Linked by Amjith Ramanujam on Sat 27th Sep 2008 01:16 UTC, submitted by J
OSNews, Generic OSes SqueakNOS is an old idea that has gotten the kiss of life again. Squeak is a Smalltalk system built by Alan Kay and SqueakNOS is an attempt to remove the OS underneath Squeak. You can download a VMWare playable image from their sourceforge website or you can get an iso and more details about SqueakNOS from here.
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I don't get the point of this. From what I've read, SqueekNOS is just a greatly crippled OS that can only run Squeek. Sounds pointless to me (or is this another alternative OS?)

Is this getting rid of the OS or is it just putting in a lousy crippled one in instead?

Reply Score: 6

jbrocklin Member since:

I would agree - it's still an operating system, they just seem to be moving it into their own implementation.

Reply Score: 2

turrini Member since:

Looks like an osmose operating system.

Reply Score: 1

dont know why...
by hobgoblin on Sat 27th Sep 2008 11:59 UTC
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but im getting that pico-kernel vibe from this one...

Reply Score: 2

Finally, but maybe a bad route ...
by MacTO on Sat 27th Sep 2008 13:02 UTC
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It just feels right to have Squeak running as an OS unto itself. After all, it is pretty much a self-contained development and education environment.

But I must really ask, is it wise to start from Scratch (sorry about the pun). Starting from scratch means that any piece of hardware that is supported for SqueakNOS will have to have a driver written for it. Some of that hardware can use fairly generic drivers, but it will never be optimised (which is fairly important for video in the case of Squeak). My past experience with alternative operating systems leads me to believe that some hardware will always be hit-and-miss (e.g. ethernet).

Maybe it would have been best to just set the danged thing on top of the Linux kernel, then writer squeakvm 'drivers' that interact with high level stuff (like the framebuffer). You get free hardware support that way, even for other CPU architectures. Sure you lose the glory of writing your own OS, but once you strip out everything but the Linux kernel, Squeak VM, image file, changes file, and maybe a few plug-ins; noone will recognise the thing as Linux anyhow.

Reply Score: 4

sbergman27 Member since:

It just feels right to have Squeak running as an OS unto itself.

As an Isaac Asimov fan, the first thought that came to my mind was "Solaria". Looks like they're making all the same mistakes.

Reply Score: 2

renox Member since:

It just feels right to have Squeak running as an OS unto itself.

I bet that's the same reason JNode exist.
Each language foo fan seem to want the whole OS written in foo.

If the language has special security features such as capability, this could be useful otherwise these OS are just toys, which is fine.

Reply Score: 3

what Squeak needs...
by StychoKiller on Sun 28th Sep 2008 00:39 UTC
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I wish that the person doing the port of wxSqueak would get it into a form that would compile for Linux. The GUI stuff that squeak has is pretty ugly. Rounded corners are not the be-all and end-all some people seem to think they are. I really like smalltalk and squeak, but creating GUIs that look decent in Squeak is an incomprehensible exercise. It speaks volumes about the state of smalltalk when the website at still has articles on its main page dated from 2006 (yeesh!). Why is it that every really good OO language, such as smalltalk and Objective-C are just creeping along at a snail's pace? Come on folks, C++ is just a hideous mess compared to either smalltalk or Objective-C.

Reply Score: 1

Look No OS!
by voidlogic on Sun 28th Sep 2008 02:20 UTC
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I find these kind of articles to be ridiculous. The only software that can run without an OS are applications which access all their hardware directly; and even so, by attaching to interrupt vectors and the like they are arguably both an OS and an application.

So fundamentally, there is no way to run on conventional hardware without an operating system. Articles with this kind of title are obviously naive and I am stick of seeing them.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am a security specialist and systems software programmer with a computer science degree.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Look No OS!
by Dawgmatix on Sun 28th Sep 2008 19:22 UTC in reply to "Look No OS!"
Dawgmatix Member since:

Why the hate ? Would you have liked the article if it said "SqueakNOS - Running Squeak on bare metal" ?

Well its 2008 and all of know what an operating system looks like. But thats also a issue - because we are held back from preconceived notions (like everything is a file). So someone is working on a clean room implementation - maybe it will yield some interesting and innovative ideas.
If you went back to 1990 and heard someone was implementing a UNIX like OS from scratch that didnt build incrementally on System 5 or SCO - you might have said the same thing - no drivers ....
But sometimes good things do come out of impractical ideas.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Look No OS!
by voidlogic on Mon 29th Sep 2008 01:49 UTC in reply to "RE: Look No OS!"
voidlogic Member since:

I believe you are reading some things into what I said. I am in no way against experimental implementations or innovation. I don't care if you want to try to use an "everything is a function,file,object,kitchensink" paradigm.

All I said was I think all this talk of "getting rid of the OS" is silly. In this case, the OS really just being reimplemented in a way that is tighter with the language's run time.

My reaction is due to all these people saying things like "OMG the internet is killing the OS". Last time I checked you need an OS to run your web server or web browser on. An even in you integrated OS functionality into your web browser (which I am not endorsing!), your web browser would then become both a browser and an OS.

On a side note, I think this project fails to realize that the best part of a traditional OS is supporting multiple languages. Single language operating systems don't tend to last the test of time.

All this said, I wish them only the best, their results will be interesting.

Reply Score: 2

Will the CPU be next?
by Meridian on Sun 28th Sep 2008 12:01 UTC
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The next logical(?) step such projects take is to create their own CPU architecture like Java and Lisp before them. e.g.


However, I don't think anyone has taken the final step and reimplemented the underlying physics.

Reply Score: 1

Loved it
by kafanta on Mon 29th Sep 2008 09:09 UTC
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Downloaded, tried it out. I can only say, its quite funny, i like it.

Reply Score: 1

This is just a return to tradition.
by madcrow on Wed 1st Oct 2008 12:37 UTC
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Squeak is Smalltalk. Smalltalk originally ran as, essentially, its own OS, on the Xerox Alto, the first GUI computer.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Novan_Leon
by Novan_Leon on Thu 2nd Oct 2008 16:46 UTC
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Phase 1: Make it boot
Phase 2: Make it breath
Phase 3: Give it awareness
Phase 4: Help it grow
Phase 5: Let it be
Phase 6: Squeak breaches the AI singularity
Phase 7: Squeak begins world domination

Skynet has nothing on Squeak.

Reply Score: 1