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I think that a good Scripting facility should be included in the goals. One of the basic strengths of unix is that there is so much functionality available by simply writing a script. JOS should include a basic scripting model which resembles something like either Java (if you want to make people oop their scripts or Javascript if you don't.. or maybe both).


One of the most important issues to remember is that this will be an OO O/S in an OO language, so it would be wise to do proper OOA&D at each relevant level and for each framework. One of the things which can really bloat code in an OO project as well as create mind-numbing complexity is allowing functionality to stray from its most elegant and most harmonious place in the class and/or framework heirarchy.

Please do not make the mistake I've seen in so many projects of running right at coding without the Analysis Model and Design Model having been completed, at least in rough form. You'll get an explosion of classes which an OS project cannot afford. I don't mean to preach, I just know that it's one of the most common ways to butcher a project and if good OO design is being applied here than my apologies. I am very interested in this OS, as javaos is really a thin-client OS and doesn't meet the needs of anything heavier.

On another note, More discussion should be had re: Object store vs. file system, in that if you are going to support other file systems, then that's going to complicate the notion of orthogonal persistence without some serious work on abstracting those legacy file systems.

Sincerely, Christian Gruber Sun Microsystems - NAFO Customer Engineering (905) 477-0437 ext 359 Christian.Gruber@opcom.canada.sun.com.

[If you think this is too much preaching, simply delete it.]

The explosion of classes Christian is talking about is a natural phenomenon one can see happening, e.g. with java.. But then, why isn't this considered as a real problem at Sun? The answer has to do with OOAD and its counterpart, upgrades, which is considered a Bad Thing[tm] most of the time, since it breaks specification and implementation promises. On the other hand, java. upgrades always had the nice side effect of deepening the namespace hierarchy, thus making it not only richer but also more understandable for humans. There is an analogy between namespaces and Usenet newsgroups.

We have to see the complete picture. To quote Robert C. Martin:

__"One wayward thought, deep in the bowels of design, caused a major restructuring of the analysis of the project. This is typical of nearly all analysis and design efforts. The successful design and analysis of software is always punctuated with revolutions of thought and major upheavals of design strategy. This cannot, and should not, be avoided; these very upheavals cause the greatest improvements in our designs. Development environments that are not flexible enough to accept the inherent instability of the design process must consign themselves to mediocrity and failure."__ (from: "Designing Object-Oriented C++ Applications Using The Booch Method", p. 460)

Is the JOS environment flexible enough? Noone knows, but we can try to improve our chances. We have the Bazaar, we have WikiWeb, and we will try to overcome shortcomings in our tools (e.g. Java) by providing our own solutions.

[Stepping from the soapbox] --RalfStephan

Is it a good practice to develop a internet-centric OS. This violates the concept of harware-independency. I found jos.org while searching for a OS for a planned generation of PDA's (probably not-connected most of the time). Any comments?

Kai Glaesner

Kai, this is an interesting issue. One of the advantages of an JavaOS like JOS is on the one hand a small memory footprint which offers the combination of OOP for PDA like devices and on the other hand a huge amount of programs which could run on such a device and would be produced by 3. party programmers. So in my opinion JOS should do both run on unconnected but also on devices which are connected to the internet. In this manner it may run on mobile devices. Maybe JOS can find its way to such consumer electronic- would be great if this would be possible. If I understand it right, work for the Kernel is GNU-work and must be open to the community where as work for specific device drivers could be closed, is this right? If so this could interest companies to participate here since JOS (although standartisation work for Java is in the beginning, right?) would follow an open standard and in communication technology the time is over where companies neglect open standards.


Christian Koechling

I think that an explicit line about internationalizability should be added to the Goal. JOS should be designed from the bottom up to handle non-Roman characters and variable text-directionality (i.e. not just left-to-right top-down). See UserInterfaceRequirements page for further discussion. The fact that Java uses Unicode does not in itself solve all of the issues.

Many places where, for economic reasons, a free OS would be particularly attractive use non-Western writing systems.

Leston Buell

Leston, I agree that it is good to add internationalization to JOS, but I don't know how feasible it is to ask all programmers to build in internationality in from the bottom up. On my own projects, I'm already struggling with so many new technologies and concepts like JavaBeans, XML parsers, Aggregation, and so on, that I don't think I have the conceptual time for internationalization right now. What do you think about having an InternationalizationSteward, who would help programmers add the capabilities you've asked for to their code. As a matter of fact, it would be nice if their were stewards for other things too. A steward might be in charge of a specific technology. Some examples are a JavaBeansSteward, who would help people to JavaBeanize their code; maybe a JDK1.2Steward, who would help convert 1.1 code to 1.2 when that JDK comes out. It may get too complex, but it would be nice if people added 'Specializations' or Stewardship to the member list. Then we would have a nice installed base of experts on different subjects. For example, I've gotten to know XML pretty well lately, so I can field any questions people have on XML. As a matter of fact, I think I'm going to head over to the MemberList and set this up!

--BradNeuberg, 2/15/98

I'm curious, what sort of progress has been made towards getting the lower-level parts of JOS running - such as being able to boot off a floppy and run RTEMS? It seems like all the work is going into the higher-level stuff like Swing, Browsers, etc - but as it is, all that stuff will just end up hanging in the air without anything underneath it. Sure, some of it can be run as standalone-apps under Windows and such, but part of the goal is to be free of other OSes.

I'd be very interested in seeing as a next step - a demonstration of being able to create a boot floppy that will load RTEMS into memory and do something very simple, like display "hello world" on the screen (forgetting about including a Java VM at first). Once that was done, then we could take the next step of grafting a VM onto RTEMS.

--BarryPederson, 4/30/98

Barry, The archives for the kernel list would best help explain the current status. It is best to read from the bottom up? (in reverse historical order) http://www.spin.de/osproject/archive/jos-kernel-archive/date.html

MailingLists? doh! I guess I was just too into this Wiki stuff and spaced out that there may be more.

Based on the Wiki pages, I got the impression not much was happening, but in the mailing list archive I see talk about the very thing I mentioned above.

--Barry Pederson, 5/2/98

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