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100% Java operating system

 
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Here it is - http://www.jembryos.org.

What do think? Any critics? Other ideas?
 
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Hypothesis: A project whose only documentation is 160 KB of text is doomed to fail. At the least, it will fail to attract many people to it. It needs an elevator statement that tells the world why it is needed, and how it is better than anything else that came before.
 
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Ehh...
404 Not Found
 
Alexey Bezrodnov
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Pawel Pawlowicz wrote:Ehh...
404 Not Found

Sorry, the hosting provider should be changed ...

Here is the link to the sourceforge page - http://sourceforge.net/projects/jembryos/
But the documentation there is inside of the distribution file (first location) or jEmbryoDocs project (second).

Hopefully the Not Found problem will not persist too long.
 
Alexey Bezrodnov
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Ulf Dittmer wrote:Hypothesis: A project whose only documentation is 160 KB of text is doomed to fail. At the least, it will fail to attract many people to it. It needs an elevator statement that tells the world why it is needed, and how it is better than anything else that came before.


Yes, the statement is needed. But what do you think about the "100% Java Operating System" statement for the beginning?
 
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The documentation reads like a University dissertation, which I'm afraid is not much of a compliment. (I managed to read/scan some of it before the website went AWOL)

Unfortunately given that the documentation, especially the installation instructions, is quite poor I am not even sure exactly what I'm supposed to expect from this project.
- Is it actually a full new OS from the ground up?
- Is it just another layer of abstraction on top of a JRE running on some other OS?
- What does it look like?
- What should I expect to be able to do with it?
- How do I use the OS?
- Is it POSIX compliant?
- Is it DOS compliant?
- Is there a window manager?
- Any sort of UI at all?
- How does it compare to other OS's?
- Pro's and Con's against existing OS solutions?

And most importantly
- Why should I care about it?

(Also: Given the similarity between your name 'alex jembryos' and your project name I'm going to guess that you are not using your real name. We like real names here, so please do)
 
Paweł Baczyński
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Tim Cooke wrote:(Also: Given the similarity between your name 'alex jembryos' and your project name I'm going to guess that you are not using your real name. We like real names here, so please do)


Domain jembryos.org is registered to Alexey V Bezrodnov
 
Ulf Dittmer
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But what do you think about the "100% Java Operating System" statement for the beginning?


I think it's unhelpful. Few people are looking for yet another operating system, much less for one that is not compatible with Linux/Windows/OS X. People who know well what Java is will probably be sceptical because they know that Java by itself can't do many of the things an OS needs doing, and people who don't know what Java is could care less about it to begin with. So, what is its target audience, and why should that audience be excited about it?
 
Tim Cooke
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I'm going to go out on a limb here and make the assumption that your OS is not orders of magnitude faster than any existing OS existing today. So my question to you is:

What problem have you identified with existing OS's that you have solved with your OS?

(I'm also assuming that You haven't poured countless hours into this project just for the craic)
 
Alexey Bezrodnov
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Tim Cooke wrote:The documentation reads like a University dissertation, which I'm afraid is not much of a compliment.



The system is not for fun, yes. If you expect full featured windows or linux like operating system, then the project is not for you, sorry.

The target auditory doesn't include users. Open source projects often should be developed enough to meet an ordinary user requirements. And now the system needs developers. There should be an interest in doing something new or cool. If you have no such thing - you should wait until the system can deliver according to your expectations.
 
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Pawel Pawlowicz wrote:Domain jembryos.org is registered to Alexey V Bezrodnov


Gotta love WHOIS.

I think with more details about the project, the goals, and the current state of the project in the initial post, it would have been better received. It sound like an interesting idea and challenge though.
 
Alexey Bezrodnov
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Tim Cooke wrote:What problem have you identified with existing OS's that you have solved with your OS?



It is described in the documentation. If you have enough patience it is better to read the docs. My description here will be short - the legacy problem can be solved with the help of such system.
 
Scott Winterbourne
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FYI, the jembryos.org website is back up.
 
Alexey Bezrodnov
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Scott Winterbourne wrote:FYI, the jembryos.org website is back up.



Thanks for quick reaction!
 
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The legacy problem? Yes, existing operating systems are filled with a lot of features, sometimes in a confusing way. But all of those features were put there for a reason. So you're either going to have to replicate them, or else reject the reason for which the feature exists. And all software starts out simple and becomes more complex over time -- if it doesn't fade away, that is. I used DOS 1.0 at work and I've seen it in action. So your project will suffer one of those two fates.

Joel Spolsky wrote an article a long time ago about why you shouldn't rewrite software: Things You Should Never Do, Part I -- although it's true that what you're doing here doesn't exactly constitute "rewriting".
 
Scott Winterbourne
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Paul Clapham wrote:Joel Spolsky wrote an article a long time ago about why you shouldn't rewrite software: Things You Should Never Do, Part I -- although it's true that what you're doing here doesn't exactly constitute "rewriting".



The link goes to the wrong page. It's linking to the "Oracle Date convert to java timestamp with new timezone" Thread.
 
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Scott Winterbourne wrote:

Paul Clapham wrote:Joel Spolsky wrote an article a long time ago about why you shouldn't rewrite software: Things You Should Never Do, Part I -- although it's true that what you're doing here doesn't exactly constitute "rewriting".



The link goes to the wrong page. It's linking to the "Oracle Date convert to java timestamp with new timezone" Thread.


Maybe this is what he meant?
 
Paul Clapham
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Scott Winterbourne wrote:The link goes to the wrong page.



Thanks, Scott. I edited the link.
 
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Paul Clapham wrote:Joel Spolsky wrote an article a long time ago about why you shouldn't rewrite software: Things You Should Never Do, Part I -- although it's true that what you're doing here doesn't exactly constitute "rewriting".


Ok, but you should see that article in the proper context. It's ofcourse not true that you should never rewrite any kind of software from scratch. The article is about how companies managed to kill their own commercial products by rewriting them from scratch. Alex's operating system is a hobby or research project. That's something entirely different than a commercial product.

I like the idea of trying to write your own operating system from the bottom up. You'll learn a great deal about how computers work, which can be very befinicial later on when you are a professional software developer. (I'm sometimes surprised that many programmers have little or no idea about how a CPU works, for example).

Alex, you're not the first one who tries to write an operating system in Java. Even Sun (the inventor of Java) tried it: JavaOS. They even went further and invented a chip that could natively run Java bytecode: picoJava. Both of these things flopped.
 
Alexey Bezrodnov
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Paul Clapham wrote:The legacy problem? Yes, existing operating systems are filled with a lot of features, sometimes in a confusing way



Sorry, but you haven't read the docs on the site. The legacy problem means old hardware. If you write OS then the problem is obvious.

But beside of the hardware - can you adjust Linux for your needs? In general - can a Java programmer change complex C-based system? Is it a normal situation?
 
Paul Clapham
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alex jembryos wrote:Sorry, but you haven't read the docs on the site.



No, you're right, I didn't really read them. I did try to read them, but there was just a wall of text and I couldn't get through them.
 
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Jesper de Jong wrote:I like the idea of trying to write your own operating system from the bottom up

I like it too :)

Jesper de Jong wrote:Alex, you're not the first one who tries to write an operating system in Java

I know. A little difference here - my case is 100% Java solution.

Jesper de Jong wrote:They even went further and invented a chip that could natively run Java bytecode

In fact it's a wrong way. The bytecode is such a high level entity that the efficiency of the proposed processor was too bad. And the Sun's JavaOS was not targeted for something profitable. It was just one of many helper efforts to support Java. I haven't seen an idea behind it.
 
Alexey Bezrodnov
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Paul Clapham wrote:I did try to read them, but there was just a wall of text and I couldn't get through them.



May be you can try to read some parts, interesting for you, using table of contents?
 
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alex jembryos wrote:But beside of the hardware - can you adjust Linux for your needs? In general - can a Java programmer change complex C-based system? Is it a normal situation?


I think so. One would assume that you don't learn Java in a vacuum, and that you don't attempt to change a system - ANY system - unless, and until, you have the requisite knowledge. I was a Unix/Linux sysadmin for almost 15 years, so I feel fairly sure I can do most things on either; but I'm much less confident about Windows - in particular anything that involves that monstrosity known as "the registry".

As for hardware compatibility: most Linuxes I know are pretty awesome. I loaded Linux Mint on a 12-year old laptop with 256Mb and a 40G drive, and the only thing I had to do was add another 256 DIMM to make it run a bit quicker (€20). Since then, it's run perfectly happily for about 5 years. In the same period, my 3Gb tower with 2 x 300G drives got slower and slower and slower running Vista, until one day it simply froze and never rebooted again.

Solution: Wiped it and stuck Linux (Mint again) on, and now it boots in 1 minute instead of 10.

Like the others, I'm not sure how much mileage there is to be gained out of a Java-based "re-invention of the wheel"; but I suspect it's a fascinating project, and I hope you've got some knowledge and satisfaction out of it.

Winston
 
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To the above,

I have no problem extending or correcting the operating systems i use. Thankfully that has become less and less needed.

Now that said - Java is the absolutely wrong language to accomplish that.

Java and Oak were defined to provide an operating platform to accomplish wanted tasks without providing the hooks to change the operating system.

If you want to make a "universal" op sys think about writing it in python - much easier and it allows you to hook to the hardware.
 
Tim Cooke
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I am asking these questions because I am interested in what you have done here. Unfortunately I am not prepared to read a 25000 word essay in order to learn the fundamental reason for the projects existence and to learn what is particularly interesting about it. I was looking for the "elevator pitch" from you. You know what I mean by that, the 10 second statement you'd say to me if we met in an elevator and I asked you what it's all about. I needed something to inspire me to put the time in and read those docs. Like Paul, I did start to read the docs but after half an hour of difficult reading I realised I'd hardly made a dent in them, after which I lost all will to carry on. So I didn't.

alex jembryos wrote:It is described in the documentation. If you have enough patience it is better to read the docs.


I fear that this is a sign of things to come with this project as I've seen variations of this statement from you multiple times in this thread alone. Is this the level of support we are to expect if we get involved in the project? Are my "What about x?" questions (and there'll be a lot of them) going to be met with "Read the docs and you'll understand" every time?

You have brought this project to the forum and this is your opportunity to stir up some genuine interest but the only way you're going to do that is to engage in some proper discussions about it. Answer the questions. Tell us all about it. Tell us your motivation. Tell us why you did it. Be excited about it. Tell us why we should be excited about it.

At this point I don't have a good feeling about the project and am not feeling inspired to find out more (i.e. read the monstrous docs). Help us out.
 
Alexey Bezrodnov
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Winston Gutkowski wrote:you don't attempt to change a system - ANY system - unless, and until, you have the requisite knowledge


And does it means the system change must be so complex? If, after 15 years has been spent on Unixes, you aren't sure about Windows - is it an acceptable complexity? The message is clear - we can escape and hide (from Windows, for example), or we can try to change something. Most people prefer to hide and it's normal, but if nobody wants to change - then the problem will persist forever and even will worsen when time passes.

Winston Gutkowski wrote:I'm not sure how much mileage there is to be gained out of a Java-based "re-invention of the wheel"


Just as much, as much people will wish to make change.

And Java programmers now have a bit more reliable way to change the world. Is now the situation worse than when there was no such help? I hope the situation is better now.
 
Alexey Bezrodnov
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If you think the following is right for Java and for Java programmers:

Steve Fahlbusch wrote:Java and Oak were defined to provide an operating platform to accomplish wanted tasks without providing the hooks to change the operating system.


Then why do you think the Java programmers should:

Steve Fahlbusch wrote:think about writing it in python


They just should think within the box and do not look at something else. At least it seems is your opinion.
 
Alexey Bezrodnov
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Tim Cooke wrote:Unfortunately I am not prepared to read a 25000 word essay in order to learn the fundamental reason for the projects existence


The fundamental reason is change. And to understand what is the change it is not enough to read even 25000 word essay. There is Windows and many people are happy with it and just do not see any reason for change, it's ok, it's normal for them. But somebody had invented the windows based UI. Was he happy with UIs of those days?

Tim Cooke wrote:I was looking for the "elevator pitch" from you


It's just freedom for Java programmers. It can elevate. And of course, it is not about the fancy pictures of a cool new skin of Windows or Android. This is not elevation, this is just flashy advertising. However, after some time this also will be available on many new platforms and if you look for such elevator - it will come some day.

Tim Cooke wrote:the 10 second statement you'd say to me if we met in an elevator and I asked you what it's all about


Are you sure it is possible to convince every human in an elevator for every thing you wish to sell? Of course, the advertising is part of 'new thing' business, but the target auditory is not happy with flashy pictures, I suppose. And if just simple words about change is not enough, may be it is not your way? I want the project to be interesting for the people, but I do not want to sell another fancy picture, if you understand it.
 
Ulf Dittmer
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alex jembryos wrote:It's just freedom for Java programmers. It can elevate.


OK, so the important aspect is that it would be written in Java, and Java would be its system programming language - so a Java developer could alter and extend any aspect of it? In which ways would such an OS be more malleable than, say, Unix/Linux? Would it just be the developers who reap gains, or would users be better off as well?

the 10 second statement you'd say to me if we met in an elevator and I asked you what it's all about


Are you sure it is possible to convince every human in an elevator for every thing you wish to sell?


Nobody said the elevator statement would (or needed to) convince someone. But it should stir enough interest to make people want to find out more. I agree with what Tim said - that's not going to happen with such a lengthy document, and so far you haven't made it much clearer here in this discussion, either.
 
Winston Gutkowski
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Alexey Bezrodnov wrote:And does it means the system change must be so complex?


Depending on what you want to do - sure it does.

Does your system support networking, firewalling, volume managers, SANs, scripting, SSL/SSH, daemons, schedulers ... ? There are any number of things that you might want to do to enhance or reconfigure a system, and I don't really see how having a "pure Java" interface to it helps a great deal.

But perhaps you can explain...

Winston
 
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Ulf Dittmer wrote:In which ways would such an OS be more malleable than, say, Unix/Linux? Would it just be the developers who reap gains, or would users be better off as well?


First - let's remember the past when there was no Linux - in which ways would Linux be more malleable than ...? Such question can stop Linux development, but would it be a step for a something good?

Next, for some initial time the developers actually reap some gains. And what is wrong with such a reward?

About users. Yes, they will have more efficient system. Hopefully it will be few times quicker, for example. It's just a declaration, but behind it there is many arguments. And they are listed in the docs.

Ulf Dittmer wrote:that's not going to happen with such a lengthy document


As I hope this forum is a Java programmer's place to talk. And if a Java programmer just unable to read documentation then what a programmer he is? I know it is widespread situation when there are a lot of simplistic tutorials and samples, but if you stop on such things only - your future is not so bright. It is easy to copy and paste simple solutions from samples, but as a result the salary of such programmer is seriously lesser than of another one who can read and understand documentation.

The point here is simple - open source projects can teach people to think. And it is another gain to reap from them.
 
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Alexey Bezrodnov wrote:
As I hope this forum is a Java programmer's place to talk. And if a Java programmer just unable to read documentation then what a programmer he is?



I, for one, am not unable to read the documentation, but am unwilling - because it lacks an incentive. A short, concise intro, perhaps a few highlights.
And if a Java Programmer is unable to provide these, what a programmer he is?
 
Alexey Bezrodnov
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Winston Gutkowski wrote:I don't really see how having a "pure Java" interface to it helps a great deal


There are millions of Java programmers. Is it a small force to deliver such help? Are most of them able to improve Linux, for example? It's just completely different world. And the Linux world has even much bigger documentation understanding requirements than just less than 200kb in total with the jEmbyoS case.
 
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Jan Hoppmann wrote:but am unwilling - because it lacks an incentive

The problem is the incentive should be inside you. The future prospects of the system can be very interesting, but do you accept such declaration without arguments? And arguments are those 160 kb of text. But if you prefer - the new system will give you an unimaginable new world - this is exciting enough?

Jan Hoppmann wrote:And if a Java Programmer is unable to provide these, what a programmer he is?


He is just not an advertiser.
 
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I take issue with most of what you said in your last reply, but I don't think it's worthwhile getting into tit-for-tat replies, because I think you're missing the bigger picture here. You came here to get feedback about this project, and people are giving you feedback. Obviously, it's different feedback than you anticipated, but instead of thanking people for it, your attitude seems to be that people are going about it the wrong way, and should adjust their approach to what you think is right. Now, if people were paid to do this, that might work, but in a situation where you should persuade people of the merits of the project -and where people are telling you that it's not working- this will get you nowhere.
 
Winston Gutkowski
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Alexey Bezrodnov wrote:There are millions of Java programmers. Is it a small force to deliver such help? Are most of them able to improve Linux, for example? It's just completely different world. And the Linux world has even much bigger documentation understanding requirements than just less than 200kb in total with the jEmbyoS case.


And that's my worry. Having had a quick browse of the documentation, I see very little concrete stuff in it - stuff that a user is going to want to read (like the man pages in Unix/Linux) - most of it appears to be a justification for writing the system. Specifically, I don't see any API documentation, which I would have thought would be the first thing a Java programmer is going to want to see.

If I'm going to use this system I'd also want a step-by-step guide as to how to get it to work, ie:
1. Hit the 'Power' switch.
2. [Now what?] ...

I also worry that your target audience may now be dwindling. Java has been a top programming language for many years, but there are signs that it's losing ground to stuff like Objective-C and...yes...good old honest-to-goodness C (back at #1 this month, according to TIOBE; Java down 1.75%).

So is an OS that appears to lock you into Java such a great idea? Maybe you can convince us.

And the answer to your second question: I was an old C bod, so I certainly can (and have) suggested improvements to Linux. Don't know if any of them were taken up, though

Winston
 
Alexey Bezrodnov
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Winston Gutkowski wrote:most of it appears to be a justification for writing the system


Is it a needless part considering the talks above? Developers write systems, why not to convince them?

Winston Gutkowski wrote:Specifically, I don't see any API documentation, which I would have thought would be the first thing a Java programmer is going to want to see


Actually any API without understanding of the architecture is useless. Just look at any big guy in the corporative Java field - there always is an explanation part. And such part is very important. Imagine Android with API only - it would be just another failed system.

The jEmbryoS API is not complete for all classes yet, but the description information exists in many classes. It is very convenient not to use html API description when you can just hover the mouse over a class name and read about it right within your IDE. It is really useful habit, I hope you will respect it some day.

Winston Gutkowski wrote:If I'm going to use this system I'd also want a step-by-step guide as to how to get it to work, ie:
1. Hit the 'Power' switch.
2. [Now what?] ...


There are installation and usage parts. May be they are not an ideal, but you can read and make your personal opinion.

Winston Gutkowski wrote:Java has been a top programming language for many years, but there are signs that it's losing ground to stuff like Objective-C and...yes...good old honest-to-goodness C


A bit of volatility and market gyrations, I suppose. But the Microsoft with it's managed language platform is coming quickly. And it can kill Java if there will be no new technologies like jEmbryoS.

Winston Gutkowski wrote:I was an old C bod


It explains your stance.
 
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Ulf Dittmer wrote:in a situation where you should persuade people of the merits of the project -and where people are telling you that it's not working- this will get you nowhere.


Ok. Here is a short introduction:

You can gain a very useful experience of a complex system development and leverage it a bit later using the same system, but in a more mature state. And, of course, the experience is universal, so your understanding of such beasts as Tomcat or jBoss will be just a matter of a few days or weeks.

But beside of it there is a great mission ahead - you can make the world to be more suitable to live in it.

Any ideas?
 
Winston Gutkowski
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Alexey Bezrodnov wrote:It explains your stance.


Don't see how. I'm a huge fan of Java, and think it beats C and C++ all ends up for most things. I'm just not sure that an OS is one of them.

However, I'll continue to watch the thread for more insight.

Winston
 
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