Linked by David Adams on Fri 30th Nov 2007 19:18 UTC, submitted by pablo_marx
General Development ES is a fairly interesting looking open source research OS created by Nintendo. Runs natively on x86 (and qemu of course), kernel is written in C++, uses an ECMAScript interpreter for all of the userland, uses Cairo for graphics, and even has a port of Squeak.
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Why?
by reduz on Fri 30th Nov 2007 19:43 UTC
reduz
Member since:
2006-02-25

Why on earth? And why using such choice of technologies?
Squeak? Javascript? FAT as filesystem? this is horrible!
Doesn't seem at all like a wise choice for a next-next-gen system.

Sony had already too much trouble forcing developers to use Linux as developer platform and only valid devkit, so most ended up using CodeWarrior.

Apple had already too much trouble forcing users to ObjectiveC.

Not going to work!

Reply Score: 1

RE: Why?
by t3RRa on Fri 30th Nov 2007 20:16 in reply to "Why?"
t3RRa Member since:
2005-11-22

Have you read some of the doc provided in the link? it seems that one can build component using c++. FAT is a simple and small file system that can be easily used on small devices. With JavaScript, because of its interpreting nature, it helps developers rapid testing i rekon. I don't know much about squeak so it would have some advantages on the device i guess. however, i guess there would be much c++ based development would be going on later. keep an eye on this if you are interested but telling that it won't work. please. grow up.

Reply Parent Score: 8

RE: Why?
by merkoth on Fri 30th Nov 2007 20:17 in reply to "Why?"
merkoth Member since:
2006-09-22

Actually, this doesn't look like they're going to use it for more than experimentation. Just look at the licence terms, they're far too liberal ;)

I must agree that it looks like a weird technology, though.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Why?
by meianoite on Fri 30th Nov 2007 20:19 in reply to "Why?"
meianoite Member since:
2006-04-05

Why on earth? And why using such choice of technologies?
Squeak? Javascript? FAT as filesystem? this is horrible!


Simplicity and broad adoption.

(yeah, broad adoption; Squeak is *big* at Disney.)

Doesn't seem at all like a wise choice for a next-next-gen system.


What makes you think it's a next-gen system? It's a research system. And you know what my suspicion is? That's Nintendo answer for homebrew apps on the Wii.

FAT access for the SD card: check.
Interpreted languages to sandbox the development away from the "crown jewels" (i.e., the encryption keys), and to ensure portability between the development environment and the target environment: check.
Use of a graphics library that can make great use of hardware acceleration: check.

But of course I'd rather have Lua instead of Javascript; Lua is much, *much* bigger among the game development community, so it's definitely a wiser choice. Maybe in the near future, who knows?

Sony had already too much trouble forcing developers to use Linux as developer platform and only valid devkit, so most ended up using CodeWarrior.


?!

I think you're mixing the facts here.

Apple had already too much trouble forcing users to ObjectiveC.


Uh... Noooo? The only Carbon apps you see nowadays on Mac OS X are those based on large existing codebases that started back on Mac OS 7, like those by Adobe and Microsoft, and apps ported over from Linux and use the eventual toolkit that doesn't bind to Cocoa (like Qt), but those are really few and far between (and to be honest I've never seen a single native Mac OS X app based on Qt).

Not a *single* interesting Mac OS X-exclusive app is written in Carbon.

Not going to work!


Careful, you're talking about Nintendo here. You know, that little company in Japan that simply prints money out of a little thing called Nintendo DS, as if the Wii wasn't enough? ;)


Edit: the obligatory Lua pimping ;)

Edited 2007-11-30 20:21

Reply Parent Score: 12

CanvasRenderingContext2D!?
by mook on Sat 1st Dec 2007 08:15 in reply to "RE: Why?"
mook Member since:
2007-11-04

I think their choice of JS bindings may be related to their other choice of using (WHATWG/HTML5) CanvasRenderingContext2D (from <canvas>, initially from WebKit IIRC). Not sure which influenced which, though.

With some small bootstrapping, you can actually write something that will run in a browser, then copy the code over to this thing - using whatever debugging utilities that already exist for browsers.

JS as a language is.. well, at least more widely available than <canvas>. (Think Acrobat, Flash, WSH, kjs...) I have no idea if they wrote their JS interpret from scratch, though; it sure looks like it.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Why?
by stew on Mon 3rd Dec 2007 13:49 in reply to "RE: Why?"
stew Member since:
2005-07-06

> Not a *single* interesting Mac OS X-exclusive app is written in Carbon.

Finder? ;)

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Why?
by Almafeta on Fri 30th Nov 2007 20:24 in reply to "Why?"
Almafeta Member since:
2007-02-22

It's a research system, not a console system. All sorts of crazy things can be used in a research system.

(And it runs on x86. That alone should tell you it's not for a console system...)

Edited 2007-11-30 20:26

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Why?
by merkoth on Fri 30th Nov 2007 20:37 in reply to "RE: Why?"
merkoth Member since:
2006-09-22

NetBSD is capable of running in x86 and even on Dreamcast (Hitachi SuperH RISC CPU), with a gazillion platforms inbetween.

They can work on x86 while developing and then port it to a different platform.

Edit: grammar, grammar

Edited 2007-11-30 20:38 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[2]: Why?
by reduz on Fri 30th Nov 2007 20:41 in reply to "RE: Why?"
reduz Member since:
2006-02-25

It's a research system, not a console system

That doesn't imply or answer anything, the question is Why does nintendo do that and with such choice of technology? To me it seems more like someone playing around in one of the Nintendo R&D houses, as the technology has nothing to do with anything i've ever seen from them.

btw: I'm an official developer.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Why?
by FooBarWidget on Sat 1st Dec 2007 08:50 in reply to "Why?"
FooBarWidget Member since:
2005-11-11

"Why on earth? And why using such choice of technologies?
Squeak? Javascript? FAT as filesystem? this is horrible!
Doesn't seem at all like a wise choice for a next-next-gen system."


Yeah. And what's up with the Wii? Such a weak video card? Horrible CPU? The specs are nothing compared to the XBox 360 and PlayStation 3! This doesn't seem like a wise choice for a next-next-gen console. The Wii will fail horribly, I tell you!

What? They sold how many millions of those things? Oh, never mind.

Reply Parent Score: 10

RE: Why?
by _LH_ on Sat 1st Dec 2007 11:18 in reply to "Why?"
_LH_ Member since:
2005-07-20

Why on earth? And why using such choice of technologies?
Squeak? Javascript? FAT as filesystem? this is horrible!
Doesn't seem at all like a wise choice for a next-next-gen system.


Would you start your research operating system by supporting ZFS, Ruby and .NET? All this stuff is irrelevant as what matters is extensibility and the possibility to implement other stuff later.

Reply Parent Score: 2