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In reply to nunfetishist: Well I do actually have to use windows for my job, have for some time now, and have to say I'm not impressed by its stability, speed, intuitiveness, or general capacities. What I'm criticising here is not any particular architechture here, but the implementation of windows itself. Basically it is a polished turd. RISC OS certainly has room for improvement, I don't think anyone disagrees with that.

I think you are right about the theory of the two different styles of multi-tasking. But in practice windows seems to occasionally have very long latency. This isn't an isolated problem, I've experienced several PCs over the years which are quite happy to stop for a minute or more. This is an absolute disaster in usability terms, because there is no indication of what is going on. In synergistic combination with the occasional decision to ignore button-clicks, this really hammers productivity. RISC OS is much better in this regard, in that usually you will at least get an hour-glass if there is a processing delay. I suppose the lesson here is that you also need very good feedback to the user of what is happening, which Windows doesn't manage. I guess the apparent usability difference us weenies see is down to the different design philosophies. Acorn had a very strong desire to make a usable system using minimum resources, while Microsoft wanted to pack in as much functionality as possible, and didn't really worry about usability.

I wonder, does Windows give apps the option of how much of a timeslice to request, or how often it needs to be called? Could an app say, for example, "I only need to be called a minimum of once every minute, but I'd like a full slice", or "I need to be called as often as possible, but I don't need much time". I know that UNIX can 'nice' tasks, but that isn't quite enough. Ideally this could be changed by the program during execution. I'm thinking that maybe there is a middle way with elements of both cooperative and preemptive multitasking. Suppose programs could indicate the minimum useful time before the next call, as it surrendered the remainder of a slice. This would reduce the amount of needless swapping that would otherwise go on. This is of course in addition to events for button-clicks and so on.

 is a RISC OS UserLoris on 24/05/05 2:11PM
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