Linked by fran on Sun 20th Feb 2011 19:00 UTC
Google "Over the last few months we have been hard at work getting Native Client ready to support the new Pepper plug-in interface. Native Client is an open source technology that allows you to build web applications that seamlessly and safely execute native compiled code inside the browser. Today, we've reached an important milestone in our efforts to make Native Client modules as portable and secure as JavaScript, by making available a first release of the revamped Native Client .[...]In the coming months we will be adding APIs for 3D graphics, local file storage, WebSockets, peer-to-peer networking, and more. We'll also be working on Dynamic Shared Objects (DSOs), a feature that will eventually allow us to provide Application Binary Interface (ABI) stability."
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A new OS paradigm?
by Morgan on Sun 20th Feb 2011 21:07 UTC
Morgan
Member since:
2005-06-29

Let's see, we have native code execution, 3D graphics, local file storage, peer-to-peer networking, and an ABI. This really is starting to look like a nearly full featured OS inside a web browser container.

So will we soon see a computer bootstrap into the barebones Chrome OS, which then launches the browser, and inside of it, the "real" OS?

Fascinating!

Reply Score: 6

RE: A new OS paradigm?
by Neolander on Sun 20th Feb 2011 21:09 in reply to "A new OS paradigm?"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Until the internet connexion starts to fail, that is...

However, that's already a problem with vanilla ChromeOS

Edited 2011-02-20 21:10 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: A new OS paradigm?
by Morgan on Sun 20th Feb 2011 21:18 in reply to "RE: A new OS paradigm?"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Yeah, that's my biggest issue with this "online OS" trend too. I think it's all a bit premature until we achieve a state of ubiquitous wireless network connectivity that is as robust and failsafe as the current physical interconnects on the motherboards and processors of today. Not to mention the bandwidth required for full network only computing.

I have a feeling that is a long way off.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: A new OS paradigm?
by Radio on Mon 21st Feb 2011 14:43 in reply to "RE: A new OS paradigm?"
Radio Member since:
2009-06-20

On the other hand, having everything synced live is also nice, in case the "local" hardware fails...

There is an interesting article today in the french newspaper "Le Monde" about how the video website Bambuser was the favorite way to share videos amongst Egyptian during the revolution: with this website, you stream the live video (and the website keeps it for future replays), which means even if the police catches you and takes away and destroys your cellphone, the video is already safe on a server...

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: A new OS paradigm?
by umccullough on Sun 20th Feb 2011 21:18 in reply to "A new OS paradigm?"
umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

So will we soon see a computer bootstrap into the barebones Chrome OS, which then launches the browser, and inside of it, the "real" OS?


Technically, Native Client doesn't require a browser - it's basically just a runtime environment.

I'm looking forward to a NaCl version of Flash, Java, Adobe Reader, etc. - because not only will they be effectively sandboxed, and prevented from executing malicious code, but they will be compiled for a "cross platform" environment effectively allowing them to run on any OS with a NaCl port.

On the other hand, it is my understanding that they must be recompiled for each processor target they will run on - but there are generally fewer of those than there are OS platforms these days ;)

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: A new OS paradigm?
by Morgan on Sun 20th Feb 2011 21:25 in reply to "RE: A new OS paradigm?"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Technically, Native Client doesn't require a browser - it's basically just a runtime environment.

I'm looking forward to a NaCl version of Flash, Java, Adobe Reader, etc. - because not only will they be effectively sandboxed, and prevented from executing malicious code, but they will be compiled for a "cross platform" environment effectively allowing them to run on any OS with a NaCl port.


That does sound promising.

On the other hand, it is my understanding that they must be recompiled for each processor target they will run on - but there are generally fewer of those than there are OS platforms these days ;)


Yeah, with the near-death of PPC I would say x86/x64 and ARM are pretty much the only major hardware platforms left. Speaking of ARM, this may be something the hardware hacking crowd will want to see come to fruition, as many of the microprocessor-based development boards out there use the ARM platform.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: A new OS paradigm?
by Radio on Sun 20th Feb 2011 21:51 in reply to "A new OS paradigm?"
Radio Member since:
2009-06-20

There is no "real" OS unlike we make it like that, by favorizing the "remote" OS over the "local" OS. Otherwise, you have the best of both worlds: a local and a remote, thin-client, sandboxed OS (how should I call it?).

Going further along that line of though, the next step would be blurring the line between the two. The only OS I know walking along that kind of future is DragonflyBSD (this is why I'd keep an eye on it).

But maybe it won't be the case: maybe the thin client will be so powerful, versatile, secure and ubiquitous that nobody will care anymore about the local OS (ChromeOS-style, your "new paradigm"). Or maybe, the barrier between local and remote will be kept for security and privacy reasons.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: A new OS paradigm?
by Lennie on Mon 21st Feb 2011 09:07 in reply to "RE: A new OS paradigm?"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

"the next step would be blurring the line between the two. The only OS I know walking along that kind of future is DragonflyBSD"

Plan9 also comes to mind.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: A new OS paradigm?
by kaiwai on Mon 21st Feb 2011 04:50 in reply to "A new OS paradigm?"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Let's see, we have native code execution, 3D graphics, local file storage, peer-to-peer networking, and an ABI. This really is starting to look like a nearly full featured OS inside a web browser container.

So will we soon see a computer bootstrap into the barebones Chrome OS, which then launches the browser, and inside of it, the "real" OS?

Fascinating!


For me it sounds a bit like AIR applications running inside a browser. I'm using a number of AIR based applications and they're a joy to use when compared to the horror that is Java (which will hopefully be removed in Lion thus making it an optional extra).

What I do hope, however, is that the idea of NaCL doesn't become a browser specific technology but something one can add to those browsers that support NPAPI Pepper extensions. In the case of webkit the NPAPI implemented has Pepper extensions that link back to Core Audio/Core Animation/etc. (only available on Safari running on 10.6).

I don't think they're 'aiming' for a complete OS but rather something that fills in the gap between native desktop and web based applications - and as for concerns regarding the internet connectivity - the application will most likely saved some where in the browser directory in much the same way that AIR applications are saved and can be launched without an internet connection.

Reply Parent Score: 2