|WikiProject Computing / Amiga||(Rated Start-class)|
Neutrality of the WarpOS article
I put the request for checking the neutrality of the WarpOS article on Wikipedia. I am the original author of WarpOS, referenced multiple times in this article. I make the claim, that significant parts of the article, but mostly the 'Controversy' section are biased and unbalanced, additionally containing false statements and offensive material.
The 'Controversy' section, contrary what its title states, is not a discussion about the controversy around WarpOS, but merely a collection of claims and accusations in the style typically made by WarpOS opponents in the past, without declaring itself as such. A true discussion about a controversial theme should be written in a factual, objective and neutral sense, highlighting arguments, claims and replies of both parties, without taking bias towards any of these parties.
In the following I present some text parts which I am criticizing. I am referring to the people contributing to these texts as 'editor' and using the male gender for simplicity.
"...developed a competing kernel to PowerUP called WarpUP, which they claimed would work around the context switching problem, a claim which would be bitterly challenged by Phase5. Phase5 claimed correctly that this hardware problem could not be circumvented by simply optimising the kernel..."
'... claimed correctly...' is a first example of a phrase creating bias, trying to pull the reader to one side.
This text hides important information, which only gives false impressions to the reader. We are talking about two different kinds of context switching problems here: the one is the problem imposed on by hardware/design limitations (which indeed can not be optimized away) and the other one is the problem created by buggy software. It is a true fact, that the original predecessors of the PowerUp software (which were only accessible to developers) had a bug, which increased the context switching delay by a few orders of magnitude, effectively rendering it impossible to write efficient PowerPC software, unless these issued a minimal amount of system calls. It took Phase5 almost a year to fix this bug. The predecessor of WarpOS (the early versions of the 'powerpc.library') were written to solve this second kind of context switching problem and not to solve those of the first kind.
"...WarpOS was launched as a controversial alternative to Phase5's PowerUP kernel..."
Another example of a biased statement. This text wants to imply that the original purpose of writing WarpOS was only to create controversy. Fact is, that the predecessor of WarpOS was written out of a necessity, since no viable control software was provided with the developer hardware. WarpOS itself then emerged simply out of a continuous development based on the early versions of the 'powerpc.library'.
"...WarpOS versions up to V7 were wrappers added around Phase5's PowerUP kernel but starting from version 8 it was its own PPC kernel running alongside AmigaOS and was renamed WarpOS."
False. V1-V6 were not wrappers around PowerUp, but also gained direct and complete control over the hardware by using a hack. V7 was a wrapper around PowerUp, because gaining complete access to the hardware has been disallowed by newer versions of the flash ROM, thus V7 was an emergency project to make the existing software working again.
"As H&P did not have access to the EPROM, the tool had to make assumptions about the PowerUP kernel and naturally this broke in updated versions. This led to open accusations by WarpOS advocates and by the author, Sam Jordan, that Phase5 were intentionally trying to prevent WarpOS running on their boards".
The editor does again not have access to all the information, which is necessary to provide a balanced view of this issue. It is true, that such accusations have been made, but it is equally true, that Phase5 developers have placed hidden messages into their flash ROM, which were clearly targeted against H&P and which equally clearly showed the intention of these developers to block WarpOS. Thus a balanced view either presents both points of view or neither point of view.
By explicitly mentioning the WarpOS author (me), the editor also creates the illusion that I have been a major driving force behind these accusations. Fact is, that I have mainly tried to stay outside of all these conflicts, and that the 'kernel war' was mainly heated by users in the newsgroups and by the companies at the top level. This is why I consider the mentioning of my name in this context, without also mentioning my conservative role in the subsequent development of the controversy, as a personal offense.
"Worse still, users were originally..."
Phrases like 'worse still' are judgements, which seem to imply that everyone agrees with the editors opinion. In this case it is likely the case, but the uninformed reader does not have direct information about these events, therefore judgements should be avoided or explained sufficiently.
"Hyperion's Steffen Hauesser (who had gained notoriety by declaring, "ELF is a monster !!!", referring to the ELF fileformat) was particularly infamous for his "political" ports being so rushed that they lacked sound or were very unstable, being released just to make up the numbers and produce a list of software greater than that of PowerUP."
Very unprofessional and also childish looking text, which has nothing lost on Wikipedia. This text part effectively reveals the editor as being part of the PowerUp party, since the person S. H. was a primary hate-figure in that camp. This should remove all doubts that the contributions by the editor are based on a strongly biased perspective.
I end here with my examples, which are not exhaustive. In my opinion the reader deserves an objective and balanced view of these developments in the past, which had significant impact at least for some period of time. This is the reason why I will not add or edit any part of the Wikipedia article, since I am equally biased. Thus I am calling for someone willing to take up the part to rewrite the article from a neutral and objective perspective. As a primary source of information I still have a lot of memories and I am willing to help. Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are willing to take up the job.
- I find this article is well balanced and neutral. I am now questioning its notability. This kernel was included only in AmigaOS 3.9 release and removed from the AmigaOS 4.0 release which arrived next. It also seems there was not much coverage for this kernel in terms of software or media coverage. I find developer talk and company press releases but nothing major. Xorxos (talk) 22:03, 23 May 2010 (UTC)
- Correcting myself: there was free WarpOS release for AmigaOS 3.0, 3.1 and 3.5 users with phase5 PPC accelerator board. Xorxos (talk) 22:08, 23 May 2010 (UTC)
- From "Controversy" section "The farce generated produced a great number of hurriedly ported..." maybe should get deleted. WarpUp games were often unstable but I dont find it important on this subject. We also lack proper sources for this part. This anti-ELF/GCC was part of PPC wars in late 90s so we could write something about it. There are more than enough good sources.Xorxos (talk) 09:30, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
Verifiable references for post-Commodore Amiga subjects
As usual, it is almost pointless to go searching for trustworthy references on anything later-Amiga related: they either don't exist, are incredibly obscure as to be worthless (e.g. magazines with circulation of less than a hundred), or are links to forum comments with all sorts of shocking bias. I for one think any of this is unsuitable for annotating any wikipedia entry - simply removing unverifiable information is preferable, although this does practically wipe Amiga history off the records.
I do agree with Sam that there were several instances of weasel-words or prejudice, but compared to the pro-Hyperion bias that was here before I edited it (and put in real information!) that was mild. Perhaps I pushed the pendulum too far the other way, but most of the information therein is accurate to my knowledge. At least outwith politics, that is.
As for Steffen Haeuser, although indeed wiki probably is not the place for criticism of him, I think he rather got off mild in this instance ;-) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 184.108.40.206 (talk) 22:55, 24 May 2010 (UTC)