Linked by Kaj de Vos on Tue 8th Jun 2010 22:07 UTC
Syllable, AtheOS

The Syllable project is pleased to announce that the reports of its death have been greatly exaggerated, and that the new version 0.4 of Syllable Server has been released. This release focuses on maturing existing functionality, improving security, ongoing system restructuring, and making the system a suitable base for third-party package managers. Although the project admits it hasn't brought its unicorn factory online yet, extensive work was done on the nitty-gritty, so the full change log is quite long.

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RE[7]: Cool, I guess...
by Neolander on Wed 9th Jun 2010 14:32 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Cool, I guess..."
Neolander
Member since:
2010-03-08

Creating a new desktop OS is fiendishly hard work and it's all the harder to try and support all of the devices you'll need to support. Syllable Server shows a great way forward: Just slide the Linux kernel in underneath. Yeah it's got all kinds of problems, but if you're really interested in building a nice desktop OS the kernel is the last thing you should be worrying about.

Questionable. Compare Haiku with modern linux distros in terms of performance and API coherence. Linux has never been made for desktop use, and you can feel that in almost all low-level components of a desktop Linux system...

Plus the components of a desktop Linux system are too much tied together. Try to code a X replacement that does not work like X and is compatible with Nvidia's driver, as an example : I wish you good luck.

Despite all of the effort the *nix desktop is stillborn even today. Most Linux distributions are 99% the same and share all kinds of problems. I think that there might be a welcoming user base if a Linux-based system that is radically different were introduced. Look at android: The Linux kernel plus stacks of stuff that make it what it is. Who cares about the kernel? Not desktop users! Just build all of your nice things on top of Linux, get stability and hardware support for free, take the FOSS desktop world by storm.

Such a thing does exist, it's called Pardus Linux and I use it at home. It's a very stable Linux distro with excellent hardware support, an acceptable repository, flawless KDE4 integration, and basically almost everything a desktop Linux user could wish for, combined with some unique tools where the standard Linux tools fail to meet basic desktop user's needs. However, the storm still remains to be seen...

Edited 2010-06-09 14:43 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[8]: Cool, I guess...
by renox on Wed 9th Jun 2010 15:17 in reply to "RE[7]: Cool, I guess..."
renox Member since:
2005-07-06

I always find these kind of argument puzzling: it takes *more* effort to start from "scratch" than to modify an existing system..

First, NVidia's driver is a bad example and you know it: it's proprietary, fortunately there are lots of other open source drivers bundled in Linux that you can modify as you wish..

then you're *wrong*, X isn't the only solution: if you had looked at the release notes you'd notice that DirectFB is a part of it.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[9]: Cool, I guess...
by Neolander on Wed 9th Jun 2010 15:48 in reply to "RE[8]: Cool, I guess..."
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

I always find these kind of argument puzzling: it takes *more* effort to start from "scratch" than to modify an existing system.

It depends what you're up to. But if you start from something which is quite different from what you want to create, then rewriting may be harder than making a clean design and then writing from scratch.

Creating a clean average linux distro clone can easily be done through forking. Making a true GUI-oriented operating system system which is purged from all the Linux+X wrongness would probably take much more effort than it took to write the whole Haiku codebase (which already went pretty far).

First, NVidia's driver is a bad example and you know it: it's proprietary, fortunately there are lots of other open source drivers bundled in Linux that you can modify as you wish..

And that either can't do hardware acceleration on 5-years old hardware or do it 4 times slower than the proprietary driver. Yeah, I've heard about those...

then you're *wrong*, X isn't the only solution: if you had looked at the release notes you'd notice that DirectFB is a part of it.

You're indeed right. Question : if I run several CPU-hogging apps (something in the vein of while(1);) in a terminal, does a DirectFB desktop remain responsive, unlike something based on X ?

Edited 2010-06-09 15:51 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[8]: Cool, I guess...
by Kaj-de-Vos on Wed 9th Jun 2010 15:52 in reply to "RE[7]: Cool, I guess..."
Kaj-de-Vos Member since:
2010-06-09

Plus the components of a desktop Linux system are too much tied together. Try to code a X replacement that does not work like X and is compatible with Nvidia's driver, as an example : I wish you good luck.


If by that you mean the closed binary Nvidia driver, you're right. If you mean the open source X11 Nvidia driver, we've done just that almost a decade ago in the Syllable Desktop AppServer.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[8]: Cool, I guess...
by sorpigal on Wed 9th Jun 2010 20:06 in reply to "RE[7]: Cool, I guess..."
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

Questionable. Compare Haiku with modern linux distros in terms of performance and API coherence. Linux has never been made for desktop use, and you can feel that in almost all low-level components of a desktop Linux system...

That's exactly why I'm proposing replacing as many of those components as possible. Haiku has a nice clean design, no one denies that, but in terms of its "user experience" most of that is not at all related to how its kernel works or what the API for it is like. Some things in Linux would be hard to replace, like libalsa and udev, because in many ways they are tightly coupled with the kernel. But, it could be done in a way which makes the resulting system relatively clean.

Such a thing does exist, it's called Pardus Linux and I use it at home. It's a very stable Linux distro with excellent hardware support, an acceptable repository, flawless KDE4 integration, and basically almost everything a desktop Linux user could wish for, combined with some unique tools where the standard Linux tools fail to meet basic desktop user's needs. However, the storm still remains to be seen...

I've seen pardus and if you're thinking "ah, like pardus" then you missed the argument I am making by several miles. Hint: Pardus still uses KDE. Pardus just builds a relatively coherent system, otherwise it's a lot like almost every other Linux distribution. I'm proposing no KDE, no X, no dbus, no pulseaudio.

If implementing your own non-X windowing system loses you some driver support... well so be it, some is better than all which is what a brand-new system would require.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[9]: Cool, I guess...
by Kaj-de-Vos on Thu 10th Jun 2010 00:07 in reply to "RE[8]: Cool, I guess..."
Kaj-de-Vos Member since:
2010-06-09

I've seen pardus and if you're thinking "ah, like pardus" then you missed the argument I am making by several miles. Hint: Pardus still uses KDE. Pardus just builds a relatively coherent system, otherwise it's a lot like almost every other Linux distribution. I'm proposing no KDE, no X, no dbus, no pulseaudio.

If implementing your own non-X windowing system loses you some driver support... well so be it, some is better than all which is what a brand-new system would require.

That sounds exactly like Syllable Server, so I'm confused why you called it crappy earlier.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[9]: Cool, I guess...
by Neolander on Thu 10th Jun 2010 08:09 in reply to "RE[8]: Cool, I guess..."
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

I've seen pardus and if you're thinking "ah, like pardus" then you missed the argument I am making by several miles. Hint: Pardus still uses KDE. Pardus just builds a relatively coherent system, otherwise it's a lot like almost every other Linux distribution. I'm proposing no KDE, no X, no dbus, no pulseaudio.

If implementing your own non-X windowing system loses you some driver support... well so be it, some is better than all which is what a brand-new system would require.

Ah, so you meant in-depth fixing Linux and not just fixing what can be fixed while keeping software compatibility... Then I don't know how much work it would take, but I think that it's exactly what the Syllabe guys are up to...

Edited 2010-06-10 08:12 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2