Fri, 10 Sep 2004 01:36:02 +1000
"In a purely theoretical world, one could imagine developing modest software programs in such a way that any module could be swapped
out in favor of a similar module developed by a third party. The replacement module would need to conform identically to the
interfaces expected by all of the modules with which it interacts. In the commercial world, it is hard to see what value such
replace-ability would provide even if it could be achieved." - Bill Gates, under oath in April 2002
"Almost three years ago the naval systems arm of major UK defence contractor BAE Systems took the decision to standardise future
development on Microsoft Windows. an immediate effect was to commit BAE's joint venture CMS subsidiary, AMS, who specialise in naval
Combat Management Systems, to implementing a Windows 2000-based CMS system for the new Type 45 Destroyer. But this prompted strong
internal opposition from some of AMS' engineers, who had a sound background in Unix and who had, despite resource starvation and a
companywide policy to standardise on Windows, been investigating open source alternatives as a foundation for future combat systems.
They lost. Acting as spokesman for the concerned engineers Gerald Wilson compiled a 50 page dossier detailing the unsuitability of
Windows as a foundation for a naval command system, and arguing that BAE's Unix history and expertise made open source UN*X a
logical and viable way forward. The company then made him redundant."
Now the Windows NT API is quite a reasonable basis for many reliable systems.
But the article implies that what's being forced on the engineers at BAe is a bit
more than that, it's Win2k in its entirety.
But maybe I'm being a dinosaur here, I don't see any reason why there should be
any form of OS larger than a POSIX kernel in a Naval Combat System...
I do question when this trend will end though. Visual Basic the language of the future?