Extensibility, Safety, and Performance in the SPIN Operating System

Bershad, Savage, Pardyak, Sirer, Fiuczynski, Becker, Chambers, and Eggers

One-line summary: This paper presents SPIN, an extensible operating system that can be dynamically specialized to meet the needs of individual applications.

Overview/Main Points


Spin seems to offer good performance, extendibility, and fine grain access to resources while maintaining safety. This flexibility is impressive, and clearly a win for applications with specific needs not addressed sufficiently by general operating systems.

These features come with a price, however - the system depends very heavily upon Modula 3, which may impose limitations upon application writers and present hidden dangers.


How exactly is access to objects controlled? Are there access lists that the compiler uses to restrict application rights?

How does the system perform in benchmarks when multiple users are running?

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