Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 25th Jun 2009 21:59 UTC, submitted by JayDee
SkyOS Not too long ago, Robert Szeleney put the development of SkyOS on a temporary hold. The challenges in keeping up with the ever-changing world of hardware support were simply too big to continue SkyOS then-current development model. As a result, Szeleney recently came up with the idea of using a Linux or NetBSD kernel as the base for SkyOS. Well, we've got a progress report on that one, and in true Szeleney fashion, a lot of work has already been done.
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GPL Anyone?
by JayDee on Thu 25th Jun 2009 22:16 UTC
JayDee
Member since:
2009-06-02

I have a question for anyone familiar with the GPL: Will using the Linux Kernel force Robert to publish his source code? Just being curious.

Reply Score: 3

RE: GPL Anyone?
by ideasman42 on Thu 25th Jun 2009 22:32 UTC in reply to "GPL Anyone?"
ideasman42 Member since:
2007-07-20

No it wont force him to publish the code, just like nvidia dont publish their driver code and SciTech dont publish the code for their XServer.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: GPL Anyone?
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Fri 26th Jun 2009 05:08 UTC in reply to "RE: GPL Anyone?"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Eh, Depends on how he's doing it. Binary kernel modules for the kernel ( which is what Nvidia does) are somewhat controversial. I can't explain it better than linus : http://kerneltrap.org/node/1735

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: GPL Anyone?
by kaiwai on Fri 26th Jun 2009 13:40 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: GPL Anyone?"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Eh, Depends on how he's doing it. Binary kernel modules for the kernel ( which is what Nvidia does) are somewhat controversial. I can't explain it better than linus : http://kerneltrap.org/node/1735


Yeah, in theory Nvidia should open up their code but in practice Linus has said he is willing to look the other way - he isn't particularly religious about these sorts of things. I can understand that he wants to be pragmatic about it but at the same time it creates a pretty bad precedent when one is willing to ignore some technical violations whilst complaining about others (although Linus not directly doing the complaining (as with the case of Tivo)).

It brings me back to what I said around 5 years ago that Linux needs to be re-licensed under LGPL so that there is definite clarity in the licence regarding binary modules rather than the merky "I'll let it slide" position taken today.

Edited 2009-06-26 13:42 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Comment by ideasman42
by ideasman42 on Thu 25th Jun 2009 22:37 UTC
ideasman42
Member since:
2007-07-20

good job!. Im surprised this hasn't happened sooner, there are a few windowing replacements for linux but none are that usable.
DirectFB maybe but my impression is it doesnt give a framework for GUI apps like OSX or SkyOS does/will.
http://www.cosmoe.com seems dead or merged into haiku?

- Anyway, glad to see this progression.

Reply Score: 1

very nice
by poundsmack on Thu 25th Jun 2009 22:50 UTC
poundsmack
Member since:
2005-07-13

Congrats Robert, glad to see you back up to bat. Looking forward to hearing more as you go along.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by kurenai
by kurenai on Thu 25th Jun 2009 23:31 UTC
kurenai
Member since:
2006-01-24

"Will using the Linux Kernel force Robert to publish his source code? Just being curious."

Yes, if he's actually changing the kernel. No, not if he's just writing various daemons to provide app compat.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Comment by kurenai
by sj87 on Fri 26th Jun 2009 06:33 UTC in reply to "Comment by kurenai"
sj87 Member since:
2007-12-16

"Will using the Linux Kernel force Robert to publish his source code? Just being curious."

Yes, if he's actually changing the kernel. No, not if he's just writing various daemons to provide app compat.

Changing the kernel code has no effect on if the proprietary SkyOS code needs to be GPL'd too. It's only the changes in the kernel he needs to release, whilst the rest can remain closed.

Reply Score: 2

Apology
by Ruahine on Fri 26th Jun 2009 00:18 UTC
Ruahine
Member since:
2005-07-07

Good on you Thom for having the guts to apologise like that. I agree you may have had a point, but were quite aggressive about it.
I personally would have been quite interested to have seen work done on the NetBSD option (NetBSD is the OS I use the most after OSX), but this is just as promising.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Apology
by kaiwai on Fri 26th Jun 2009 13:49 UTC in reply to "Apology"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Good on you Thom for having the guts to apologise like that. I agree you may have had a point, but were quite aggressive about it.

I personally would have been quite interested to have seen work done on the NetBSD option (NetBSD is the OS I use the most after OSX), but this is just as promising.


OpenBSD would have been an interesting option if there was little interest in scalability given how much hardware OpenBSD supports. Hardcore security matched with a sexy easy to use UI would have been a great lynch pin for future sales.

Reply Score: 2

v Greed is what makes this world so bad
by marcp on Fri 26th Jun 2009 01:20 UTC
looncraz Member since:
2005-07-24

He has a life, a family, a job.

He had a new addition to his family, development stalled.

Programmers often suffer from "writer's block" as well. Or simply the lack of inspiration / drive. I've suffered this often as my own life was being formed.

I'm now lucky to code once a month for a day. I have to work to pay bills, I need to relax sometimes, and then I have to attend to family matters.

The only upshot is the amount of time put into planning my coding projects. I often plan a month or so for each little thing I code, which has greatly improved quality ( I wrote a basic FTP client first try without mistakes or intermediate compiles - Build 1 was lifted to version 1.0.0 :-) ).

Of course, that single little app, for all intents and purposes, took me a month to write.

--The loon

Reply Score: 4

Lumbergh Member since:
2005-06-29

Why are you calling him greedy?

Reply Score: 2

v_bobok Member since:
2008-08-01

What Window manager? Looks like SkyOS/Linux will use its own graphic engine. Or not?

Reply Score: 1

marcp Member since:
2007-11-23

What I actually said is that he *seems* to be little greedy. From what I know he is trying to sold out his OS for some amount of money, although it is based on OSS efforts. I know BSD license is far more liberal for sure, but he decided to use GPL, which isn't that liberal when it comes to keeping your own code closed and letting you simply sold your work [and that seems to be the case here, as an author wants to sold his OS in a closed-source model and earn some money for living].
Another thing is that SkyOS doesn't seem to be any innovational. Sure it has a nice GUI and all, but that doesn't make secure/desktop/server OS. It just has to be functional and secure [and putting your GUI on top of the linux kernel doesn't make a wise choice I guess. NetBSD kernel would be far more secure, fast; and it has linux_compat mode too].

Reply Score: 1

Nice to see SkyOS to progress forward
by v_bobok on Fri 26th Jun 2009 03:44 UTC
v_bobok
Member since:
2008-08-01

To [Be] honest, this thing seems to be quite interesting. I still like the idea of kernel extensions with no recompilation and stuff (just like the Darwin/OSX) but that is good to see. At least the SkyOS project didn't just silently died.

Reply Score: 1

Desktop environment?
by Dirge on Fri 26th Jun 2009 03:49 UTC
Dirge
Member since:
2005-07-14

How will this make SkyOS different from other graphical desktop environments such as KDE or Gnome? Kinda sounds to me like OS X which is built using parts from FreeBSD's and NetBSD's implementation of Unix

Reply Score: 1

RE: Desktop environment?
by merkoth on Fri 26th Jun 2009 13:54 UTC in reply to "Desktop environment?"
merkoth Member since:
2006-09-22

Well, the fact that it won't use X is a great difference to me... Whether you consider that a good or bad thing is a different matter.

Reply Score: 5

SkyBuntu?
by FunkyELF on Fri 26th Jun 2009 04:44 UTC
FunkyELF
Member since:
2006-07-26

I'm wondeirng whether this is just another desktop environment which would replace xfce, gnome, or kde....or is it something that replaces GNU?

Basically if you run this... will it be called SkyBuntu?... or will it be called Sky/Linux rather than GNU/Linux?

Reply Score: 2

RE: SkyBuntu?
by Kishe on Fri 26th Jun 2009 05:55 UTC in reply to "SkyBuntu?"
Kishe Member since:
2006-02-16

nope, this will be comparable to syllable server edition.

it will use linux kernel for compatibility and some bits and bobs to get it all dance and rest of the toolset is his.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: SkyBuntu?
by FunkyELF on Fri 26th Jun 2009 13:25 UTC in reply to "RE: SkyBuntu?"
FunkyELF Member since:
2006-07-26

nope, this will be comparable to syllable server edition.

it will use linux kernel for compatibility and some bits and bobs to get it all dance and rest of the toolset is his.


Okay then ... he's replacing two things. So if you called Kubuntu KDE/GNU/Linux, then this would be Sky/Sky/Linux...because he has his own toolset and desktop environment?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: SkyBuntu?
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Fri 26th Jun 2009 14:55 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: SkyBuntu?"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

I seriously doubt he's replacing all GNU Software. That would really be counter productive. I know you were going for Window manager/Userland/kernel. So it would probably be Sky/GNUsky/Linux.


Speaking of which, Gnusky would be a pretty cool name for the whole thing. ( pronounced either `new-ski` or `nuski`)

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: SkyBuntu?
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Fri 26th Jun 2009 20:09 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: SkyBuntu?"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

To clarify, parts of the Gnu Tool chain are used widely by many OSes including all of the BSDs. That is not meant to diminish the extraordinary accomplishments and hard work that the creator of Sky Os is putting in. Its just an emphasis on how good of a job has been done on many gnu utilities ( including gcc). They are what I'm confrontation with and having them available would increase my likely hood in donating ( whether required by license or not) to the project.

Reply Score: 4

re: SkyBuntu?
by bebop on Fri 26th Jun 2009 05:24 UTC
bebop
Member since:
2009-05-12

This will not be something like SkyBuntu. He will not be using X.org or any X server. He is using the Linux kernel to driver the rest of the operating system.

My guess about the GNU userland apps is that they will probably be used as well as this automatically gives you a large amount of apps. Also it makes porting software easier if you have the GNU userland.

Good luck to Robert.
p.s. Screenshots?

Reply Score: 2

The Point
by Tanner on Fri 26th Jun 2009 11:27 UTC
Tanner
Member since:
2005-07-06

What's the point in using the Linux kernel?
I always thought that diversity in the OS field lies in kernels.

What makes Haiku, or syllable, or SkyOS so special was the fact they are completely different worlds based on their own kernels.
At least this is what thrill me.

Now SkyOS, using linux kernel, is less interesting (to me)... It's strange that nobody noticed this "issue".

Reply Score: 5

RE: The Point
by boulabiar on Fri 26th Jun 2009 12:09 UTC in reply to "The Point"
boulabiar Member since:
2009-04-18

OSes aren't kernels

If you think OS=kernel, then can you explain me how MacOS is close to FreeBSD ????

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: The Point
by wanker90210 on Sat 27th Jun 2009 12:37 UTC in reply to "RE: The Point"
wanker90210 Member since:
2007-10-26

I regard my Mac as a Unix box with good support for commercial software. The kernel sets the personality of an OS even if the modern trend of running userland program in a vm levels this a bit.

Reply Score: 1

RE: The Point
by Phobos on Fri 26th Jun 2009 12:10 UTC in reply to "The Point"
Phobos Member since:
2008-04-30

I wholly agree... SkyOS used to be interesting for me until this announcement... Well, at least there's still Haiku around

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: The Point
by tktecky on Fri 26th Jun 2009 13:30 UTC in reply to "RE: The Point"
tktecky Member since:
2009-06-26

I wholly agree... SkyOS used to be interesting for me until this announcement... Well, at least there's still Haiku around


Except that Haiku is in perpetual pre-alpha and has a quickly detoriating code base. Unless they manage to bring in the original NewOS developer to fix all the breakage (esp. SMP), the project is doomed as far as I can tell.

Edited 2009-06-26 13:31 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: The Point
by neticspace on Fri 26th Jun 2009 13:46 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: The Point"
neticspace Member since:
2009-06-09

Except that Haiku is in perpetual pre-alpha and has a quickly detoriating code base. Unless they manage to bring in the original NewOS developer to fix all the breakage (esp. SMP), the project is doomed as far as I can tell.


This is why some people would rather pressure the company that has BeOS's asset to completely open source it or revamp it. There is a fear that Haiku doesn't look like it'll be matured.

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: The Point
by anevilyak on Sat 27th Jun 2009 17:15 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: The Point"
anevilyak Member since:
2005-09-14

...and has a quickly detoriating code base. Unless they manage to bring in the original NewOS developer to fix all the breakage (esp. SMP), the project is doomed as far as I can tell.


Care to point out how any of that is true?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: The Point
by v_bobok on Mon 29th Jun 2009 00:02 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: The Point"
v_bobok Member since:
2008-08-01

Any proof for your point, sir?

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: The Point
by sbergman27 on Mon 29th Jun 2009 04:44 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: The Point"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Any proof for your point, sir?

Well, I don't pay a whole lot of attention to the project. But as an OSNews reader I do notice it. They've been working on it for 8 years, and does Haiku really matter in 2009? Is it something I can install for someone and have them be at all happy with it?

"Doomed" is, admittedly, a relative term. But the Haiku project fits at least a few possible interpretations of the word "doomed".

But then again, SkyOS is doomed, as well.

Edited 2009-06-29 04:46 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: The Point
by umccullough on Mon 29th Jun 2009 18:26 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: The Point"
umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

My honest opinion here: You're talking out of your ass.

Well, I don't pay a whole lot of attention to the project. But as an OSNews reader I do notice it.


Which basically translates to: "I only know what I hear from others."

Haiku is quite stable, including on SMP systems... and code doesn't "rot" - in fact Haiku's codebase seems to be more modular and well-designed than most systems out there. I hear new developers coming into the project discussing how surprised they are at how well it's designed and maintained.

They've been working on it for 8 years, and does Haiku really matter in 2009? Is it something I can install for someone and have them be at all happy with it?


I suppose this depends on the person. I've been actually *using* Haiku now for a couple years. Admittedly, it's not the ONLY OS I use, but usable for sure. I think Haiku is not something you're going to be installing for Grandma any time soon (just imagine if you installed Linux for Grandma 10 years ago when it was "8 years old") - but it's *very* usable already, and some claim it makes a hell of a lot more sense for noobs.

"Doomed" is, admittedly, a relative term. But the Haiku project fits at least a few possible interpretations of the word "doomed".

But then again, SkyOS is doomed, as well.


IMO, SkyOS was "doomed" for a different reason - being closed source.

Haiku is as doomed as the users/developers want it to be. If nobody uses it, or nobody develops it, then it will die. On the other hand, if it is both used/developed, then it will live on and remain relevant. That's how open source generally works.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: The Point
by sbergman27 on Mon 29th Jun 2009 18:33 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: The Point"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

think Haiku is not something you're going to be installing for Grandma any time soon (just imagine if you installed Linux for Grandma 10 years ago when it was "8 years old")

But that niche is now filled. By Linux. Now Haiku has to beat Linux or find its own niche.

I would be very surprised to see Haiku or SkyOS gain anywhere near as much public recognition as Linux has now. Especially since they are competeing not on the server, but directly with Microsoft (and Apple, and Linux, and *BSD) on the desktop. They don't even register as also-rans except on niche sites like this one, visited by weird people like us. And it would surprise me if that status changed in the next 10 years.

Edited 2009-06-29 18:36 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: The Point
by umccullough on Mon 29th Jun 2009 23:48 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: The Point"
umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

But that niche is now filled. By Linux. Now Haiku has to beat Linux or find its own niche.


You've even changed the topic and context again... Originally, you hopped on a thread that was claiming that Haiku was broken and "doomed".

First, you asked if it was relevant... Yes. IMO Linux hasn't adequately filled said niche... and people want/use Haiku already.

Then, you asked if someone would be happy with it if you installed it for them... Certainly no less than Linux, IMO, possibly more. Let's be clear, we're talking about the usability of the OS here... and not necessarily the applications that run on it.

In the end, you just sound like the other people who believe nothing can possibly innovate and succeed in this day and age.

Edit: wording

Edited 2009-06-29 23:51 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: The Point
by Vanders on Fri 26th Jun 2009 14:02 UTC in reply to "RE: The Point"
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

Well, at least there's still Haiku around


Hey! There's Syllable too, don't forget...

Reply Score: 4

RE: The Point
by Kishe on Fri 26th Jun 2009 13:02 UTC in reply to "The Point"
Kishe Member since:
2006-02-16

no everyone but hardcore enthusiastics it's same what kernel an OS uses, what matters is if their hardware works with the OS. It wouldve taken decade worth of work hours from SkyOS to get hardware support to comparable levels as in Linux, therefore they changed to linux kernel. Normal users wont see the difference in any other way than the fact that the OS actually installs in their system now.

You could say it'll be Sky/Linux instead of Gnu/Linux

Reply Score: 2

RE: The Point
by Bobthearch on Fri 26th Jun 2009 13:28 UTC in reply to "The Point"
Bobthearch Member since:
2006-01-27

Using the Linux kernel makes sense, sort of, in order to have access to the large selection of Linux drivers.

But how about the applications? Will the 'new' SkyOS/Linux have original and unique SkyOS applications and tools, or will it use the same applications as every other operating system?

Reply Score: 2

BlueEyedOS?
by bryanv on Fri 26th Jun 2009 13:16 UTC
bryanv
Member since:
2005-08-26

Ok, so let me get this straight.

SkyOS is in the process of porting / creating:

Their C++ class library.
Their Message passing system.
An "App server" to handle GUI rendering as a userland process overtop a "kernel"...
Which happens to be Linux.

Is it me, or does this sound like the BlueEyedOS Approach to re-creating BeOS that died a long time ago?

Seriously cool, either way. I wish him luck.

Actually, this system is starting to become interesting to me now.

Reply Score: 4

Sky/Linux
by Novan_Leon on Fri 26th Jun 2009 13:37 UTC
Novan_Leon
Member since:
2005-12-07

I've been following SkyOS since the beginning and this is definitely an interesting development. As long as Robert retains the rest of the SkyOS environment, I can't see any downside to bringing Linux in as the Kernel. I'm looking forward to seeing the "finished" product.

Reply Score: 2

areimann
Member since:
2006-06-12

I would not say I have a full grasp on the approach of moving an OS to a different kernel. I really think that the best examples would be OSX on Darwin.

It is true to say that OSX is Unix by citing http://www.opengroup.org/openbrand/register/brand3555.htm . I would not say it is your standard Unix though, but the took the core and built upon that.

Really, Linux is nothing without GNU. Many people complain that they call it Linux, when they should say Linux/GNU. Without the GNU tools/app/whatever Linux is just something (IMHO) that talks to hardware.

Isn't that what Robert is shooting for? He is trying to save time to be able to focus on the GUI, not making sure that hardware works.

Just my thoughts....

Reply Score: 1

WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Really, Linux is nothing without GNU. Many people complain that they call it Linux, when they should say Linux/GNU. Without the GNU tools/app/whatever Linux is just something (IMHO) that talks to hardware.

You're quite missing the point. There's people who use Linux and have built a complete userland system on top of it without any GNU tools in there. GNU tools are not required. Such OSes are f.ex. in embedded systems.

Reply Score: 2

Off topic
by bebop on Fri 26th Jun 2009 23:36 UTC
bebop
Member since:
2009-05-12

Sorry to be off topic but there were a few things said about Haiku that I feel need to be cleared up.

<div class="cquote">Except that Haiku is in perpetual pre-alpha and has a quickly detoriating code base. Unless they manage to bring in the original NewOS developer to fix all the breakage (esp. SMP), the project is doomed as far as I can tell.</div>
This is completely untrue. The main Haiku developers are really good at what they do and I can say from personal experience that the Haiku code base is some of the cleanest code I have worked with. Also the original NewOS developer aka giest, he contributes to Haiku from time to time and follows the progress.

As far as the perpetual pre-alpha, why don't you give it a try. I have been using Haiku for several months full time on my development machine and have not had a crash once. Not to mention if you follow the Haiku mailing list you will see that releasing an alpha is really high on the list of things to do. Also our build system can produce iso's so when we clear up a few remaining things it will be easy to make an alpha.

<div class="cquote">This is why some people would rather pressure the company that has BeOS's asset to completely open source it or revamp it. There is a fear that Haiku doesn't look like it'll be matured.</div>
This is never going to happen. If Access was going to release the source code they would have done so by now. Haiku runs almost all of the BeOS software flawlessly and Haiku itself is becoming stable.

My last point is, please stop spreading FUD about Haiku. If you would like to know more about Haiku or see it progress go to the website, do some research ie read the mailing lists. Look at the commit log. Please though give some respect to the people who are working on the project and research before you write.

Reply Score: 3

Mark Williamson
Member since:
2005-07-06

This sounds to me like an interesting direction for SkyOS to take and I hope it bears fruit. It certainly sounds like things are progressing quite quickly!

In partial response to those who are worrying about the move to a more common kernel, I had a few thoughts on this:

Although it's nice to have lots of different kernels in the world, there is not that much variation in the popular operating systems. To clarify, there are many good kernels out there and they all have different feature sets, specialities, etc. Some are developed in different ways or using different tools / languages. Some are using different tradeoffs and some are arguably more cleanly designed. But the vast majority of popular kernels used on server and desktop class hardware share quite a lot in common - they're written in C or a subset of C++, they share a single address space with limited protections. Many open source kernels have a Unix-like philosophy, which increases the similarity still further in terms of their behaviour and their syscall API.

I don't know how SkyOS was architected but I have no reason to suppose that it was architecturally that different to the other players out there. I'm sure it was a nice piece of work, since all of Robert's stuff seems quite impressive. But whilst SkyOS might be "losing" a unique kernel, the fundamental design of it is unlikely to have had massive benefits over just using Linux / BSD; presumably this is why Robert is considering this change of direction.

So overall, I'm not too worried about this. It'd be nice to maybe see the SkyOS kernel live on somehow as an option, or incorporated into SkyOS's Linux kernel, or even released in source form in some way. But I think a large amount of what makes SkyOS clever and attractive is in the design of the other system components and the skill of its main developer.

Another project which is using the Linux kernel for a "non-Linux" OS is Glendix (http://www.glendix.org/). The Glendix people are trying to bring the main benefits of Plan 9 to more people by building on the Linux kernel to get better hardware support. They're enhancing the kernel in ways it needs to support Plan 9 functionality. To my mind enhancing an existing kernel to suit your particular needs is usually going to be more efficient (although maybe not quite as fun).

There's definitely still a need for alternative kernel designs out there (approaches using different languages, managed code, employing more sophisticated protection or extensibility, more completely microkernelised systems, etc). And there's a real benefit to having smaller, fresher alternatives to the big players.

Reply Score: 2