Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
Creator of MINIX, flame-war legend and well known supporter of microkernels -- these are some of the monikers of Dr Andrew S Tanenbaum; he probably wrote a textbook or two that is in your library as well.
Builder AU's Nick Gibson caught up with Dr Tanenbaum after his keynote address at linux.conf.au and spoke about microkernels, MINIX and what's coming up on the horizon.
Builder AU: Why do you think microkernels are better than monolithic kernels?
Dr Tanenbaum: If you look at systems where it really matters if it works -- like avionics systems, jet fighters, ventilators in hospitals -- things where a failure means somebody dies, most of them are microkernels.
[For] the guys who really care, guys who make jet fighters and so on, it's really got to work. Because if something goes wrong, rebooting the jet fighter while it is falling out of the sky is not a good thing.
There is a tremendous amount of military, industrial and hospital systems that are based on microkernels because those guys have discovered that they are more reliable.
Microkernels are widely used in the embedded world for high end, high reliability things where there is a real big downside to failure.