Amiga seeks to pacify community over Linux

QNX plays it calm

QNX Software Systems has pledged it does not want to get into a fight with Amiga following the latter's decision to drop support for QNX's eponymous operating system in favour of Linux. Meanwhile, Amiga has been moving fast to pacify its supporters over that decision. Last Friday, QNX CTO Dan Dodge posted details of the company's upcoming beta programme for its QNX real-time OS. The open letter to the Amiga community appeared mere hours before Amiga president Jim Collas announced his company would use Linux as the core of the upcoming next-generation Amiga Operating Environment (AOE). The timing of Dodge's letter appeared more than coincidence -- in it he pledged ongoing support for the Amiga, and called for Amiga developers to try out QNX and advocate its use. In short, what sounded like a plea for help. In a second open letter, Dodge stressed the "significant" resources QNX had placed behind the project following Amiga's initial decision to go with the OS. "We had a team of people in place working on our part of the Amiga NG soon after the alliance was announced. Over the next few months we involved more and more of our engineering resources towards making QNX an advanced multi-media platform. Our investment so far has been significant. These are costs we have born ourselves," he said. Dodge added that "I don't want to split the community, nor do I wish to engage in a war of words". However, that may well be the result of Amiga's decision. Amiga users who have contacted The Register about the move have had problems with it. "In many parts of the Amiga community, we think that QNX Software are very much influenced by the classic Amiga OS," wrote one. "It's very clear they [Collas and Co.] know nothing about where the Amiga came from or its values as the real community and long-time developers know it." That said, Collas himself has been in a conciliatory mood of late. "People don't have a good understanding of our plans for the next generation Amiga. This is my fault and we are working to rectify this with the upcoming technology brief. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE do not to judge the Linux decision until you have a chance to read the technology brief," he wrote in an open letter of his own. "You will more clearly understand this once we have released the technical brief in the next few days. Whether we use QNX or Linux, the new Amiga will be exciting, elegant, easy to use, incredibly efficient and yes, truly revolutionary!" Collas even claimed he was not an early supporter of Linux: "I was adamantly against Linux when it was first suggested in March. It took several months of intense research to convince me that it was the right decision. "QNX is a good technical solution for the OS components but poses a significant market and industry challenge. Linux is sucking up the mind share and resources of most of the major component manufacturers and technology suppliers. I simply don't believe we can gain enough momentum without tapping into the Linux momentum. Linux will give us continuous access to new technology and components as they are released. With QNX we could get out a new platform but I don't believe we would keep up with the rapid technology changes in the computer industry." All fair points, but will they be enough to satisfy the Amiga community? ®

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