why (Windows NT + VNC) != WinFrame

Federico Bianchi bianchi "at" pc-arte2.arte.unipi.it
Wed, 22 Jul 1998 10:14:48 +0000


Hello. I thought I might give some contribution to the Windows NT vs.
WinFrame debate (to forewarn you all, I don't like Windows NT that much: I
found it a brilliantly architectured, but often awfully engineered O/S)

First, let's denounce the myth "Windows NT is not multiuser".
Windows NT is inherently multiuser, much like UNIX or (more appropriately)  
VMS. Anyone who happened to use U/Win under NT can testify this. The FAT
file system is not multiuser, but NTFS is. The internal objects have an
UID, and the security mechanism is, at least on paper, very good (to
get an example of how badly folks at Micro$oft implemented most of the
security related things, just have a close peek at
http://www.systeminternals.com, read their articles and follow some of the
links). 

The actual problems lie in the Win32 subsystem. After all, if you know for
sure just one istance of it may be running at the same time, many things
get far simpler - that's (I would argue) what they did. It may be the
not-so-forthcoming NT 5.0 will improve this situation once for all, since
it will support multiple monitors (and, henceforth, multiple desktop
instances should be much easier to deal with) and PnP facilites also means
you can (with the help of a device driver?) attach and detach consoles "on
the fly". I cannot speak for NT Terminal Server, and I have seen WinFrame
only for a couple of minutes, but a friend of mine who developed banking
software on it and played with it a lot told me its "inner levels" were
pretty different from the usual NT retail version (he also found it a more
robust platform, BTW).

As of NT 4.0, some things might probably be done, but I am not sure it
would be worth the effort with the newer version on the horizon - while
VNC is a magnificient piece of software (I am using it a lot day-by-day,
so I know what I mean), I think PNG-like compression or authentication
(what about putting the VNC engine itself in a DLL or shared library,
BTW?) would probably be far more useful in perspective, and so would be
new ports.

Best regards to you all (and thanks to the ORL folks for their product)

				Federico Bianchi
				f.bianchi "at" arte.unipi.it


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