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 Post subject: Universal Computing?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2004 7:13 am 
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Slashdot has a link to an interesting Wired article about software that claims to be able to run software on any architecture ... regardless of the binary source.

Wired wrote:
The company claimed QuickTransit eliminates the need to port software from one platform to another. Software applications written for one platform will run on almost any other, without any modifications to the underlying program.


I'm dubious, but hopeful, that their software does what they claim without a substantial performance hit. However, I'll be first in line to test it out. :) Anyone have any experience with a beta of this software, or with other software produced by the same company? Is this vapourware, or the real deal?


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 Post subject: Re: Universal Computing?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2004 7:52 am 
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Jipstyle wrote:
Slashdot has a link to an interesting Wired article about software that claims to be able to run software on any architecture ... regardless of the binary source.

Wired wrote:
The company claimed QuickTransit eliminates the need to port software from one platform to another. Software applications written for one platform will run on almost any other, without any modifications to the underlying program.


I'm dubious, but hopeful, that their software does what they claim without a substantial performance hit. However, I'll be first in line to test it out. :) Anyone have any experience with a beta of this software, or with other software produced by the same company? Is this vapourware, or the real deal?



Now, they need to release a free, Open Source version for Linux. That way, I can use Photoshop and Premiere Pro on Linux :P


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 Post subject: Re: Universal Computing?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2004 11:31 am 
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Jipstyle wrote:
Anyone have any experience with a beta of this software, or with other software produced by the same company? Is this vapourware, or the real deal?


Well, they're not too far from where I work. I shot them an email asking for a demo version of their software. Hopefully they have something I could test, or at the very least invite our I.T. dept. over to see a demonstration.

I'll let you know what they say.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2004 12:21 pm 
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Ok, I got a reply:

Quote:
Hello,

Thank you for your interest in Transitive and our QuickTransit product line.

Initially Transitive is focused on selling its products to computer companies for deployment as a standard part of their platforms. QuickTransit products will become available to end-users via products released by these computer companies. We expect the first announcement in Q4 this year and more announcements throughout 2005.



We do not currently sell our products to end-users directly. As a result, we do not presently need any beta-testers or have any end-user pricing information.

Our press release contains all available public information about our announced QuickTransit product family (http://www.transitive.com/news_quicktransit.htm) and our website has also more info on the underlying technology (http://www.transitive.com/technology.htm).

We will update the news section on our website when we have new public
information, so please check back to stay updated, I promise it will be
interesting.


Frank Weigel

Field Solution Lead Engineer


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 Post subject: Re: Universal Computing?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2004 2:45 am 
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Jipstyle wrote:
Slashdot has a link to an interesting Wired article about software that claims to be able to run software on any architecture ... regardless of the binary source.

Wired wrote:
The company claimed QuickTransit eliminates the need to port software from one platform to another. Software applications written for one platform will run on almost any other, without any modifications to the underlying program.


I'm dubious, but hopeful, that their software does what they claim without a substantial performance hit. However, I'll be first in line to test it out. :) Anyone have any experience with a beta of this software, or with other software produced by the same company? Is this vapourware, or the real deal?


LOL... You're dubious? I am a bit skeptical about their claims. :D

I caught that article the other day as well. On the one hand, it isn't really that big of a deal. Solaris 10 does this w/ Linux. Other platforms have done this in the past. The Unix - Linux emulation doesn't seem like it would be all that hard if both platforms are POSIX compliant, but an Amiga to Windows port might be a stretch.

How do you guys think they are doing it? Here is my guess at it.... they use a VM that read the non-native binary code and 'translates' it to native code. Sort of Java at the assembly language level, which begs the question, is it faster than either Java or .NET applications? They lose a lot of compilation/optimaztion benefits by working at such a low level.


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 Post subject: Re: Universal Computing?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2004 8:13 am 
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Gadget wrote:
How do you guys think they are doing it? Here is my guess at it.... they use a VM that read the non-native binary code and 'translates' it to native code. Sort of Java at the assembly language level, which begs the question, is it faster than either Java or .NET applications? They lose a lot of compilation/optimaztion benefits by working at such a low level.


I think you hit the nail on the head, there. They mentioned something about dealing with chunks of code, rather than translating a line at a time .. and inferred that this was their big breakthrough.

I really hope that that is just smoke and mirrors, and that they are holding their 'real' advance back until they launch their product ... because I don't see that kind of 'optimisation' allowing me to run FarCry on a Linux box.

I also find it interesting that they used a game (Quake3, iirc) that has a linux port to demonstrate their product. Everyone has played Q3 on linux, and played it well. If they had done the same thing with UT2004, or Farcry, I would be impressed ... the use of a game already ported to that platform raises some questions.


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 Post subject: Re: Universal Computing?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2004 9:39 am 
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Jipstyle wrote:
I also find it interesting that they used a game (Quake3, iirc) that has a linux port to demonstrate their product. Everyone has played Q3 on linux, and played it well. If they had done the same thing with UT2004, or Farcry, I would be impressed ... the use of a game already ported to that platform raises some questions.


Well, I would like to see the 'emulated' version of Q3 with their software running side by side with the 'native' linux version of Q3 and see how much of a performance hit their software causes.

But yeah, newer games would definitely be nice.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2004 10:56 am 
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Rereading the pages that TWBalls linked has me still a little confused. They talk a lot about QuickTransit, which afai can tell is just a VM, but they also talk about intercepting OS system calls, which sounds like a different thing entirely. Why would they need to intercept OS calls if they decode the non-native binary code, sematically analyze it and create intermdiate code, then compile the intermediate code to machine code on the fly? Sounds fishy.

You'll also notice that they place a strong emphasis on Linux/Unix code portability. That part leads me to believe this is kind of the same thing that Sun did with Solaris. With Solaris an interface was created (think Design Patterns interface, not public/private for a single class) so that non-native calls are directed to the corresponding native calls. However, they don't mention this, which is a much simpler and cleaner solution.

Vaporware, until I see something.... hell, even a software patent would help clear things up.

/me... running and ducking... :)


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