[Beowulf] OS for 64 bit AMD

Mark Hahn hahn at physics.mcmaster.ca
Sun Apr 3 16:30:55 PDT 2005

this is utterly pointless, since we seem to disagree on axioms:

correct code conforms to the standard; it is buggy if it depends 
on undefined (outside-the-standard) behavior.

the platform is the ABI, not the distribution.  if you believe that 
the ABI doesn't cover enough, talk to the organization that manages it.

productionworthiness (PW) is behavioral stability, not some vendor's 
assertion about "support".

there is no data to suggest that a "supported" configuration 
is actually more stable - support is a matter of CYA and risk aversion. 
(not the actual risk; PW is the actual risk (well, inverse of it).)

Fedora has normal release management, with pre-release testing
as well as post-release updates.  the pre-release testing is 
also known as "beta-testing".


the existence of commercial products which specify RH-whatever vX.Y
does not magically turn FC into a beta-test.  if you redefine words
that way, you might as well call all of SunOS a beta for Solaris.

the customer needs to evaluate how fragile a commercial product is:
how well it conforms to the ABI.  NVidia is a great example of 
an attractive product which is inherently fragile since NVidia 
chooses to hide trade secrets in a binary-only, kernel-mode driver
which (by definition and example) depends on undefined behavior.  
VMWare is another good (flawed) example.

"supported configuration" is nothing more or less than a way to 
"download" support costs to the platform vendor (PV).  it's a lever,
acting on the customer as a pivot, to force the PV to avoid changes
of any sort, since its impossible to tell what internals the proprietary
product depends on.

similarly, SOP in the Fibrechannel world is to provide only negative
definitions of support (nothing but HP disks in HP SANs.)  this can be 
seen as a flaw in standard-defining, since Ethernet provides a fairly
decent counterexample where interoperability is the norm because 
products need to conform, not "qualify".

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