The silent death of SkyOS

Ten days ago, an OS project with similar goals as this one officially died. It wasn’t a noisy event, really : the domain of its website, which had been continuously displaying an “I don’t have time now but I’ll be back when I can” message for a few years, simply went down since the OS author did not even bother to pay for it anymore. On the OSnews article reporting the event, there were a few sad comments, but overall most people seemed to have understandably made up their minds a long while ago, when the only developer said that he couldn’t carry on development because a freshly born baby took his mind elsewhere. And that was pretty much it. RIP, SkyOS.

It’s something which I’ve been regularly thinking about for some time now. The “optimal” period of time to have children in an adult’s life isn’t so long, and my girlfriend has made it pretty clear that she wants a couple. Even if I don’t feel as passionate about it, I don’t have a problem with that either. Sounds like an interesting thing to experience, after all. But looking around, I know the price : for ten years at least, I’ll probably have to give up on any kind of time-consuming hobby, possibly including sleep, and dedicate as much free time as I can to the pretty parasite. What this effectively means for TOSP is that when I reach this time, the project must be mature enough for someone younger to want to take over, and actually do it. Otherwise, it’s as good as dead.

Consequently, at the pace I’m currently going, TOSP is not going to make it. I need to find a way to spend much more time on it, and do so more efficiently. More generally, I need to make better use of my free time anyway : the way I’m currently doing, throwing myself in front of animes for whole evenings because I can’t find the energy to do better, only lets my to-do lists grow longer in a depressing manner. I understood it when my girlfriend recently came to visit a whole week for the first time : it’s not sleep, hormones, or another body problem, the issue lies somewhere in my mind. What I’ve yet to grasp, though, is what it is, and how to overcome it.

And it’s not as if I had so much time left to figure it out…

10 thoughts on “The silent death of SkyOS

  1. Alfman March 19, 2013 / 7:40 pm

    I guess you’ll have to ask if you’ve gotten what you wanted out of TOSP. Have you already scratched the itch in building an OS? Are you only continuing because you feel guilty in stopping, or is there some milestone you still feel the need to reach?

    It’s what happened to my OS project as well. For me, I just wanted to prove to myself that I could do it, I didn’t even document my efforts like you. But I was always honest with myself that there wouldn’t be commercial viability, so I never faced the disappointment that one might perceive when it didn’t go anywhere. I’m still fond of the experience.

    If anything, I’m far more disappointed with my ongoing career, which isn’t coming to an end, but instead continues in an underwhelming way. How disappointed will I be when I eventually look back at the end of it all? I know my abilities are better than this, but at the same time it’s not exactly my fault that clients are only interested in hiring me for work I find so unrewarding and unimaginative. I wonder if my future disappointment will be entirely with myself, or with having been dependent upon clients who failed to do anything I might be proud of. It seems I might need to be more selective in who I work for, it would be an easy decision if only great clients were easier to come buy, as it stands saying “no” to clients damages my income, which hurts my family.

    Regarding children, something is going to take a hit. Maybe it will be sleep or work or hobby’s, but unless you have someone to watch your kids day and night, something will have to vanish from your schedule. I am so jealous of parents who have the luxury of leaving their children with grandparents for the day. I have no idea what’s “normal”, but our two year old daughter needs full attention 13 hours a day. She’s extremely playful when she has our attention. I enjoy playing together, music, arts and crafts, etc, but getting chores done or even phone calls are very difficult to do since she’s very aware of when attention isn’t on her and then she starts throwing tantrums.

    My opinion is that traditional families were far better for children, one parent stayed home and the other worked. Is france still like that? I don’t know of any families like that here any more, both parents need to work to pay bills and it creates a very stressful scenario for parents and kids alike.

    I understood it when my girlfriend recently came to visit a whole week for the first time : it’s not sleep, hormones, or another body problem, the issue lies somewhere in my mind. What I’ve yet to grasp, though, is what it is, and how to overcome it.

    Whatever it is, I may have it too – a lack of excitement for things I used to be passionate about. For all I know it may be a normal part of growing up. I’ve been told that I need to overcome my own dispassionate outlook by overlooking the macro environmental factors which are beyond my control and instead concentrating on things where my individual actions can have a positive influence. Maybe that’s what it takes to be happy, but I’ve always had a tough time confining my thoughts like that.

  2. Hadrien March 19, 2013 / 9:10 pm

    I guess you’ll have to ask if you’ve gotten what you wanted out of TOSP. Have you already scratched the itch in building an OS? Are you only continuing because you feel guilty in stopping, or is there some milestone you still feel the need to reach?

    Well, the thought that prompted me to start the TOSP project is still there at least : I’m dissatisfied with modern “personal computing” OSs, desktop and mobile alike. I feel that in terms of overall efficiency, user experience, portability to multiple form factors, coherence of GUI/CLI/API interfaces, ease of learning and plain geek fun, there are lots of things that could be done much better, and it is my understanding is that the main culprit which prevents things from reaching their optimal state is the need to support legacy users, software and hardware.

    Starting from there, the next natural step was to build a mostly legacy-free OS, as a playground on which I could implement and stress-test my ideas, and use them at home and share them with others if they work, without suffering the hassle of compatibility with brain-dead ideas from decades ago.

    So the goal as far as I’m concerned would be to build some kind of proof of concept demo that says “here’s the rough idea of what my perfect OS would be”. That gives a good feeling of the overall vision and UX for users and devs, even if there’s no sound and printers don’t work. If I get there, I’ll feel that I have succeeded, even if I can’t bring myself to go through the following boring steps of building or porting drivers and software for everything :)

    It’s what happened to my OS project as well. For me, I just wanted to prove to myself that I could do it, I didn’t even document my efforts like you. But I was always honest with myself that there wouldn’t be commercial viability, so I never faced the disappointment that one might perceive when it didn’t go anywhere. I’m still fond of the experience.

    I have no hope for any commercial success either, except in the unlikely case where 1/I could make it to the “proof of concept” stage mentioned above, 2/I would subsequently manage to convince many people that my ideas are great and worth working on, and 3/Together, we’d manage to build something mature enough that people think it’s worth paying for.

    I also have lots of fun coming up with ideas about what a perfect OS sounds like, though. If I really can’t bring myself to make a proper implementation, I think I’d continue to blog about that, just for the fun of it. But as mentioned in the blog post, my procrastination problems go way beyond OS work alone :)

    If anything, I’m far more disappointed with my ongoing career, which isn’t coming to an end, but instead continues in an underwhelming way. How disappointed will I be when I eventually look back at the end of it all? I know my abilities are better than this, but at the same time it’s not exactly my fault that clients are only interested in hiring me for work I find so unrewarding and unimaginative. I wonder if my future disappointment will be entirely with myself, or with having been dependent upon clients who failed to do anything I might be proud of. It seems I might need to be more selective in who I work for, it would be an easy decision if only great clients were easier to come buy, as it stands saying “no” to clients damages my income, which hurts my family.

    Here, I’m fairly admirative of my brother, who recently decided to stop having a “safe” job for awhile for the sake of creating a video game company with a friend. I think that rolling your own company to scratch your itch and sell the result, as he attempts to do, is one of the few ways of being happy with work.

    But doing that takes some amount of financial resources that may or may not come back, and as you mentioned, brings much professional instability that is not desirable if you have a family to take care of. Guess that’s an advantage of being young/retired and single.

    Regarding children, something is going to take a hit. Maybe it will be sleep or work or hobby’s, but unless you have someone to watch your kids day and night, something will have to vanish from your schedule. I am so jealous of parents who have the luxury of leaving their children with grandparents for the day. I have no idea what’s “normal”, but our two year old daughter needs full attention 13 hours a day. She’s extremely playful when she has our attention. I enjoy playing together, music, arts and crafts, etc, but getting chores done or even phone calls are very difficult to do since she’s very aware of when attention isn’t on her and then she starts throwing tantrums.

    I don’t think you should be jealous of people who leave the kids to the grandparents. It seems to me that those deprive themselves from everything that makes having children actually interesting : watching the kids grow, guiding them through the hurdles of life, passing on things that you feel are important but couldn’t take care of yourself…

    As for attention… Kids seem to feed off that indeed. As an example, my girlfriend, who is taking classes in children psychology, recently told me that the worst possible thing to do when kids go amok is to beat them up for it. The very reason why they cry and break everything, apparently, is that they want your attention, so if they manage to get it in some way then they’ve won, even if they have to suffer for it. Which leads to the highly counterintuitive result that the only efficient way to deal with a screaming kid would be to ignore it. Easier said than done, methinks…

    My opinion is that traditional families were far better for children, one parent stayed home and the other worked. Is france still like that? I don’t know of any families like that here any more, both parents need to work to pay bills and it creates a very stressful scenario for parents and kids alike.

    In France, too, both parents usually work to raise kids. I think that it’s a fairly good thing though: if it was me that had to spend my life at home, using up every minute to take care of the kids and the house, I know that my head would implode, and then I’d probably redirect all my rage at them for the unjust cause of being born. I just NEED to be doing more than one intellectually challenging thing in my life to be happy. Perhaps becoming a parent changes one’s mind about that, though.

    I understood it when my girlfriend recently came to visit a whole week for the first time : it’s not sleep, hormones, or another body problem, the issue lies somewhere in my mind. What I’ve yet to grasp, though, is what it is, and how to overcome it.

    Whatever it is, I may have it too – a lack of excitement for things I used to be passionate about. For all I know it may be a normal part of growing up. I’ve been told that I need to overcome my own dispassionate outlook by overlooking the macro environmental factors which are beyond my control and instead concentrating on things where my individual actions can have a positive influence. Maybe that’s what it takes to be happy, but I’ve always had a tough time confining my thoughts like that.

    Recently, we PhDs from Grenoble had to take some classes about professional orientation. One of the thing that the teachers told us is that people typically start to get fed up with their job in as low as 5 years. What I retained from that is that I should do everything I can to keep the ability to easily switch jobs, but perhaps that’s also the phenomenon which you are experiencing, in a more personal perspective.

    As for myself, I think that it’s a bit more complicated than that, since it’s more like spending too much time alone makes me loose any kind of energy and willpower, and thus ability to carry out ANY kind of task (well, except those that involve communicating with someone I like in some way). I noticed it because when my girlfriend was around, I became much, much more enthusiastic about everything at work, procrastinating less and taking more initiatives. Now, it’s normal to be happier when friends and loved ones as around, but it also seems to me that I rely on them too much. Loneliness should not turn me into a zombie so quickly, and I should really be able to deal with things on my own more.

    Third thing : you’re right that limiting ourselves to small individual actions where we’re actually sure that we can manage is depressing :) Sure, it’s good to perform some “simple” tasks regularly so as to pump your morale up, but what is a life without crazy dreams worth ?

  3. Alfman March 20, 2013 / 4:34 pm

    Hadrien,

    So the goal as far as I’m concerned would be to build some kind of proof of concept demo that says “here’s the rough idea of what my perfect OS would be”. That gives a good feeling of the overall vision and UX for users and devs, even if there’s no sound and printers don’t work. If I get there, I’ll feel that I have succeeded, even if I can’t bring myself to go through the following boring steps of building or porting drivers and software for everything :)

    It’d be nice to have a fully working micro kernel and API stack, but my impression has been that it’s the user interface that you are most interested in. As much as I like reading and discussing your other kernel topics, maybe you could focus on just the UX aspects that you want to build a demo for?

    Here, I’m fairly admirative of my brother, who recently decided to stop having a “safe” job for awhile for the sake of creating a video game company with a friend. I think that rolling your own company to scratch your itch and sell the result, as he attempts to do, is one of the few ways of being happy with work.
    But doing that takes some amount of financial resources that may or may not come back, and as you mentioned, brings much professional instability that is not desirable if you have a family to take care of. Guess that’s an advantage of being young/retired and single.

    Yeah, maybe. I am incorporated but I have the same types of clients as before, it’s just now B2B. I’d have to dump my clients to work on what I want to, but that’s where things get risky like you say. I’m already pretty good at living frugally, but the non-discretionary costs of living are so damn high.

    Would you be interested in working with your brother? My guess is that he could probably use the help. If he is doing well enough with money I might like to work with him as well :)

    I don’t think you should be jealous of people who leave the kids to the grandparents. It seems to me that those deprive themselves from everything that makes having children actually interesting : watching the kids grow, guiding them through the hurdles of life, passing on things that you feel are important but couldn’t take care of yourself…

    Your right about being with the kids. I met a Dad with a two year old boy, he works night shifts and his wife works day shifts, and together they are able to take care of their child by themselves. But for parents with two day jobs, it’s impossible not to have someone else to watch the kids. We decided to do daycare for 3 days per week to compromise between work and staying home with our daughter. We also used to enjoy going out to movies, etc, but that has completely stopped. Someone gave us a pair of movie tickets when our daughter was born, this month was the first time we had an opportunity to use them. We’re expecting another baby this summer, I do wish we had more help.

    I just NEED to be doing more than one intellectually challenging thing in my life to be happy. Perhaps becoming a parent changes one’s mind about that, though.

    Haha, you eventually accept it. It’ll be a while before I can talk math or CS with her :) if she’s even interested. I’ve been speaking in French to her, which is a fun challenge for me since I haven’t really spoken in french since my childhood. I read her some french books, but they’re hard to come by so I translate the stories in her english books on the fly. Sometimes I need to lookup words etc, that’s fun for me. Her understanding is superb but I’m finding it very difficult to get her to speak in french at all.

    As for myself, I think that it’s a bit more complicated than that, since it’s more like spending too much time alone makes me loose any kind of energy and willpower, and thus ability to carry out ANY kind of task

    Could you join a club? I used to go to monthly LILUG meetings when I had the time, and it was fun socializing with everyone there. The talks were linux oriented but you’d find people with all sorts of technology interests there. It doesn’t take much energy or willpower once your there, you just need to go :)

  4. Hadrien March 20, 2013 / 9:25 pm

    It’d be nice to have a fully working micro kernel and API stack, but my impression has been that it’s the user interface that you are most interested in. As much as I like reading and discussing your other kernel topics, maybe you could focus on just the UX aspects that you want to build a demo for?

    Yeah, since TOSP is based on my gripes as a computer user, most of my rants tend to be related to things I deal with directly, such as UI :) So I, too, have been regularly wondering about just giving up on the plumbing work and rolling out a Linux shell or something similar. Still, thinking about it further, it appears to me that some end user problems directly emerge from low-level decisions, and that I won’t be able to tackle those without messing with the bottom of the stack.

    As an example, I can’t think of a clean way to implement sandbox-based security on top of an OS that has a user-based low-level security model like Unices and Windows, without building wrappers around a fair chunk of the existing API stack. Similarly, being able to update a running system without reboots or survive system service crashes without killing applications is something that would require support from the lowest possible layers of the OS stack.

    I’m already pretty good at living frugally, but the non-discretionary costs of living are so damn high.

    Just a little English question there: is a non-discretionary cost of living one that is fixed and cannot be easily cut upon, such as utility bills or a flat’s rent?

    Would you be interested in working with your brother? My guess is that he could probably use the help. If he is doing well enough with money I might like to work with him as well :)

    Well, I have already proposed to help a little in areas I’m familiar with, such as audio recording and tweaking. But he’s not alone in this since he does it with a friend, and myself I couldn’t become a full-time member of the project without making some major concession elsewhere. For now, I have a PhD to get sorted out within 2 years and 7 months, and beyond that, my girlfriend plans to go study abroad, and I’d like to follow her. This way, we would finally end up together at the same place for an extended period of time.

    As for the money, who knows, if this bold endeavor gets anywhere, I might post an ad or two for their games on this blog, and this way you could try to get in touch with them :)

    We’re expecting another baby this summer, I do wish we had more help.

    Is it me or in this world, is it incredibly hard to find a job that pays well enough to live a confortable life with children, yet leaves you enough free time to actually get to know them ?

    My supervisor and his wife seem to has found a nice balance between both, taking alternatively care of the kids during the evenings yet earning enough to currently build themselves a nice house. But they can only do so because as a university and middle school teacher respectively, they have a good deal of flexibility in their schedules. I don’t think it’s so common in France.

    Haha, you eventually accept it. It’ll be a while before I can talk math or CS with her :) if she’s even interested. I’ve been speaking in French to her, which is a fun challenge for me since I haven’t really spoken in french since my childhood. I read her some french books, but they’re hard to come by so I translate the stories in her english books on the fly. Sometimes I need to lookup words etc, that’s fun for me. Her understanding is superb but I’m finding it very difficult to get her to speak in french at all.

    Heh, that’s the price you US citizens pay for natively speaking the most useful language in this world: it must be hard to motivate yourselves to learn other ones. Contrast with Europe where you need to learn at least one foreign language just to go a few hundred kilometers to the east :)

    That being said, I think I remember a mail conversation where I wanted to give you a few purchasing tips for French and Belgian comic books and TV series. Did I actually get around doing that in the end ?

    Could you join a club? I used to go to monthly LILUG meetings when I had the time, and it was fun socializing with everyone there. The talks were linux oriented but you’d find people with all sorts of technology interests there. It doesn’t take much energy or willpower once your there, you just need to go :)

    That’s true, it’s pretty much how I brought myself to actually start learning Japanese after trying to do so on my own for many years: I just found a teacher doing classes in my new town, and got going. It’s incredible how much group pressure and dealing with an interlocutor that doesn’t speak French can help you move forward :)

    Don’t know if it’d work as well with a true club, in which no one is actively pushing others forward, though…

  5. Alfman March 21, 2013 / 5:00 pm

    Hadrien,

    As an example, I can’t think of a clean way to implement sandbox-based security on top of an OS that has a user-based low-level security model like Unices and Windows, without building wrappers around a fair chunk of the existing API stack.

    Sandboxing under linux (or the lack thereof) has been a long running gripe of mine. A single user should be able to run processes with fewer permissions than the user himself has. If we’re lucky enough to have root on a system, we can create alternate user accounts to put up boundaries…but that’s a poor fit for the type of security model that users and application developers should be able to use much more transparently.

    As it so happens, I have been working on a container based security sandbox (a generic shell that can run anything within it but cannot be escaped) but a major stumbling block for me has been the linux filesystem itself, which doesn’t lend itself to securing adhoc sandboxes. Another problem is chroot not being designed for security and being trivial to exploit on linux. I’ve gotten it to work by giving up key permissions in the sandbox process, but in principal it should work recursively. A sandbox should be able to create it’s own sandbox, linux cannot handle that.

    Just a little English question there: is a non-discretionary cost of living one that is fixed and cannot be easily cut upon, such as utility bills or a flat’s rent?

    That’s as good a definition as I can come up with. It’s what you need to spend for the basics in modern life. The inverse is discretionary spending, which is money that we could have saved or invested in something else. I don’t think I can come up with a definition that eliminates all ambiguity: food is necessary, but a lot of food we buy isn’t necessary.

    For now, I have a PhD to get sorted out within 2 years and 7 months, and beyond that, my girlfriend plans to go study abroad, and I’d like to follow her. This way, we would finally end up together at the same place for an extended period of time.

    I know you mentioned Canada. If you want to work at a university, it might be helpful to apply as an alumni instead of as an outsider, if you don’t mind doing your PhD in Canada. My uncle works as a biologist professor at a few universities. It’s not superconductors, but I could ask if he knows anyone in that field.

    That being said, I think I remember a mail conversation where I wanted to give you a few purchasing tips for French and Belgian comic books and TV series. Did I actually get around doing that in the end ?

    I could try, but she’s still on the books with a few sentences per page :) I can try comic books soon to see if it holds her attention.

  6. Hadrien March 21, 2013 / 7:47 pm
    For now, I have a PhD to get sorted out within 2 years and 7 months, and beyond that, my girlfriend plans to go study abroad, and I’d like to follow her. This way, we would finally end up together at the same place for an extended period of time.

    I know you mentioned Canada. If you want to work at a university, it might be helpful to apply as an alumni instead of as an outsider, if you don’t mind doing your PhD in Canada. My uncle works as a biologist professor at a few universities. It’s not superconductors, but I could ask if he knows anyone in that field.

    As for the PhD, I have already started it in France, so I’d rather get it done here :) But beyond that, the research world has so-called “post-docs”, which are essentially fixed-length research contracts that typically last between 1 and 3 years. They are a good way to try out a place where you’d like to work before actually getting yourself into any serious career, and employers also like them since it allows them to see what a potential employee is worth without risking too much money and time.

    Regarding Canada, my girlfriend and I would end up in Montreal if things go according to plan. AFAIK, there isn’t a lot of work on superconductivity done there, as the brains of this topic are rather gathered at Sherbrooke. That’s not too big of a deal, as I don’t mind moving towards another microscopy-related topic, so long as it’s sufficiently familiar for me to get a job and sufficiently fun for me to actually want the job. In particular, I keep thinking that I should drop a mail to someone in the scanning probe microscopy group of Peter Grütter at McGill University, so as to get to know their research a bit better. Sounds like an interesting place to work at.

    One thing that we have to remember, though, is that as the amount of French psychology students admitted in Canadian universities shrinks every year, we don’t even know for sure if that’s where we’re actually going to end up yet.

    That being said, I think I remember a mail conversation where I wanted to give you a few purchasing tips for French and Belgian comic books and TV series. Did I actually get around doing that in the end ?

    I could try, but she’s still on the books with a few sentences per page :) I can try comic books soon to see if it holds her attention.

    For kids that age, I’d recommend buying all the books of Claude Ponti which you can get your hands on (I can’t remember reading anything bad from him), and Maurice Sendak’s “Max et les Maximonstres”. These were my favorites when I was a kid, and you can easily order a copy of them online :)

  7. Tom Novelli July 2, 2013 / 7:27 pm

    Hey Hadrien, I see you’re still at it… I’m just skimming through your recent posts…

    You know, I haven’t given up on osdev, I don’t have kids, but I just don’t have the time or energy for it. It was more fun in the 90s when we had a relatively stable hardware platform (i386, vga/vesa, ata disks, serial, ethernet). Hopefully we’ll have that again soon – in the form of dirt cheap standalone hardware like the Raspberry Pi, so there’s no reason for a big all-purpose OS. I can handle writing a simple embedded OS or programmer’s OS, and I can handle writing games and apps for non-programmers, but an OS for everybody? No way!

    Gamedev is awesome. I got back into it last year. You have to do a little of everything – UI, system architecture, I/O devices, timing – just like osdev. And AI, which is kinda the opposite of UI: try to make things difficult for the user, muahaha :) If I were you, and if you’re interested in your brother’s project, I’d put TOSP on the back burner and see what I could do to help. Part-time of course – it’s tough to make money from games these days.

  8. Hadrien July 5, 2013 / 7:51 pm

    Well, see it this way : while I agree that writing an OS for everybody is incredibly challenging, the challenge of succeeding in proving the point that current PC OSs sucks by doing it better alone or with a very small team is quite attractive to my mischievous mind. If I succeeded, it would be like trolling the entire desktop OS ecosystem at once. I like this silly prospect enough for it to overcome the very significant risk of coming up with nothing in the end.

    Regarding my brother’s project, I dunno. I kind of have the same mind regarding to game development as you regarding to OSs: I wouldn’t want to develop games for everybody, but am rather interested in working on esoteric to completely obscure game concepts, with ten private jokes per line of scenario, just for the fun of distributing the result to a limited set of friends and families.

    So we kind of have different goals there: he would be of the mind of doing game development for a living, whereas I would feel more like doing it just for the fun of it. Thus, I wouldn’t mind helping from time to time, and have already proposed to do so, but I believe I couldn’t involve myself deeply in this endeavour without causing some trouble.

    Also, I will probably be going to Québec at the end of my PhD, and I do believe in the importance of face-to-face meetings for serious project management.

  9. ronaldscheckelhoff August 28, 2013 / 7:16 pm

    Your question: Is it me or in this world, is it incredibly hard to find a job that pays well enough to live a confortable life with children, yet leaves you enough free time to actually get to know them?

    No. The reason is that employer’s business plans forbid it. This is name of corporate world, unchanging, relentless, and unremorseful. I tried the alternative, which was to go into my own business. The result of that: I had to adhere to the same business plan as everybody else, but with a self-incentive added, which amounted to a compellation to endure sixteen hour work days. I never saw my kids, now grown.

    Moral: Well, I’d be inclined to give up the “comfortable” part of your statement, go off-grid, and home school. But, now all those thoughts are no more than Tuesday morning umpire calls. Really, ya gotta go against the flow, because the flow direction has been designed without your interest at heart. Enough of that….

    This thread reveals an interesting perspective on very long term programming projects. I’ve been playing with SkyOS for a few days, and kinda like it. So … maybe Robert will pick up the pieces one day. But Robert may have his priorities correct. It’s like it has just been written here … the child raising years are full-time but pass quickly (add this comment from one who’s been through the process).

    I think Robert had dreams of commercial stardom in his eyes. Otherwise, he’d probably not have been pushing the financial side so much, while putting the beta out on a retail level. Then, the reality sunk in, which is that he developed a corps of groupies who loved the OS, but not so much beyond that.

    If we think about Linux and its two percent market penetration, we get a glimpse of how the public buys operating systems (If it ain’t a Chevy, it ain’t a car). Brain dead, in other words. It takes something really flashy, with BIG payback, to change the perception (Tesla Motors) etc.

    So, in operating systems, what are the odds that we’ll have that “Tesla” character needed to draw the hive-minded masses away from Windows/Apple? Low, in actuality. However; big companies have often purchase little companies for various reasons, including to get the rights to operating system software. Microsoft? So, there’s a smidge of a chance to get noticed by the big company, and bought out. This outcome is probably more likely if the OS is geared to the tablet format these days.

    But, there are other reasons to develop an OS. Most OSes these days add security measures as an afterthought. I’ve contemplated writing my own OS specifically for the purpose of building in security, sans the back doors. I’ve read through the NewOS kernel, and it’s quite simple actually. Doable.

    Then, of course, there’s the thrill of just doing it, and the self satisfaction. I’m a kernel newbie (although have been programming 30+ years). All of the Haiku crew were kernel newbies when they started building that OS around the NewOS kernel. I’m looking forward to tracing the path they did (Haiku) someday. But – I have no delusions that it’s be a commercial powerhouse. It’d be for me. Just because.

    – Ron

  10. RonS August 15, 2014 / 10:35 pm

    I still wonder about SkyOS. How can anyone leave that much self-investment? It seems it must be, emotionally, a very unfinished affair. Anyway, some niche operating systems will eventually make it, somewhere, someplace, sometime, but not necessarily in the form that the creators had envisioned. Haiku-OS has been getting quiet, small contributions from Google, Mozilla, etc. Makes me wonder if they’ve been noticed already. Good for them if they have been noticed, because Haiku’s a project that has been slowly polished, over a very long period, by unbelievably dedicated builders. They must be the ilk of the Pharoh’s and their pyramids. I love the ambitious creativity exuded by these various under-the-radar endeavors. VisOpSys is another one, slowly cooking for about seventeen years, mostly being the lovingly laid brickwork of a single mason.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s