posted by Thom Holwerda on Thu 25th Jun 2009 21:59 UTC, submitted by JayDee
IconNot 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.

While Szeleney first talked about either a Linux or NetBSD kernel as a base, it seems like he's now working on the Linux kernel - at least, the progress report only mentions Linux, it might of course be the case that he's done work with NetBSD as well. In any case, the progress reports are posted on his blog, and the first one details what has already been achieved. The base SkyOS/Linux system (I came up with that all by myself...) has the following features:

  • Linux 2.6.27.4 kernel with an init ramdisk using usplash to display and animate the boot progress.
  • LSB with essential tools like coreutils, etc.
  • DHCP, NFS, iputils, etc.
  • Initial parts of the SkyOS C++ API ported to Linux.
  • Ported the SkyOS messaging system (formally known as DataExchangePorts, now called MessagePort) to allow bidirectional interprocess communication.
  • Initial appserver using svgalib as graphic backend (for VESA and other dedicated chipsets). (this appserver replaces the SkyOS GUI part which resisted in the kernel)
  • Initial test application using SkyOS C++ Application class to register and talk to app server.

Szeleney also detailed what's next for in this journey: "Teaching appserver key/mouse input, basic window handling" and "Porting rest of SkyOS C++ Classes (primarily all classes needed for Window handling)".

Exciting news, and it seems like SkyOS development is on track again. I'm anxiously awaiting any first test releases I can play with. There's also a small personal note that I'd like to make: I want to apologise for how I have approached the matter of the lack of progress in SkyOS. While I still stand behind the general idea of what I wrote, I could've presented it in a less aggressive and more polite manner. By not doing so, I needlessly put SkyOS and Szeleney in a bad light, and for that, I'm sorry.

At the same time, I also know full well that OSNews and I are way too insignificant to ever negatively influence Szeleney or SkyOS (or anything else, for that matter). From the brief moments I talked to him, Szeleney didn't really seem like the kind of guy who would care too much about what some silly blogger like me writes down.

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