The thirty million line problem - Casey Muratori

5th January 2021 at 8:28am
talk by Casey Muratori

In this video, Casey Muratori explains how software development became so bad. He says that before, people used to ship the OS with the software. The reason being that the hardware was not performant enough to have any default OS installed.

Also, the whole hardware was integrated: you didn't have a separation with the CPU and GPU and WiFi card, etc. So the OS is extremely smaller once you removed all the drivers (Linux was only a few thousand lines of code in 1990 compare to millions LOC now).

The solution that he gave is for hardware companies to produce standard hardware fully integrated like SoC: System on a Chip. This is the same kind of architecture that you find on phones and embedded systems (because you simply don't have enough space to have a separate GPU).

An example of good OS that he gave was Arrakis.

He also said that although a Raspberry PI has everything integrated, it is not performant enough to succeed (you will never be able to run a modern game on it) - one might wonder about using a PS4.

Related to

Backlinks: Arrakis: The Operating System is the Control Plane by Simon Peter, Preventing the Collapse of Civilization - Jonathan Blow, Web browsers are becoming OS