Explaining the Symbiosis between QNX RtP and Linux
The Linux community and its open source approach has huge potential and helps us greatly to realize our goal
to make the QNX Realtime Platform a superior general purpose desktop and developer operating system. QNX RtP
is fully compliant with the latest POSIX standards. This, together with a X11 compatibility layer for the
Photon MicroGUI, means most Linux/Unix applications only need simple recompiles and modifications to be
ported to this new platform. So whatever Linux/Unix gains the OS will gain as well! Currently QNXStart.com already has a nice software library and Tucows is busy
building one. The freely available award winning Voyager browser is excellent and plug-ins like Flash 4 and
RealPlayer 7 are already available. Also Amiga`s Digital Environment is being developed to support the QNX
RtP and will not only provide us with a common binary identical application layer for Linux but most other
operating systems as well. The Tao Group (Amiga`s OS partner)
already provided QSSL with a wonderfully
small and efficient Java VM implementation for its predecessor QNX4. In addition QSSL and IBM are working together on a real-time technology for Java
applications under the QNX Realtime Platform.
Giving source code away freely for everyone to use does not make sense for everybody. Especially commercial companies would not be motivated to spend years on OS development and make the fruits of their work freely available for rival companies. With QSSL being the owner of this OS and offering all the relevant source code to developers, developers can invest their resources while still being protected from competitors. So QSSL offers prime advantages of both the open-source and commercial worlds! !
One month ago the pre-release developer version of the QNX Realtime Platform was freely released for public download freely for non-commercial use. Since its launch more than 400,000 downloads at http://get.qnx.com followed, while bringing even Tucow's servers to their knees. Additionally, QSSL has set up a developer's support network with weekly articles by QNX experts giving their insights on programming under the QNX Realtime Platform. There are very ambitious projects for this new OS and many exciting new developments will be announced when the time is right.
But what makes QNX RtP so special, you may ask?
QNX RtP is an excellent realtime operating system, which means that all programs are smoothly given CPU time (according to the priority they are given in the Scheduler). This gives developers or users the option to set high priorities for certain tasks, so that for instance a multimedia player will be quaranteed to respond and function optimally in any given situation. The stability and realtime abilities of QSSL`s OSs resulted in them being used heavily in fault intolerant and response critical systems, for instance nuclear reactors, medical equipment, space craft, traffic control systems , etc.
Within the embedded market, a small memory footprint and optimal efficiency are very important issues. QNX RtP is based on the modern and optimised QNX Neutrino microkernel. OS modules such as file systems, TCP/IP and even drivers run as normal memory protected user processes, allowing them to be plugged in and removed at any time without a reboot. This allows QNX RtP to be scaled down or up very easily for use in compact Internet Appliances as well as in full blown multi-processor servers (3Com`s Audrey IA has just been released and uses the QNX RtP at its core.). It also eliminates the need for special kernel APIs and debuggers, greatly simplifying driver development and debugging.
Although I could continue for hours telling you endlessly about other benefits I will end this by highlighting one other great feature which impressed most developers involved instantly, when we started our relationship with QSSL a couple of years ago. It truly offers superior flexible and transparent networking abilities. As an example of its flexibility; you could have a game running on one computer in a network, while it is being controlled by a joystick on another computer within the network, and its graphical output being displayed on a monitor of another machine again! One demonstration was of Doom running on two connected machines to begin with; it was running on one machine, then the window it was running in was dragged onto the display of the second machine, then it was partially dragged back, so the game was running synchronic and seamlessly with half a window on each screen!
Something wonderful is coming. Do you want to join the exciting battle to change computing and topple the choking monopolies within the industry? :)
Sincerely, Mike Bouma.
Phoenix Developer Consortium http://www.phinixi.com