Linked by ddc_ on Sat 24th May 2014 23:27 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes

On May 23 Francisco J. Ballesteros announced a new operating system on the 9fans mailing list. Clive is influenced by the Nix (not to be confused with NixOS) and Plan 9 operating systems, featuring "zx" - a universal resource access protocol conceptually similar to Plan 9. The system is written in a modified version of the Go language.

More details are available in the design paper and in the manual.

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As jockm pointed out elsewhere, it is the lack of a web browser. Interestingly and unfortunately enough, every major browser engine (Opera, Gecko, IE, Webkit) is written in C++.

I imagine a modern browser engine in C (or another supported language like OCaml or Go) would have to be written from scratch. Probably easier to port a C++ compiler to Plan9, though that would surely open its own can of worms for the Plan9 philosophers (well, apparently there was a C++ compiler in the 2nd edition).

I quite agree, a modern web browser, is practically unimplementable in a clean room environment. The codebase for Gecko engine (just the engine, not the browser itself), is about 10 millions lines. That does not include dependencies like OpenSSL.

So basically, if you want to write a web browser in a clean room way, using a language like Go, it's not going to happen.

That's not Clive's fault, or Plan 9's for that matter. The problem is with the colossal (over)complexity of the web. I think we'll always see a lack if adoption of innovation in user-facing Operating Systems whilst the web is a dependency, as in reality, it's not an open standard to be implemented. Really the modern web is a few black boxes like WebKit, Gecko etc. which you hope you can port to your new OS.

If you can't, you're not getting a good web browser on your platform.

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