Robert Szeleney will never cease to amaze us. After developing a software OpenGL stack and porting Quake 1&2 on top, this time around he has a preliminary JavaVM core running simple Java programs for his OS, SkyOS. Indeed, SkyOS has gone where no other hobby OS has ever gone before with these new features (not even AtheOS ever had such goodies).However, there are problems with the OS on other, lower levels. The OS has very few trial users because of its lack of a unique filesystem and its extremely cumbersome way of running the OS (you will need a FAT12/16 partition or burn CDs and ‘dd’ to floppies each time there is a newer version).
Moreover, the OS looks really bad, it has an extremely unpolished look. If Robert could fix these issues before aiming high at Java, GL and other exotic, it would surely bring him a respectable amount of userbase and most importantly, developers.
Maybe he’s seen the demands that a large userbase will levy on a hobbyist OS developer and would rather keep the userbase small by making it difficult to install and not so pretty.
Just an idea, anyway. Maybe Robert thinks differently
What about the phasing out of the x86 line of processors?
Will it be able to run on those backward compatible 64 bit procesors like Opteron, but not Itanium?
Sure, but SkyOS has potential and I feel that some basic needs are overlooked. I mean, it will take him less time clean up the UI and maybe fix the instalation/run problems than porting such large pieces of software as Java is. In any way though, SkyOS is truly an amazement, coming that far.
It’s nice to see him do so much. He must be a great programmer, but if I wanted to run a closed-source OS I’d run MS Windows or BEOS. I just don’t see the appeal of having a one-man show closed-source OS.
he should make his OS portable… lots of fun for very few people
SkyOS is a great toy.
Robert is probably having fun adding one feature after another. I doubt that it will ever go much further. It would require not addtional capabilites (if SMP has been implemented, he’s probably for now), but rather extensive tuning. That requires expert level skills and lots of hours.
Does not take too much to implement API. Linus did it almost alone in less that a year (as far as I remember), but it has taken another 10 years, lots of professional programmers and milions to get linx kernel where it is today. (Yet it is still missing many featues that other OSes such as Windows, Solaris, AIX or Tru64 have)
Now as far as x86-64, specifications say pretty much that any x86 software will run on Athalon64. Regarding developing for IA-64, I can only say that it would require an ia64 box. I don’t think Robert has one.
AFAIK there is already SMP in the SkyOS kernel.
Its a hobby OS porting Java would be more fun than fixing up the install IMHO.
The thing is, in a hobby OS people make what is fun (porting Java, OpenGL or Quake) instead of working on the tedious and long things (installation, fixing obscure bugs, making the desktop look pretty which takes a LOT of time, etc.).
Porting Java to SkyOS is a smart move. Not only will it make it a lot easier to write applications, but also they will have a nice GUI. Of course, this requires that they implement AWT + Swing, which is a huge effort.
Eugenia, why don’t you as him yourself? Or rather, why not email him some questions, let him answer (if he so chooses) and then put it up on OsNews? After all, I can speculate as much as I want to about why he does what he does (my guess he does what he finds to be fun), but an interview would be far more fun.
Maybe you could make a post where people can ask questions and you can choose the ones you think is the best?
Yeah, an interview would be neat.
An interview with him would be very interesting to read, Eugenia. 🙂 It is just amazing how fast and far he has come, tempting to install his OS on an extra box… *ponders*
Well, there’s this guy from Finland, whose hobby OS seems to be pretty popular… and it’s got hardware-accelerated OpenGL (the only one that really counts)…
Porting as much of the JavaVM as it sounds like he has is not as big a task as one would think. I can site one instance (CoffeeBEan for BeOS) where the developer (back in like ’96/’97) ported enough of the basics to run non gui java apps. It’s the AWT etc that is the hard part, not the basic side. The hard part if all of the support stuff, GUI flavours and jini etc. Java is too big now for a casual port, which is why it doesn’t just happen on any platform (AtheOS, BeOS etc.)
Interview interview interview interview…….(well you get the point)
Heavens, stop the work on the core functionality; he needs to add cute animations! I won’t even consider this as a valid OS until its webpage has a 20MB flash intro.