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    Give the Lobsters the highlights. Why choose MorphOS on objective (to us) and subjective (to you) levels?

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      MorphOS is an AmigaOS-compatible system, and runs on PowerPC hardware.

      It’s quite an unusual OS, which inherited a design for a 1MB, 7Mhz machine with a floppy drive, and has been stretched to run on modern-ish hardware.

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        So would we want to run it in order to run Amiga apps in a more modern environment suitable for … other stuff?

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          AmigaOS sentiment is a major factor here, yes.

          It’s also very fast. It runs on hardware literally thousand times more powerful than the original.

          From technical perspective it’s a mixed bag. AmigaOS was years ahead in the ‘90s, so in some ways it’s holding up well. But there are gaps, like lack of virtual memory, or even process isolation. OTOH it means it’s very customizable in charmingly hackish ways.

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          I know it’s an Amiga that runs extra stuff. Is that the only goal? Or are there other segments of users and/or selling points outside of it being AmigaOS-compatible?

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        It includes primarily proprietary as well as open - source components.

        What is the reason behind the proprietary components? Why not all opensource?

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          Near as I can tell because the developers see it as a proprietary OS with a few GPL components, notably the desktop, and that’s only GPL because of a bitter disagreement between one of the developers and the company that owned it at the time.

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            The Amiga community was always seemingly hostle to having source available. It’s changed a lot over the years but even today there’s a huge amount of Amiga software that is going to perish when the developers give up on it.

            I think part of it is that the Amiga kept a very active cottage industry of small one- and two-person development teams since it never had really strong major software house support*.

            This lack of major software house support meant tat (a) a large proportion of Amiga developers made (or wanted to make) a living of Amiga software and had relatively easy entry to the market and an enthusiastic captive market and (b) software piracy was rampant.

            * The Amiga had some support from major game developers like EA and LucasArts but only for a few golden years. It never had huge support from the really big companies, with only a few releases if any.

            (This is all just speculation from someone who’s watched the Amiga for 30+ years.)

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              What is the reason behind the proprietary components? Why not all opensource?

              While you can use and test the OS for up to 30 minutes for free before you need to reboot, there is a license cost.

              Even if you do not put a value on your own time, developing a niche operating system is a costly endeavour since you need to buy stock piles of hardware to be able to test drivers. I am afraid Apple and AMD are not sending out free hardware samples so MorphOS can be made to support them.

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                There’s an argument to be made that making it free software makes both the appeal and the ability to support a wide variety of platforms expand far beyond what a small team on a niche hardware platform is able (like Haiku, for example)

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                  There’s an argument to be made that making it free software makes both the appeal and the ability to support a wide variety of platforms expand far beyond what a small team on a niche hardware platform is able (like Haiku, for example)

                  Well, AROS is an example for an open source operating system that was inspired by the Commodore Amiga platform. I do not think I am being unfair in saying that it is not in a better position than MorphOS despite using an open source license.

                  Technically, AROS does support more processor architectures but the alternative ports to ARM and PowerPC are generally less complete, less stable, and have access to a smaller pool of third-party software compared to the Intel-compatible versions.

                  Being focused on a limited amount of hardware devices and processor architectures is not necessarily a downside but can help to more effectively use your resources in order to provide a more polished end user experience. (Think Apple MacOS vs. Microsoft Windows.)

                  In short, just making something open source does not magically make everything better. Even if you are generally an open source proponent, I think it is healthy to be able to acknowledge that.

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                    Being focused on a limited number of devices does make it easier to polish how it runs on that device for sure, but it also ties the software to the intrinsic appeal of the underlying hardware.

                    I don’t think that it’s really possible to gauge what making the source of MorphOS freely available would do to it’s development or focus and whether that’s productive for it’s continued development, but interest and historical documentation would almost certainly benefit. But which of those is “success” is very subjective.

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                      making something open source does not magically make everything better

                      “better” on its own does not mean much. Yeah, it does not inherently make it better in terms of quality, but it does in terms of other things. The freedom to modify the software, the long term preservation aspect, these things are extremely valuable.

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                        The freedom to modify the software, the long term preservation aspect, these things are extremely valuable.

                        Being able to enter and use your neighbour’s car is also technically “valuable” if you get my point. Having potential value does not equal indisputable entitlements.

                        More to the point, MorphOS already runs in qemu so the “preservation aspect” is pretty much covered.

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                Let me tell you some MorphOS background once again for those who might not know a thing about it

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                  And here are some notes regarding inaccuracies in your post.