Richard Bucker

Nightmare Systems

Posted at — Jan 6, 2022

Complexity is nightmare. With over 35 years of experience writing in many different languages everything from firmare/BIOS, device drivers, operating systems, traditional client/server application, batch, mobile and desktop applications, and so on … traditionally the hardest part was the 3Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle). You might think it’s about PAPER or PLASTIC but it’s much more than that.

Consider a simple assembler add in struction. ADD AX, 0200 In 1983 this instruction would take just a few clock cycles to execute. ADD [SI], 0200 might take a few more. But in modern hardware the time is a fraction of 1983. However, since 1983 “we” have been piling layer after layer of code. Sometimes that code offered features and advantages and other times it was just layers of cruft. (let me add some code to test this and that value before actualy doing the work) Yikes, just look at the auto-tools.

Next failure to reuse means that [a] code is less reliable and all that functionality needs to be tested AGAIN so many more opportunities for failure; and [b] then there is the need to do the work a second time; and [c] then there is heat you generate doing the same.

The plan is to thin the stack from the hardware to the application. Of course that might mean running the app bare metal see DOS, Xen, LLVM, and a few others. But it’s also about being full stack from the hardware to the application and in this fashion it means hosting a managable amount of system knowledge; changing the attack surface area; fixing the cost/reward ratio.

REFS (actual links omitted on purpose)

openbsd

linux frm scratch

buildroot

chroot and jail - who needs docker

PS: you might thing that this website is unprofessional. I’ll counter in that it is responsible; another R. After spending 2 days evaluating tools and themes I realized that there are limitations and if I wanted to spend all my time on the website instead of customer then I had to make some choices. Also the same reason I do not worry about spelling and punctuation. Notice just above there is section REFS. I did not actually provide the links so that [1] the reader did not think of me as the authority [2] as a rule, as with your email, be warey when clicking links [3] you might learning something different from the adjacent search results [4] and the most important is that I will not frustrate you if/whn the links die and I will never have to fix this post… therefore writeonce filesystems may come back. (see G00V00)