AmigaDOS did not fade because of lack of interoperability (in fact, it's still got an enthusiastic and active userbase). AmigaDOS happily works with all manner of networks, even to the point of having AmigaDOS device handlers that allow you to open a shell window and type "cd ftp://somehost.somewhere.com" and have it appear as if part of the local filesystem, or "cd arc:work:myarchive.tar.gz" - depending on what you install in your SYS:Devs/DOSDrivers directory, and provided you've got a tcp stack installed (which itself allows low-level access thorugh a TCP: device handler, as well as the normal bsdsocket.library API).
There are similar handlers for Netware, SMB, and a load of others.
There's several Java virtual machine clones, in varying states of bugginess, that work reasonably well with one of the several web browsers available on the platform.
The entire GNU suite of software, and X window system, is also ported to AmigaDOS. (on www.ninemoons.com).
There are thousands of open-source and closed source amiga applications available on the aminet (www.aminet.org) - Please, please, please take a look if you are looking for ideas/source code to port to Linux - there's plenty of stuff that is both very cool, and still unavailable on Linux, yet open source. MUI (www.sasg.com) is *still* easier to program for than either Qt or Gtk...
As an aside, a new company (www.amiga.com) now owns the Amiga Trademark and Intellectual Property, and has just released an SDK for its new architecture, based on a generalised Virtual Machine concept from www.tao-group.com, like Java, but for any language which can compile to its virtual architecture (currently Java, (GNU) C, (GNU) C++, and straight Tao Assembler). The JIT compilers themselves are ported to the virtual machine, and the system can therefore dynamically adapt to heterogenous multiprocessing environments. While this is a fascinating and possibly wondrous architecture in itself, it has little to do with the original Amiga arch. except the name. www.aros.org is a project to produce an open-source amiga-compatible OS that runs natively on the x86 architecture. It already runs doom and quake :-). There's still new amiga news at www.amiga.org
AmigaDOS did a lot of things right - sometimes better than UNIX, in fact, although it was largely a very similar system.
[digression:except , of course, that it was pretty-much single-session, although was pre-emptive multitasking (i.e. multiple users were possible through a filesystem called MuFS, but only one could be logged in and using the system to run multiple programs at a time), and lacked true memory protection or proper resource-tracking (it used semaphore locking, and called it "cooperative memory protection", but since that required applications to honour the semaphores, that bombed...)
Through it's assign/logical device mechanism, it had a fs/interface abstraction mixed with a UNIX-style LVM (it's difficult to explain this architecture without demonstrating it, but it's what allows the easy addition of filesystems to handle really wierd things - eg. cd'ing to winodws in the window manager and having dierctory listings return the gadgets they contain - like linux /proc/ but generalised to everything in the system, and everything the system can access across any network for which amiga drivers exist. Think proto-plan9 ).
It had an extremely efficient message-passing microkernel-like architecture, and used message-passing by reference, thus interprocess communication of multmegabyte-sized chunks of data with extremely low latency was incredibly easy, a matter of passing a pointer rather than all the data (this had a downside of making memory protection extremely difficult), thus giving incredibly high data throughput for the time, and, combined with the amiga's co-processors, meant that near-broadcast quality (for the time) soft-realtime audio and video work was possibly on a 7 MHz (count 'em!) computer.
It had dynamic shared libraries, all of which were reentrant (i.e. only one copy needed memory at any time, even if in use by multiple programs.) - It was also possible to dynamically patch individual function calls within shared libraries at runtime, allowing every bit of the system to be updated/customised by third parties bit by bit, even if ostensibly closed-source.)
What killed Amiga was incredibly bad management and marketing by the parent company, CBM - The Amiga division NEVER MADE A LOSS, the amiga was an incredible computer, but all the money was drained out of Amiga R&D and promotion into marketing over-hyped, under-specced CBM PCs, by idiot PHBs.
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