Linked by Kroc Camen on Thu 5th Nov 2009 21:05 UTC
Talk, Rumors, X Versus Y There's no right way to do it, only ideas that are better than others in certain situations. But if you had the opportunity to head up the design of a new OS, one to Put Things Right, one that could be radical enough to varnish out those UI/X bumps that have clung on for years, but practical enough to be used every day, what would you design? How would you handle application management? What about file types and compatibility? Where would you cherry pick the best bits from other OSes and where would you throw away tradition? I've tackled this challenge for myself and present (an unfinished idea): KrocOS (warning: HTML5 site, will display without CSS in IE/older browsers). OSnews Asks: What would make your perfect OS?
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Fix Desktop Linux
by shadoweva09 on Thu 5th Nov 2009 21:24 UTC
shadoweva09
Member since:
2008-03-10

I'd just fork the Linux kernel, add a standard driver abi so they don't need updated anymore, ship with a minimal desktop, and kill dependencies forever. All software you get will be one file that already contains dependencies (the security isn't necessary for an average user anyway, it just makes them suffer when they need something not provided by their distro.). Then all annoyances would be solved and it would actually have a chance. And throw in an X replacement somewhere in there.

Reply Score: 1

Why was he modded down?
by nt_jerkface on Thu 5th Nov 2009 22:05 in reply to "Fix Desktop Linux"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

ChromeOS won't be using X and it wouldn't surprise me if they freeze the kernel as well.

People have been criticizing the lack of a stable abi, library dependency issues and X for over a decade and yet some Linux advocates still mod down people for daring to question these obviously flawed aspects of Linux.

OSX has proven that Unix can do away with the 70's dependency system, provide a stable abi and be successful desktop OS. Maybe Linux advocates should take a lesson.

Edited 2009-11-05 22:15 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Why was he modded down?
by Zifre on Thu 5th Nov 2009 22:27 in reply to "Why was he modded down? "
Zifre Member since:
2009-10-04

Linux is open source, which means that everybody can do whatever they want; there is no central authority. Therefor, most of your point is silly. Some points I do agree on are that it would be nice to replace X, have a stable ABI for userspace programs, and get rid of dependencies for user-oriented applications (i.e. a web-browser, but not Apache).

However, a stable ABI for drivers would be extremely bad. I love open source, but I understand that there are valid reasons to create closed source/commercial software. However, there is no reason at all why a driver should be closed source. It simply doesn't make sense. Closed source drivers are less secure, hold back progress in the kernel, and make reduce portability. The only reason for closed source drivers that is even at all close to being somewhat valid is to protect IP. But that really only applies to graphics cards. And even then, I imagine it's just nVidia being lazy.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Why was he modded down?
by jabjoe on Fri 6th Nov 2009 09:25 in reply to "Why was he modded down? "
jabjoe Member since:
2009-05-06


OSX has proven that Unix can do away with the 70's dependency system, provide a stable abi and be successful desktop OS. Maybe Linux advocates should take a lesson.


Yer, because Linux supports less hardware then any other OS. Oh wait, no, it supports more! So maybe it's not as simple as you think.

http://lxr.linux.no/#linux+v2.6.31/Documentation/stable_api_nonsens...

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Why was he modded down?
by sorpigal on Fri 6th Nov 2009 13:59 in reply to "Why was he modded down? "
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

It seems like I am forever repeating myself. Once more!

A stable ABI will kill the open source Linux kernel in short order (I'm betting on ~5 years). It will guarantee that in the future your drivers are closed source. Maybe you don't care, but I do and the kernel developers do.

X is not the problem. Replacing X doesn't solve any problems and introduces a slew of new ones. There are few good reasons to replace X and a large number of reasons not to replace X. I'd love to hear why you think X is an issue so I can see if you fall in to the 90% of the anti-X camp that just doesn't know what it's talking about.

OS X works as well as it does almost entirely because it is a single vendor system. Linux distributors could do exactly the same thing. It is not a technology issue! The fact is that distribution makers don't want to do that level of integration (or at least they don't do it) and Linux's users would punish them with their feet if they departed so radically from the status quo.

I had high hopes for Ubuntu once upon a time, but they fell in step (in the end) with every other distribution in any number of ways.

I will repeat it once more for the tl;dr crowd: If you want Linux OS X you can build it 99% out of existing software available for Linux right now. Form a company, build boxes with a specific set of hardware, build your distribution, use app bundles. It can work! Today. Without replacing X, or changing the kernel.

If you have a small enough target even the unstable binary ABI is not an issue. If vendors only need to target one new kernel per year (at most) then there is no problem.

Reply Parent Score: 4