The IRIX Network, the primary community for SGI and IRIX enthousiasts, has announced a fundraising effort to reverse-engineer the last 32 bit version of the IRIX kernel.
IRIX-32, so named for its basis on kernel and APIs of the last 32-bit compatible IRIX (5.3) is a proposed reverse engineering project to be conducted by a team of developers in the US and the EU.
Purpose: We will reverse engineer the version 5.3 kernel with future goal of producing a fully open source reference implementation. This is the first major step and the delivery will be documentation and reference material to enable effective emulation and driver development for IRIX.
This is huge. If they can do this, they will save the operating system from an inevitable demise. I’m of course 100% behind this, and the total costs of 8500 dollars – 6500 from the fundraiser, 1000 as a donation from the IRIX Network itself, and 1000 from a few companies still using IRIX – is definitely realistic in the sense that they should be able to meet their goal. It’s not a lot of money, and it’s not meant as fair compensation for the work delivered – the teams of developers involved know this and aren’t asking for such either.
The thread so far is a great read. They haven’t selected a fundraising platform yet, but I am definitely throwing money their way once they do.