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Re: Some basic Inferno Questions



- plan9 is an earlier operating system project from bell-labs. The inferno is
not in any special sense 'compatible', although certain plan9 design patters
reappear in inferno. also, you can (as many do) run the inferno 'emu' within
plan9. 

- dis is a virtual machine, which is a program that executes bytecodes
(instructions) written for it. the reason it is called a virtual machine is
that the bytecodes, and the data that they act on, are very close simulations
of the way a real CPU and its memory space behave. therefore they can be
'run' -- that is to say, interpreted -- very quickly on the machine running
the VM without much speed loss. The benefit of using a virtual machine is
that you can toss the object code around between multiple machines and it
will run on all of them. 

- a thread (or lightweight-process) is the definition of a path of execution
within a given process' data & resources. having multiple threads in a given
process enables IO-bound threads to stall and other compute-intensive threads
to carry on in the same address space. It also serves as a handy way of
abstracting symmetric multiprocessing away from the programmer -- threads
just 'migrate' to a free processor. multithreading is a common feature on OSs
these days. limbo just has a nice easy feature for starting threads (spawn())

-graydon <admin@multinet.net>
________________________________________________________________________
Human beings live on a small planet surrounded by space. They are not
quire sure if the space surrounding them is infinite or not. Either way,
it is unthinkable.