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CS2013-Strawman-OS-Operating Systems (DEPRECATED)

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CS2013-Strawman-OS-Operating Systems (DEPRECATED)

The CS2013 Strawman Report comment period is now closed. Please see the CS2013 Ironman report for the latest CS2013 draft to comment on. Forum to comment on "OS-Operating Systems" Knowledge Area in the CS2013 Strawman report. We ask that comments related to specific text in the report please specify the page number and line number(s) of the text being commented on. Line numbers are provided on the far left-hand side of the each page.

Tom Anderson
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Color me a traditionalist, but I think the central aspect of an OS is the isolation of untrusted or buggy application code from the rest of the system. The OS is not “just” a layer – it provides an essential piece of reliable and trustworthy computing.

My school does not require 15 hours on OS topics. It requires zero.

Each of the “required” OS topics – concurrency, scheduling, memory management, protection – has a huge amount of depth that can be covered as an elective. The document implies there should be zero non-core depth in those areas.

Perhaps the best way to cover what should be covered here is to give you some examples of what students should be able to do after a course in OS. Maybe these are there, but I couldn’t tell if a student who followed this curriculum would be able to do these things:

1) build a shell
2) implement a protected procedure call that cannot be subverted by a malicious user/application
3) implement a thread context switch
4) implement a correct concurrent file buffer cache
5) translate an virtual address to a physical address; translate a virtual address inside a virtual machine to a physical address
6) explain the need for, and the steps to achieve, TLB coherence
7) implement a persistent data structure (one that survives an application crash)
8) explain the steps involved from when a web request packet interrupt is received by the hardware, through interrupt vectors and kernel crossings and disk seeks, to when the reply is sent.

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