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[5]: Comment by charlieg
by Brendan on Tue 21st Jan 2014 03:39 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by charlieg"
Brendan
Member since:
2005-11-16

Hi,

an OS is way way way way more difficult than a vehicle.


I wouldn't know - I've never built a vehicle.

13 millions lines of Code for Linux, thousands of devices and drivers, hundreds of badly designed hw but obliged to support, hardware itself moving so so fast into new architectures (HSA ?), ...


An OS doesn't necessarily need to support more than 1 architecture. Device drivers are also mostly optional; in that (assuming 80x86) you can get a long way with generic "frame buffer" video, no sound, standard AHCI and/or ATA drivers, a few drivers for the most common (wired) ethernet cards, 3 USB controller drivers, USB mouse, USB keyboard and USB flash.

The golden days when someone could stay few weeks in his room them come out with an OS are over.


Initial knowledge, quality and features of the OS and level of hardware support all vary significantly; so time to implement also varies significantly. At one extreme something similar to DOS could probably be slapped together in 1 month, and at the other extreme no OS is ever "finished" (there's always more work you can do, even if you're Microsoft).

In the other side, the gap between open source systems and proprietary ones are becoming more and more wide.
Adobe software started to be accelerated using OpenCL/CUDA/HSA ... Graphics drivers still not very well supported like in closed systems...


Not really. E.g. Linux is able to work extremely well if you choose your hardware with a little care. The progress its made in the last 10 years has reduced the gap by a lot.

BTW, for the usefulness of "a life", I mesure that by how many other lifes it impacts. If you make the life of millions easier, then you have succeeded in your life. I don't mesure that by how much it has helped me only improve.


Every day I make the lives of over 7 billion people easier (by trying not to murder them).

- Brendan

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[6]: Comment by charlieg
by allanregistos on Tue 21st Jan 2014 04:51 in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by charlieg"
allanregistos Member since:
2011-02-10

Hi,

"an OS is way way way way more difficult than a vehicle.


I wouldn't know - I've never built a vehicle.
"

I have built many times in the past, especially in my youth. Those are simple machines with wheels. In order for you to move the vehicle, you have to push it. It is really simple, there is no combustion engine or any complexities you may found from other vehicles.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[7]: Comment by charlieg
by Alfman on Tue 21st Jan 2014 05:54 in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by charlieg"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

allanregistos,

I have built many times in the past, especially in my youth. Those are simple machines with wheels. In order for you to move the vehicle, you have to push it. It is really simple, there is no combustion engine or any complexities you may found from other vehicles.


Haha, well I don't think that would qualify as a vehicle in most people's heads, the same way a bootloader wouldn't qualify as an OS in most people's heads ;)

Building a simple vehicle is easier than building a complex OS. And building a simple OS is easier than building a complex vehicle. I just don't find the comparison meaningful.

In my mind innovation doesn't necessarily stem from complexity, I'd even say something is innovative if it reduces complexity.

Reply Parent Score: 3