Apparantly, Gael Duval has leaked the first bits of information concerning his Ulteo project to the LXF magazine. “You can’t fail to notice that in the screenshot he sent us, Ulteo is running inside a web browser. What’s more, the screenshot also shows Duval creating a presentation on the ‘Ulteo Connected Desktop’. Ulteo is going to be hosted on Duval’s own servers, enabling users to connect to their own desktop from anywhere in the world. […] The system administration and upgrades will be handled at the server end, as too will application installation. […] Anyone with a browser will be able to use Ulteo – indeed, Ulteo is going to need a broadband connection to work – as the client will only require Java.”
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2006-09-26 12:41 pmFord Prefect
Well, you don’t need a browser to use java.
If you talk about java applets, there is “appletviewer”.
2006-09-26 12:43 pmjcinacio
Actually, Java on the browser/client part is only there to connect, view and control the “remote Desktop”: should be pretty thin.
To be honest, i don’t see anything particularly new – there is already a lot of software today of this kind, just not a browser-based java app.
2006-09-26 12:53 pmslight
Lightweight encrypted VNC client in Java connecting to remote hosted linux, for a few dollars a month.
Nothing to do with me, I used it for a while a couple of years back. Just posted it to show this is nothing new.
2006-09-26 1:16 pmAdam Scheinberg
Java is so bad for me in Firefox/Win that I have it completely disabled in the browser. I’d rather use IE for Java. On the Mac, conversely, Java works well for me.
Edit: What I forgot to add was that Ulteo ought to use FreeNX as a base and use ICA for traffic. ICA is generally much smaller and more efficient than a bulky Java app, and there are already implementations of the official Citrix client and FreeNX on several platforms.
Citrix says you need something like 11K to have working session (which means dial up COULD work), and with broadband (really only about 50K), you’re speeding.
Edited 2006-09-26 13:18
Do you call this an operating system? I call this an immitation of an OS based on a bloated technology that is Java. Java sucks, it is heavy too. I’ll pass on that one. So there won’t be interaction with hardware, no compilation, no linux. C’mon….I expected better from the founder of Mandriva.
2006-09-26 4:02 pmvimh
I think you and many of the posts are being a bit harsh. Given the amount of information present about Ulteo, I suggest that it is best to reserver judgement until the product is available for evaluation.
I haven’t read the article in LXF magazine that Béranger is commenting on but after reading Duval’s response and Béranger’s reply, I think I’ll take Béranger’s opinion on the subject with a grain of salt.
I dislike vaporware as much as anybody but I can wait until Ulteo is released judge it first hand rather than supposition based on a possibly vague article and some screenshots.
2006-09-26 4:42 pmJeffS
“I call this an immitation of an OS based on a bloated technology that is Java. Java sucks, it is heavy too.”
Pure flame bait.
No denying you’ve had some bad experiences with Java in the browser.
However, I’ve never had problems with Java in the browser. Also, I’ve had great luck with a lot of Java desktop apps – NetBeans, Eclipse, JAlbum, RSSOwl, Azureus, Limewire, JEdit, JDiskReport.
People’s perception of Java being slow and bloated comes mostly from older AWT/Swing implementations, when, indeed, those GUI libraries were slow, bloated, and ugly. However, they’ve improved immensely, in terms of both speed and appearance.
So, Joe User, you’re statement that “Java Sucks”, is pure, anadulterated flame bait.
Now, running a web based OS, via a browser, sounds rather far-fetched to me. Who wants to have all their files trusted to someone’s remote servers?
But, maybe, just maybe, it allows to save your files locally while running the OS/apps remotely (and through the browser). Being that Java is involved, this scenario is most definetely possible.
Would you host your files on Gael Duval’s servers? What if he abandons the project, the server goes down, or is he starts charging a fee? How secure is that? How responsive is it? My experience with Java in a web browser has been terrible since the beginning. It’s damn slow and turns your browser unstable.
2006-09-26 2:21 pmarctic
No, I wouldn’t. Furthermore, installing and OS in order to run an OS, how ridiculous is that? It’s like buying a bag for carrying your other bag.
I already imagined Ulteo to be a big flop months ago. Now I have the final proof that Duval is creating a big flop and that he is a dreamer who lost touch with reality. Two thumbs down.
2006-09-26 7:46 pmr_a_trip
It could be a mild success with people who don’t know any better and have no resident geek to push them on something more complicated.
Ulteo would need some sort of set top box with a screen, mouse and keyboard, but in such a configuration it could become a Web Appliance. Risky though, as Web Appliance development was the last nail in the coffin of Be Inc.
This Ulteo Connected Desktop concept sounds completely worthless. Duval said: “Ulteo Connected Desktop is only a part of the full Ulteo concept.” I sincerely doubt that will be the main feature of this operating system. Because if it is, I sure will never look at it again.
Who wants to store all their private data on a server somewhere on the net? Just imagine the performance on a system like that (not even mentioning the privacy issues).
http://cosmopod.com beat him to it.
How about something like OpenVPN on your machine:
plus something similar to this on your pendrive:
I have news for him – remote X servers implemented as a Java applet are nothing new. http://www.jcraft.com/weirdx/index.html
We seen these web operating environments before and they are mostly a joke because they still require an operating system to run this in a browser. There is no way I would intrust my computing needs to a Java based OS where I’d store all my private data on some remote server that I couldn’t trust. Additionally, since we know that he was an employee of Mandriva, I am sure he’ll eventually want to start a buisness from this; perhaps by selling subscriptions to this web OS.
He touts his Web OS as having the benefit of running anywhere in the world. Guess what? People can and are already doing this with remote desktop software. Most full-featured Linux distros already come with such software by default in a normal installation.
I do wish Gael success but I suspect he wont find it with this project.
Sometimes the “Nobody wants this” argument is a sign of unfounded conservatism. Few would have predicted twenty years ago the internet to be the huge success it is now.
Some arguments are invalid.
– The bandwidth problem-argument is just a matter of time.
– The privacy problem-argument is something few care about: think of how many people put all their photo’s, and more, on their Gmail account.
However, Ulteo does contradict the “everyone a laptop” trend. And maybe Ulteo needs PC makers to change their strategy completely and make hard disk drive-less, potentially tiny and very stylish, PCs/laptop computers with plenty RAM and some flash memory. If the HPs and Dells won’t do such a thing, people would start wondering what all the HDD space is for, and they might as well use it. So Ulteo must come “pre-installed” on “Ulteo-hardware”.
That might be good especially for older/very inexperienced people that want a company like Duval’s take over everything for them. They can, say, send Duval an e-mail asking, “could you install something for us to be able to see our grandchild in New-Zealand on a webcam?” And it will be done for them.
Something like this exists in Holland, it’s called “SimPC”, and it runs “SimOS”, which is really a hosted Gentoo-based simple OS. It comes with special hardware (no HDD). Ulteo might only be a success if it’s the complete package. But I have no idea if the SimPC thing really sells.
This will only be useful if we don’t need a computer to connect to it. Think of a device with a keyboard, mouse and internet connection no need for hard-disk or high end processor, really light-weight like 1-lb range and you can carry anywhere, well then it may be useful.
Also the internet connection needs to be available everywhere 24/7. Right now i take my laptop to library, coffee shop, railway station etc and in this system i would need a fast reliably net connection every where.
2006-09-26 4:12 pmzerohalo
Maybe if it was optimized for a PDA or something like the Nokia 770, then I can see it being handy – giving you the ability to run a full-fledged OS from a machine that just has a Java client installed. On the other hand, I’m not sure what you would do with it that you couldn’t do with a Nokia 770, other than you would have access to more apps that haven’t been ported to the 770.
This Beranger person is simply flaming Gael Duval for the Ulteo project, of which he (Beranger) obviously knows very littel about. This is true of everyone. Duval is keeping his cards close to his chest, with very little teasers (the screenshot), until full release.
I, for one, say wait until the product is released, then give it a whirl, then judge. And even at that point, it’s wise to withhold final judgement because at that point (first full release), the product will still be very immature.
By the looks of things, it seems Ulteo is combining a local installed OS (of GNU/Linux variety) with a web OS (which will provide several free apps/services). And the web OS part will give current Windows users a the ability to try Linux (the screenshot was kde) immediately.
Ultimately, I don’t know if Duval’s project/ideas will be worthwhile. But I do think it might have some potential (based on what very little I know), and I wish him the best of success.
At the very least, even if Ulteo fails, I give Gael Duval full credit for trying something somewhat new and differant in the Linux distro space. Otherwise, he would be putting out “just another distro”, among hundreds.
And after being fired from the distro he founded, I give him full credit for trying to bounce back and kick some booty, rather than just being bitter.
well itd be ok if it was somthing like a bootmanager and a light kernel installed to hardrive that basically does nothing except pxe boots to a remote server giving you a full os no need for the browser or java or any of that
It’s incredible how people likes to bitch without reason:
1) No one here actually gave the OS a try.
2) No one read the UPDATE beranger made to the post (http://beranger.org/index.php?article=1633&from=rss)
The remote desktop is just a feature of the OS. Nothing more, nothing less. Want to use it? Fine. Don’t want? Fine too.
Ulteo will be a “standard” distro, it’ll just provide a remote desktop system as a feature.
Edited 2006-09-26 21:50
lastfoot tried to do something like this a very long time back. They had a very nice free demo, but somehow there was very little interest.
Anyway, it’s a nice concept, and maybe they will put it together well enough that people actually will want to use it.
My experience with running Java apps inside a web browser
has been terrible. It’s so bad that I want no part of
Java when it comes to using a browser.
For example, I can get Firefox to play nice with these
Java-based games Yahoo Games. Firefox (with Sun’s JRE)
crashes like crazy adn IE is only slightly better. If it
has trouble with things like simple games, how am I
suppose to have confidence for serious apps?
I would rather they write a standalone cross-platform
client in Java instead.