Linked by David Adams on Wed 18th May 2011 03:10 UTC, submitted by sawboss
General Development The name Fabrice Bellard may not be recognizable to a lot of people, but the work he carries out as a programmer and computer scientist is. . . . He is a very talented programmer, and his latest project demonstrates once again just how talented he is. Using the super-fast JavaScript engines that now come as standard in popular web browsers, he has managed to create a PC emulator that runs in a browser. As a demonstration he has posted a link to a version of the Linux kernel running in such a scenario.
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RE[3]: Purpose?
by Alfman on Thu 19th May 2011 02:25 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Purpose?"
Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

twitterfire,

"-No distribution: that's what Web apps are for. And I think that some JSP/Java or ASP.NET/Silverlight solutions are more powerful"

You say "no distribution" is what web apps are for, but to be fair you should be comparing it to state of the art operating systems (a collection which windows is notably absent from).

"No distribution" was achieved many many years ago by sun workstations. My school's CS labs were sun workstations. I could walk up to any computer in any lab and log in with all my customized applications ready to go. What I did under my account wouldn't affect the next user, my files were secured.

Javascript running in a browser looks terribly weak in comparison.


"-cross platform does really not matter"

Hmm, I don't know how you can say that, particularly in the browser space. The whole reason for HTML standardizing efforts is to improve portability between browsers. Why doesn't it really matter?


Maybe I'm just being grumpy, but I don't understand the hype behind web apps. This "new technology" is several thousand times slower than the old technology doing the same thing.

I guess this has merit on account of being able to run on a walled garden device. But our heading is taking us down a path of net loss compared to just a couple years ago.

Edited 2011-05-19 02:27 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: Purpose?
by Flatland_Spider on Fri 20th May 2011 13:23 in reply to "RE[3]: Purpose?"
Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

You say "no distribution" is what web apps are for, but to be fair you should be comparing it to state of the art operating systems (a collection which windows is notably absent from).

"No distribution" was achieved many many years ago by sun workstations. My school's CS labs were sun workstations. I could walk up to any computer in any lab and log in with all my customized applications ready to go. What I did under my account wouldn't affect the next user, my files were secured.


Mounting the /home dir via NFS is different then no distribution. You still had to put the apps there and update them as necessary.

There is not an operating system that does the no distribution thing for applications. I can't install an application on one device and have everyone assigned to it launch it immediately from a link. You can do this with Citrix, and probably some other VDI stuff, but there is nothing capable of the same thing out of the box.

Maybe I'm just being grumpy, but I don't understand the hype behind web apps. This "new technology" is several thousand times slower than the old technology doing the same thing.


Then you don't run several different applications across several different platforms. It really sucks trying to sync data across different devices.

The hype is not having to setup a server yourself and deal with the telcos being stingy with the upstream bandwidth. Bandwidth really is crux of the issue. Upstream speeds are so limited it makes serving stuff from your house unattractive. (Unless you can get FiOS from Verizon.)

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[5]: Purpose?
by Alfman on Fri 20th May 2011 18:56 in reply to "RE[4]: Purpose?"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

"Mounting the /home dir via NFS is different then no distribution. You still had to put the apps there and update them as necessary."

Yes that's a fair point, however in my defense I was talking about windows limitations for doing the same thing. Windows applications like office or visual studio need to be installed on each machine.

"There is not an operating system that does the no distribution thing for applications. I can't install an application on one device and have everyone assigned to it launch it immediately from a link."

Java Web Start worked almost exactly like that.

I think Sun's Java Desktop System did work that way too, but I only had very little experience with it a long time ago.


"You can do this with Citrix, and probably some other VDI stuff, but there is nothing capable of the same thing out of the box."

WindowsNT terminal services does that too, and though I think the new protocols are superior, unix systems have long had the capability to run remote desktops out of the box. It was very useful for us as students to run individual apps or even our entire desktop remotely.

Never the less, sending screens over the wire is an example of poor utilization of resources.

"Then you don't run several different applications across several different platforms. It really sucks trying to sync data across different devices."

Which goes back to the benefits of network filesystems. There is certainly room for innovation, but windows is generally far behind the state of the art.

<tangent>Windows kernel DRM effectively bans open source development, and that has retarded file system innovation on windows. The situation on windows is awful for open source. Take a look at the Andrew FS client for windows, it has to emulate an SMB server to get around the stupid windows kernel DRM limitations.</tangent>


"The hype is not having to setup a server yourself and deal with the telcos being stingy with the upstream bandwidth. Bandwidth really is crux of the issue."

I don't buy this at all. In fact if I'm an XYZ as a service provider, I might even want to downplay the fact that I need Internet connectivity for everything I do. What happens to an online CRM package when the internet is slow/broke? Business stops.

No, the hype is about easy management. And while I agree that a website can be easy, the main reason FAT apps are considered to be difficult is because the predominant operating system handles it so poorly.

Reply Parent Score: 1