Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 15th May 2010 19:23 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes There's one complaint we here at OSNews get thrown in our faces quite often: what's up with the lack of, you know, operating system news on OSNews? Why so much mobile phone news? Why so much talk of H264, HTML5, and Flash? Where's the juicy news on tomorrow's operating systems? Since it's weekend, I might as well explain why things are the way they are. Hint: it has nothing to do with a lack of willingness.
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RE[2]: Comment by mtzmtulivu
by Neolander on Sun 16th May 2010 08:48 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by mtzmtulivu"
Neolander
Member since:
2010-03-08

/begin rant

I'd argue it is Macwinnix because although Linux is the most visible *NIX out there, it would also be correct to note that pretty much every 'new' operating system today is a variation of *NIX rather than a totally new idea form the ground up or at least a clone of a not very well known operating system.

I agree with you. Unix vs VMS's and DOS's ugly grandson is boring. I agree that UNIX was a cool OS back on its days, and certainly still is for servers, but it's not meant to be a desktop operating system nor is not good at it.

UNIX is an OS family where the preferred data type in system calls is char*, which was not designed with multitasking in mind at all, whose standard GUI structure is horrible (a single app can take down everything by crashing), and for which "event-driven", "pop-up threads" and "asynchronous" are scary words which only get rarely used...

Things are no better in the Windows side. Sure, it's finally stable, but
-The kernel is horribly bloated. In fact, the whole OS suffers from an insane bloat level.
-Everything is still pixel-based
-Just every driver installation CD sees some obvious need to reinvent standard controls and break interface consistency
-There's still a lot of silly popups.
-A web browser is used to render every single system windows, in order to justify its infamous presence.
-When you want to install an app, you still have to give full admin rights to an untrusted "setup.exe" program.

And so on... In fact, Windows could be a good OS, provided that it did not bear the Win9x legacy and had a simpler kernel structure. But it does bear this legacy, and unless a complete rewrite occurs someday it will bear it forever.

I know, I know, desktop is not everything. But that's because things are pretty much mature on the server side. Sometimes, we get a new filesystem, yeah. A 10% performance increase. Or a compatibility layer which allows running apps from os Y on top of os Z with "almost no performance loss". And then life goes on. Revolutionary changes in the server area are planned with the advent of distributed operating systems which just about every computer science lab has a team working on. To the contrary, the desktop is still very immature, but does not get attention anymore.

That's why I'm working on a desktop operating system project. I try to prove that some real evolutions are still possible in that area. But it won't be ready tomorrow. And it could never be ready at all, even though articles like this are encouraging me to go further and prove that the desktop still has something to say.

The fact is, at the moment, I've got nothing that's worth showing. Only some written doc (targeted user experience and kernel design) and a code which turns multiboot data into something useful and arch-independent, and which *almost* turns long mode on. Until I get a fully working ┬Ákernel, there's nothing interesting here. And until I get some usable GUI running on top of it, there's nothing worth showing here at OSnews.

It'll take a year or two, at least, before I get a stable GUI, if I take the time to write clean code (which I want to do). Hence, at the moment, I can only agree with this article : it's sad that OS development is so out of fashion, especially in the desktop area, and that people now learn C# and Java instead of C++ and C. But well... If you want this to change, change it yourself ;)

/end rant

Edited 2010-05-16 09:03 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1