it implements the design philosophies?

Does it fail to do what it's supposed to do?

> All theoretical wisdom but couldn't hack their way out of a paper bag

Sounds like the gist of one side of the AT/LT flamewar 17 years ago.

Apr 29, 2009
3:11 PM EDT
AFAIR Minix 3.0 was a PhD thesis of someone. There you have "student involvement" :) And AFAIR Minix 3.0 was supposed to be something more than a mere teching tool.

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