Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 17th Sep 2012 16:56 UTC, submitted by Andy McLaughlin
OSNews, Generic OSes "Visopsys (VISual OPerating SYStem) is an alternative operating system for PC-compatible computers, developed almost exclusively by one person, Andy McLaughlin, since its inception in 1997. Andy is a 30-something programmer from Canada, who, via Boston and San Jose ended up in London, UK, where he spends much of his spare time developing Visopsys. We had the great fortune to catch up with Andy via email and ask him questions about Visopsys, why he started the project in the first place, and where is it going in the future."
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The hardest part
by Alfman on Mon 17th Sep 2012 17:51 UTC
Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

Pingdom: "What’s been the hardest part of working on Visopsys?"

Andy: "Hardware support, definitely. The world of PC hardware has always been a bit daunting, since there are so many different manufacturers, all interpreting the standards in their own ‘unique’ ways. You might write something like an IDE driver that works on every system you try, release it, and then find out it isn’t working properly on hundreds of other peoples’ systems."


I have to agree completely with his answer. Designing and implementing the OS foundation is the "easy" part. It's the part we're all most interested in as programmers. Going through and actually implementing the drivers (often without specifications and even without all hardware configurations) is the part that ultimately bogs down the hobby OS developer.


What we need is some kind of universal driver standard that can be shared across all operating systems. Ideally this would be in source form and the layer could be optimised away by the compiler. This way a driver wouldn't be written for "Windows X" but instead for the "2012 PC driver standard". The OS would implement the standard and immediately support numerous compatible hardware devices. It's a pipe dream though. For it's part, MS would never participate, and their cooperation would be pretty much mandatory.

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