[CSE]  Advanced Operating Systems 
COMP9242 2013/S2 
UNSW
CRICOS Provider
Number: 00098G

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On-Line Survey 2008

Gernot's Comments

Many thanks to all students for taking the time to answer the course survey.

The results mostly speak for themselves. The course seems to be in good shape, overall satsifaction was better than the previous year and possibly the highest ever (but given the small size of the class, the statisitical significance of this result is low, so should not be overrated).

Specific observations:

  • The biggest gripe was the quality of the documentation. Which is interesting, as the previous year that was also the biggest gripe, but then we were using a research platform, while this year we used the commercially-supported and OKL4 platform. I guess part of the problem is that we're programming directly to the kernel API, which isn't the recommended way of using OKL4, and thus not so well supported by docs. (But making more use of the library API would have hidden some of the stuff I wanted you folks to learn).
    We'll keep improving docs, but we also provide a lot of support in face-to-face consults and on-line forum...
  • Many thought there was too much emphasis on microkernels, and not enough on other systems (like Linux). That's a fair comment, but then again, this whole course is a brain-washing exercise ;-) Anyway, it may be time to scale back some of the microkernel religion, even though (or because?) they are actually winning now...
  • 12UoC was mentioned once or twice... This won't happen, sorry. People know what they are getting in for ;-)
  • People don't like the Fri lectures. But the only alternative I had was Wed 11-2. I was assuming that you guys would want to eat lunch at some time. And the Fri slot does have the advantage that we can all have a well-deserved beer afterwards ;-)
  • More direct discussions of research papers: This is a challenge more than ever with the 12-week session. I'd have to drop some material I consider core. Not sure what to do here.
  • The real-time part wasn't that popular. Hmm... You don't really get it anywhere else. I suspect it was more an issue of presentation. Will think about that one.
  • The tread and caching lectures were too late: fair call. Will move it earlier. However, there are some constraints that vary from year to year, mostly to do with lecturer availability. We believe that in this course any material should be taught by whoever is the best expert. But we'll try to schedule better.

All up, that was a lot of useful feedback. Thanks to all those who submitted!

Gernot


Last modified: 04 Nov 2009.