First seen the submission at Slashdot: “David Gelernter (Yale Professor of Computer Science, and Unabomber target) has a story in the NY Times which states, (1) Operating systems are relics of the past, (2) We should be able to access data anytime/anywhere, by (3) seeing a stream of 3D documents(?), so (4) he’s written such software, and (5) that’s all you should care about so it doesn’t matter that it runs under windows. This is a fantastic (definition: based on fantasy : not real (?)) vision of the future by a premier technologist.”
Operating Systems Are Irrelevant
2002-11-07 OS News 37 Comments
this was slashdotted to hell and back earlier
i think that the gent isnt offering anything new personally, but thats just me
seeing a stream of 3d documents….sheesh.
this guys watches too many star trek reruns.
this guys watches too many star trek reruns.
Hell, not even Star Trek uses three dimensional documents… Its kind of like virtual reality, to me. Nice idea, the implementations have just never been there…
BTW, the site is still /.ed and os.ed to submission…
He has to be affiliated with the BSD developers of the seventies .. at least they seem to be sharing the same pot dealer ;D
you can see the page (its still under attack of the slashdot affect) on google cache @
The concept has already been discussed here (not meaning we can’t discuss it again).
If Operating Systems are thing of the past how can he achieve interaction with the hardware? What’s that? Hmmm, you still need Windows to run it. I thought Windows is operating system (doesn’t matter if it’s bad one) I guess I was wrong.
If “Operating Systems Are Irrelevant” why does this junk only run on Windows 2000 and XP?
He needs to get real.
If operating systems are irrelevant, I don’t guess we need a site to report news about them any more either. Iguess Eugenia will have to take up a new hobby too, maybe coin collecting.
sounds awesome! I will download it later to try it out… and stop bashing windows it isn’t like Linux is easier to use than Windows(excluding 9x, and any previous) as a Desktop/Server(workstation?) Openoffice is available for windows and works better than it does under linux, so you cannot complain about the office being expensive! Mozilla and it’s derivatives are all available for windows also so you cannot complain about IE being “M$ —-” and the only viable solution blah blah another linux zealot rant. OSnews seams to be plagued by these people who think it is horrible if anything new for windows is reviewed or even talked about! This app is probably better for desktop users and as far as I have seen Linux isn’t there yet… I do believe there was a sort of install-sheild app made by Loki…maybe someone should look into getting that working on a major distro!
Who is bashing Windows?
quack, quack… quack.
Have you ever used Linux? I mean actually installed, configured, and used for several weeks? Spent the time to figure stuff out? Cause remember, no matter how fuzzy your memeory is, you has a learning curve for Windows, too.
Dosen’t sound like it, to me. And I have no idea where you get that OO.o is more stable on Windows than Linux. I’ve used it on both, and I don’t see a winner either way. I will tell you this: if I leave OO.o ( or any large app) open on windows for an extended period of time, the slow down and become glitchy. Don’t have that problem on Linux. But this is not a debate of Linux vs Windows. We know there is plently of that out there.
What scopeware is trying to do sounds awfully like what a company tried to do a few years ago, where your ‘desktop’ was turned into a ‘room’, and your files were stored in ‘drawers’. Took a lot of system resources, and I generated so many mouse miles that I uninstalled the thing.
Operating systems are relics of the past
This is nothing more than a marketing slogan, pure and simple. Its ment to try and transmit to slightly more intelligent-non-techies that it changes the way you get to your Word Documents… Reminds me of really stupid marketing guys trying to describe a product they don’t understand. Kind of like: Managing Tommorrow’s Data in the Future!…
There is no way in hell he can achieve wat he is talking about without Windows. This is sad, a professor of comp science at a good school, caught on cocaine and with his pants down imperganating more microsoft propaganda.
1. without os’s u cant run software on hardware
2. his wonderous program runs on windows, a sad sad excuse for an OS and yet it still is.
3. microsft defenders should go the way of the Nazi party of Germany after world war 2.
They weren’t bashing Windows, but rather commenting on the fact that if operating systems are irrelevant, why is it that his piece of software to allow this abstraction is tied to a particular OS?! If the OS is truly irrelevant, we should be able to run this without any operating system at all. (But that begs the question, How do we interface with our hardware? Quite a vicious circle, eh? Anyone for a CRC?)
If there’s a replacement for operating systems… to run hardware… isn’t it… (wait for it)… an “Operating System” itself?
My God … can’t we just have one article here that doesn’t turn into a Windows vs Linux pissing contest ?
Users: they don’t want to be connected to a computer. They want to be connected to information. Unfortunately they need a computer to do that.
OS: antiquated irrelevant piece of junk from the past (I’m insisting on that point). Unfortunately we need one to make the damn computer we don’t want to be connected with work, to jump in the future of the computing experience. We’ll go with Microsoft Windows, and only that one, which is the less irrelevant of them all, since it is already everywhere, being the marketplace victor, just having received a decisive legal imprimatur. We know Microsoft will behave: it is a monopoly, and it is under scrutiny.
So, jump in the future of computing, have the ultimate experience, run Scopeware on MS Windows.
cris I HAVE installed and run linux for atleast a month at the most but I couldn’t stand the cr-p anymore, constant X crashes ,computer just freezing up for some reason, apps crashing for no apparent reason. NONE of this has ever happened to me in WindowsXP nor Windows2k and yes I know about the learning curve of every OS unlike most people who say windows is easier I had never even used windows untill 3 years ago, but unlike linux it took days to configure everything and figure out which programs I liked the best etc.. etc… and I never had as many crashes even on Win98 as I have had in my experiences with linux over the past 1 1/2 years. The only computers I used before 3 years ago were PowerMAcs w/ OS 7.x-8.x and an old Tandy CoCO at my house. do not say I have “forgooten” the learning curve because I was “brought up” on windows.
He’s right in a way. OSs are irrelevant now in the sense that data access is not dependent on any particular OS standard. And we have the internet and particularly the world wide web to thank for that. I think he failed to even mention that the those exist!
But if OSs are irrelevant what is all that crap about needing to standardize on Windows!? Hasn’t he noticed that documents and data are becoming OS-agnostic?
Some people will continue to pine for the days when Windows data could only be viewed by other Windows users, and the hope that everyone will have to buy into Wintel.
Maybe if I had Wintel stock holdings or Wintel-only products, I’d feel the same way?
his perfect interface would be that vurtual reality database from disclosure :-).
yeah..realy efficent…lets get lost in a faux world while trying to find our resumes :-p.
I don’t understand the meaning of this guy’s statements and so I can’t determine they’re wrong or right.
Operating systems are irrelevant to WHAT? If he were to say the ability for 3d documents to display on the screen, I would disagree.
Or perhaps he would rather qualify, and say only the interrupt-handling section of an OS is irrelevant to disk transfers. I would diagree in this case as well.
So I can’t comment until he makes a meaningful statement.
This article was the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen in the Times. I kept looking for the fine print labeling it as an ad. I’ve since read excerpts from another article they ran on Scopeware that was just as one-sided and lacking in other input, other than Mr. Scopeware’s. It also touted Scopeware as a revolutionary alternative to the antiquated “1940’s Steelcase file cabinet” model. Scopeware is an interesting idea, but it just seems like hype to think it makes OS’s irrelevant, and there’s just something weird about the New York Times fawning over it
I was wrong in my previous comment. The article says that operating systems should be irrelevant, not irrespective or unnecessary. This brings a different idea that all access and interaction the user has with the computer should be the same across all platforms, making the operating system transparent to the user.
In order for this idea to work, this guy ought to have his software ported to every known and used operating system, and also that each operating system should contain a standard API (POSIX anyone) that programmers use, that allow all applications to use the base system.
This makes sense, but would in essence eliminate the need for the variety of operating systems we have. This is bound to fail, but may pick up steam in the future. This is the same concept that Java and .NET are touting.
it sounded awesome at first but now I have installed it and I really see no point in it…I prefer the current way alot.
He made it clear that there is no need for any other OS than MS Windows. It’s not that he has more consideration for that one, it’s just that it is already everywhere.
His app is nothing more than a simple search tool (and beta at that).
His 3d bit is little squares that overlap and go transparent so you can read what is behind them.
Searching in windows does (nearly) all that his app does, yes his does look at email in addition to files. BeOS ‘s index searching does more than this app and faster and easier.
I am not even sure what he is trying to achieve.
please don’t pollute osnews with any more of his nonsense
> David Gelernter (Yale Professor of Computer Science, and
> Unabomber target)
Is being a Unabomber target a kind of seal of quality? 🙂
I thought that this was a site that people actually read in depth and understand a topic before posting a comment. I read some comments that insult the writer of the original article without a specific need to do so. The only thing that these comments show is the inability of their readers to understand what they read, and the ignorance of the ongoing research from various companies and institutions, in the way future OSes should interact with their users. If they had ever read something about usability in User Interfaces from Usability experts like Jeff Raskin and others, maybe they would know better. Until they learn what they are talking about, maybe they should read one or two relative articles, books,… whatever.
Instead of ranting about our ignorance and stupidity (I confess that I don’t understand what it is about), why don’t you explain, since you understand.
doesn’t plan 9 already do this?
everything is a file, even moreso than normal Unix. isn’t that what this guy wants…well if so, I think he would have more credibility if he used a base that already looked at everything the way he wants to display it.
What he meant by irrevelant was that it doesn’t matter which OS you are running, you can get the same information and such.
If you want read to something about usability, check out the above article. That, my friends, is how our paradigm should work.
Is anybody else tired of these kinds of articles? “THE DESKTOP IS DEAD!” “THE MOUSE IS DEAD!” “FILE HEIRARCHY IS DEAD!” I wouldn’t really mind this, however these people just bitch and moan without any real suggestions. At least spend five minutes in MSPaint and give us a pretty picture or something to ponder over. Don’t just bitch and moan but when it comes time to think up a real solution tell us you’re not an expert.
Oh, and by the way, I LIKE MY DESKTOP!
<em>The only thing that these comments show is the inability of their readers to understand what they read, and the ignorance of the ongoing research from various companies and institutions, in the way future OSes should interact with their users.</em>
Design by committe virtually always results in disaster. “Well-Planned Software” often ends up bloated (X11 compared to X10). Academic opinions of usability seem to assume retarded 5-year-olds as target users.
If you want to understand usability (as opposed to initial intuitiveness/ease of adoption), reconsider the UNIX paradigm – or read The UNIX Philosophy by Mike Gancarz. Mr. Yale Professor’s article was like a bad LSD trip.
If you want read to something about usability, check out the above article. That, my friends, is how our paradigm should work.</em>
Rot. The author disregards the fact that autosave has been a feature of many, many applications for the longest while (Emacs, for all its flaws, autosaves at regular intervals). His sweeping generalizations, and sometimes his very analyses, are fundamentally wrong. Worst of all, he makes no concrete suggestions on an alternative, coherent interface. It’s easy to bitch and tear things down; how about building them up.
Besides, how in hell is that relevant to this discussion?!