On-Line Survey 2008
Many thanks to all students for taking the time to answer the course
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).
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
04 Nov 2009.