Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 20th Jan 2014 11:16 UTC, submitted by andymc
OSNews, Generic OSes

We report regularly about Visopsys - one of the few hobby operating systems that survived where virtually all the others (SkyOS, Syllable, etc.) died out. They've got a new website, which seems like a nice occasion to give it some attention again.

The bulk of Visopsys is a fully multitasking, 100% protected mode, virtual-memory, massively-monolithic-style kernel. Added to this is a bare-bones C library and a minimal suite of applications - together comprising a small but reasonably functional operating system which can operate natively in either graphical or text modes. Though it's been in continuous development for a number of years, realistically the target audience remains limited to operating system enthusiasts, students, and assorted other sensation seekers.

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RE: Comment by charlieg
by Morgan on Mon 20th Jan 2014 12:27 UTC in reply to "Comment by charlieg"
Morgan
Member since:
2005-06-29

Syllable has come a long way, and is every bit as usable as, say, Haiku these days. Of course, my definition of "usable" is probably not the same as most people's; I have an old PIII laptop that I keep around for running native BeOS and old Windows games, and Syllable makes for a great modern OS for that machine. About the only modern GNU/Linux distro that can run acceptably on it is either Slackware with a minimal X WM (Fluxbox or xmonad), or Puppy Linux, which I don't care for.

Of course, Syllable's usefulness is limited to basic tasks or dogfooding the Syllable OS, and since I'm not a developer on that (or any) project it's more of a happy curiosity than anything else. I like it though.

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE[2]: Comment by charlieg
by boulabiar on Mon 20th Jan 2014 12:51 in reply to "RE: Comment by charlieg"
boulabiar Member since:
2009-04-18

I have an old PIII laptop that I keep around for running native BeOS and old Windows games, and Syllable makes for a great modern OS for that machine.


So all these OSes are just used for old hardware which can be easily surpassed by a 40$ RaspberryPi which uses a lot less energy (~5W?).
So why ? why still using these old OS while there is an alternative with many usable apps and support ?

Sometimes I ask myself why some developers who are expert enough to create an OS can't start writing useful things for Linux that only a small fraction can do it: OpenCL acceleration of apps, OpenGL Shaders, Graphics drivers, vector graphics rendering library, optimization, refactoring of huge and badly architectured apps, ...
They can even try breaking usual habits in computing and come up with new solutions not tested before.
(For BeOS, I remember the database-like filesystem, and the ultra massive use of threads)

IMHO, these guys are losing their life while they can become gods in an other world and another community.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by charlieg
by Kochise on Mon 20th Jan 2014 13:01 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by charlieg"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

Stop it ! That's my words !

Kochise

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by charlieg
by Vanders on Mon 20th Jan 2014 13:54 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by charlieg"
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

IMHO, these guys are losing their life while they can become gods in an other world and another community.

Syllable was a hobby; hardly "losing their life". If anything the stuff I did in Syllable has been a great help to me professionally, and I'm still very proud of the code I wrote.

Reply Parent Score: 10

RE[3]: Comment by charlieg
by Brendan on Mon 20th Jan 2014 14:36 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by charlieg"
Brendan Member since:
2005-11-16

Hi,

Sometimes I ask myself why some developers who are expert enough to create an OS can't start writing useful things for Linux that only a small fraction can do it: OpenCL acceleration of apps, OpenGL Shaders, Graphics drivers, vector graphics rendering library, optimization, refactoring of huge and badly architectured apps, ...


Why did the Wright brothers waste their time creating their own/new type of vehicle from scratch, when they could've just improved an existing truck design?

- Brendan

Reply Parent Score: 6

Earl Colby pottinger Member since:
2005-07-06

Ha! Ha! Ha!

Right, that's why I have spent the last month+ trying to find hardware that has not been crippled for the masses to run Haiku-OS on.

What I really would like is a motherboard that supports four(4) I7 cpus (32 threads) that will boot Haiku. Problem, no-one stocks such hardware where I can test it, and the online stores DON`T supply enough info before buying.

Haiku is not behind times, in many cases it is ahead.

Most times someone complains Haiku does not include some feature, 95% it is something I never used or every plan to use.

One thing Haiku does not do is the lastest fab feature, how many functions have been added to the top three OSes only to be dropped a few years later.

Today, I like Haiku for 90% of my stuff, and when I have to use a Windows, Linux or Mac I find they full of silly UI choices.

Edited 2014-01-20 14:49 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by charlieg
by twitterfire on Mon 20th Jan 2014 15:33 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by charlieg"
twitterfire Member since:
2008-09-11


So all these OSes are just used for old hardware which can be easily surpassed by a 40$ RaspberryPi which uses a lot less energy (~5W?).

Raspberry Pi has a lousy ARM11 CPU. Not sure it's better. See the Linpack results for both Raspbberry Pi and Pentium 3.

As for OpenGL, OpenCL,shaders and graphics drivers for Raspberry Pi's GPU, come on...

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[3]: Comment by charlieg
by Morgan on Mon 20th Jan 2014 16:40 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by charlieg"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Well, I can't speak for anyone else, but in my particular case, the Raspberry Pi isn't usable as a desktop OS except in a pinch. It's simply too slow. It does have a ton of uses outside that paradigm though. I'm using mine to prototype a commercial/retail grade safety timer system for work, and at home it's been used as anything from a low power server, to a media center, to the heart of a ham radio digital rig.

My PIII laptop is (with the right OS) much faster than the Pi as a desktop system, it serves a couple of specific use cases I previously mentioned, and it's just a hobby/fun system anyway. It has a built in battery that gives me a couple of hours untethered, and it uses much less power than the old Compaq tower I used to use for niche OSes and retro gaming.

As for the developers who create these awesome niche OSes...maybe they just do it for fun? Maybe they already do contribute to other "more worthy" projects and this is just a hobby for them? I suppose you'd just have to ask them.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[3]: Comment by charlieg
by thegman on Mon 20th Jan 2014 22:30 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by charlieg"
thegman Member since:
2007-01-30



Sometimes I ask myself why some developers who are expert enough to create an OS can't start writing useful things for Linux that only a small fraction can do it: OpenCL acceleration of apps, OpenGL Shaders, Graphics drivers, vector graphics rendering library, optimization, refactoring of huge and badly architectured apps, ...
They can even try breaking usual habits in computing and come up with new solutions not tested before.
(For BeOS, I remember the database-like filesystem, and the ultra massive use of threads)

IMHO, these guys are losing their life while they can become gods in an other world and another community.


I speak as a developer who would rather work on my own, unheard of project, than contribute to a well known project such as Linux.

Why? Well, it's mostly this:

If you're going to work on something for fun/interest/passion, I don't think I'd find that being a small cog in a big machine. I also don't think I'd find it working on 99% of projects out there, simply because I don't believe in them, I don't think that they're improving computing, simple as that. If you're working for money, then of course, that's a moot point.

Linux and it's associated projects are all well and good, but they're not going to change how think about and use computers. I don't think the Mac or Windows will either (they have in the past, but I doubt they will again for a long time).

But really, if someone wants to work on Visopsys, Syllable, then I think that they have a far greater chance of making something interesting and innovative than someone working on say, GNOME or KDE.

'Design by committee' is considered an insult in most circles, but that's exactly what you get in most large projects (open source or not), the smaller a project gets, and the fewer people you have working on it, the more likely you are to be able to move fast and get unusual ideas implemented, and not left on the sidelines.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by charlieg
by allanregistos on Tue 21st Jan 2014 04:42 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by charlieg"
allanregistos Member since:
2011-02-10

"I have an old PIII laptop that I keep around for running native BeOS and old Windows games, and Syllable makes for a great modern OS for that machine.


So all these OSes are just used for old hardware which can be easily surpassed by a 40$ RaspberryPi which uses a lot less energy (~5W?).
" I think you have a point. If I can write my own OS, will just use ARM based CPUs to start with.

So why ? why still using these old OS while there is an alternative with many usable apps and support ?

Sometimes I ask myself why some developers who are expert enough to create an OS can't start writing useful things for Linux that only a small fraction can do it: OpenCL acceleration of apps, OpenGL Shaders, Graphics drivers, vector graphics rendering library, optimization, refactoring of huge and badly architectured apps, ...
I think writing an OS is really a different field than graphics development. And I believe its fun to create an OS from scratch to see your creation blossoms as a full blown operating system is very rewarding. But I agree with you, they must use their talents to improve existing operating systems and their libraries.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Comment by charlieg
by RobG on Wed 22nd Jan 2014 14:12 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by charlieg"
RobG Member since:
2012-10-17

I have exactly the opposite feeling of Linux/BSD dev's: why are so many folk wasting time creating something that at heart retains the O/S philosophy of a 1970's O/S when even some of UNIXs creators believe this is not a desirable situation.

We need more O/S development, not less, unless you really believe computing is a mature enough discipline that we've found all the answers.

Reply Parent Score: 2