Article:
  Rethinking the Linux Distribution
Subject:   requirements first (2)
Date:   2007-05-14 09:16:59
From:   georgebelotsky
Response to: requirements first (2)

Excellent question. To start with the simplest observation, the traditional OS component does remain -- you need a kernel, for example, on both the client and the server.


Of course, your question goes deeper than this. Extending the traditional view, the browser together with the server is the platform ("virtual" hardware, if you will) to which the the Web OS provides the interface. For example, imagine some sort of an evolved JavaScript library, together with a content management system. Note that this is early extrapolation from today's technology; the fully mature implementation may use different components.


It is possible, however, to go even further. Consider the Web OS as an interface between the user, the application code, and the user's data. Regardless of where each component of the application runs, where the user is, and where the data resides, the Web OS can tie all of them together.


It is important to realize that both the current PC-centric and the older mainframe-centric way of deploying applications have their advantages. Also, subscribing to a monthly service is the best approach in some cases; in others, it is better to manage software locally. What the free Web OS would offer is the ability to mix-and-match all of these models -- component-by-component, vendor-by-vendor, user-by-user, and situation-by-situation.

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  • requirements first (2)
    2007-05-14 12:39:33  Kuros [View]

    i agree that a kernel is needed, perhaps in modern day terms we would call it a micro-kernel... yes i think this is a deeper issue. I remember when I used to work on telecom applications (telephony) there was a specification called AIN0.2 (AIN=Advanced Intelligent Networking) which started with an abstract model of the digital telephone network, identifying all the major hardware components in the network (and communication protocols), then designing a set of primitives upon which one could in principle design and implement a wide range of telephony applications. Furthermore, a lot of of what you say reminds me of another specification, called X-Windows. At the time of its definition was pretty advanced and had the main elements of a networked application "system". It too modeled the entire network containing the application. I think such a model and a subsequent specification are a best starting point. Why do you feel that the browser is a good place for a kernel, i.e. why do we need a browser at all (I am not a browser specialist). As I mentioned in an earlier reply, sofar I am not too convinced that HTML (and HTTP) are the best way to go. Perhaps you are thinking of the browser, as not just a place for rendering HTML? Some language like Extended Javascript is naturally needed. I was thinking some kind of a homogeneous programming language that tied the client and server together would be best (Javascript has too much baggage attached perhaps). The final form of the language should at the very least, make networks transparent (or trivially easy to navigate) and make it easier to write interface using same syntax everywhere. I come from a J2EE background, and I have to laugh at the notion that I am doing object-oriented design/programming, because once I start working with Javascript, HTML or XML (which is quite a lot) or development tools, like ant etc. I realize that there is nothing OO about them, so the claim of OO with J2EE is not legitimate. One needs a language (perhaps OO) that would allow programming at all levels of a "WEB" application...
  • requirements first (2)
    2007-05-14 12:39:19  Kuros [View]

    i agree that a kernel is needed, perhaps in modern day terms we would call it a micro-kernel... yes i think this is a deeper issue. I remember when I used to work on telecom applications (telephony) there was a specification called AIN0.2 (AIN=Advanced Intelligent Networking) which started with an abstract model of the digital telephone network, identifying all the major hardware components in the network (and communication protocols), then designing a set of primitives upon which one could in principle design and implement a wide range of telephony applications. Furthermore, a lot of of what you say reminds me of another specification, called X-Windows. At the time of its definition was pretty advanced and had the main elements of a networked application "system". It too modeled the entire network containing the application. I think such a model and a subsequent specification are a best starting point. Why do you feel that the browser is a good place for a kernel, i.e. why do we need a browser at all (I am not a browser specialist). As I mentioned in an earlier reply, sofar I am not too convinced that HTML (and HTTP) are the best way to go. Perhaps you are thinking of the browser, as not just a place for rendering HTML? Some language like Extended Javascript is naturally needed. I was thinking some kind of a homogeneous programming language that tied the client and server together would be best (Javascript has too much baggage attached perhaps). The final form of the language should at the very least, make networks transparent (or trivially easy to navigate) and make it easier to write interface using same syntax everywhere. I come from a J2EE background, and I have to laugh at the notion that I am doing object-oriented design/programming, because once I start working with Javascript, HTML or XML (which is quite a lot) or development tools, like ant etc. I realize that there is nothing OO about them, so the claim of OO with J2EE is not legitimate. One needs a langauge (perhaps OO) that would allow programming at all levels of a "WEB" application...