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Chrome OS, Present and Future 132

Posted by kdawson
from the ooh-shiny dept.
Many readers are submitting stories related to Google Chrome OS. ruphus13 points out a GigaOm opinion piece about how, if users end up rejecting its current cloud-only focus, the nascent OS may succeed as a netbook secondary operating system alongside Windows (in company with secondaries based on other Linux flavors, including Android). Engadget reviews a Chrome OS on a USB key setup that is claimed to offer eye-opening performance compared to running under virtualization. And an anonymous reader notes the 0.1 beta release of ChromeShell, which installs a "Chrome OS-like" environment that boots to the Chrome browser in ~3 seconds; users can switch to Windows later as desired.
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Chrome OS, Present and Future

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  • False! (Score:5, Informative)

    by sys.stdout.write (1551563) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @07:56PM (#30264850)
    If you read the linked ChromeShell page, it says it goes from standby to the Chrome browser in 3 seconds.

    It actually takes 30 seconds to boot, which isn't much better than Windows. Actually, is that even better?
    • Re:False! (Score:5, Funny)

      by Tablizer (95088) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @08:08PM (#30264940) Homepage Journal

      There ya go again ruining a good story by RTFA.

    • Re:False! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by gotpaint32 (728082) * on Sunday November 29, 2009 @08:24PM (#30265016) Journal
      Good point, I have Win 7 on a Dell Mini 10 with 1GB of RAM, it boots to the login screen in about 30 seconds and comes out of standby mode in about 5 seconds. Considering how much more it is actually loading on Windows, it seems Google still has a long way to go until instant on is a reality.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by prockcore (543967)

        ChromeShell isn't Google. ChromeOS boots to a login screen in less than 10 seconds off a USB key for me. But it doesn't support my wifi. It does support the wifi on my wife's gateway netbook though.. but doesn't support her verizon card.

        • It doesn't support it on my laptop either. It does boot up quickly. And it does boot up, it scrolls very very slowly. Even on my desktop, with a quadcore processor, it is very slow. I suppose that that may be due to video drivers.
      • by jo42 (227475)

        I have a three year old Dell Inspiron 6400 (with a 160GB 5400RPM 2.5" HD) that boots Windows XP SP3 from power off to desktop in 15 seconds.

        What are you people doing wrong?

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by Josh04 (1596071)
          Running programs.
          • by V!NCENT (1105021)

            And redundant services that you'll never use for your entire life but that are enabled by default. Someone I know has a malwatre infected Windows XP machine. By simply taking 30mins of my time I reduced the bootup time for 15min to 20 seconds, including the Novell login procedure. When explorer comes up the system is actually usable instead of loading taskbar apps for another 4 minutes...

        • by MrNaz (730548) *

          Power off to WinXP in 15 seconds? I call bull.

        • by MrMr (219533)
          Pfff, I installed an image of my desktop als eprom splash image. Now my laptop doesn't even need to boot an OS to get a picture of my desktop.
      • Re:False! (Score:4, Informative)

        by chabotc (22496) <chabotc@gmaPERIODil.com minus punct> on Sunday November 29, 2009 @10:01PM (#30265464) Homepage

        Of course if you even read the slashdot summary you would see that ChromeShell is a 'ChromeOS like' type thing, and not ChromeOS at all.

        ChromeOS boots (that's full bootup and not resuming) in 7 seconds, and resumes in 3. They're working with bios firmware vendors to improve this though so boot times could become even less

    • All it does is has Windows start the Chrome browser on startup instead of explorer.exe. Not really much to see here, unless you REALLY don't need the taskbar, desktop, and file browsing capabilities of Explorer.
    • by dickens (31040)

      With an SSD? 30 seconds is not impressive at all.

      • by V!NCENT (1105021)

        Gee... Windows has a pre-Christ FS that isn't optimized for SSD's. Ofcourse it takes ages to boot...

    • by srothroc (733160)
      Certainly not the normal case here, but I have a laptop with an i7; I hit the login screen around 7-9 seconds after pressing the power button.
    • Thing is, the time it takes for the Explorer shell itself to load on my laptop is almost nil compared to actual bootup (30s or so). I don't see the advantage of loading Chrome in its place- it's not like RAM is pricey these days, you can afford to run both at once.

      If we're going to get instant-on on laptops and netbooks, it's going to be through some sort of super-energy efficient sleep mode that you can return from fast, not through fast bootup speeds. That's the nice thing about Apple hardware- it's alw
    • by sootman (158191)

      BeOS FTW. Loaded in 10 seconds after POST on a 300 MHz K6/2 Compaq with 48 MB RAM. Ten years ago. Yes, new OSs do more, but the point of Chrome is to be a stripped-down OS that runs nothing but a browser, unlike BeOS which had a webserver, 3D support, and lots of other good stuff going on.

      Oh, and the first PC I used (an AT or XT, 8086 or 8088, I forget) went from power off to a C: prompt in 7 seconds. And QNX has done some cool stuff too.

    • Stop! If you keep breaking the hype with facts like that, people might realize Chrome OS is a pointless Google-branded Linux distro that can't run anything but websites in a world where even mobile phones can run native apps.

    • by gargll (1682636)

      If you read the linked ChromeShell page, it says it goes from standby to the Chrome browser in 3 seconds. It actually takes 30 seconds to boot, which isn't much better than Windows. Actually, is that even better?

      From the linked ChromeShell page: "ChromeShell is a non-google affiliated replacement shell for windows", ie. this _is_ windows, which would explain why it's not much better than windows. Any observed gain would be linked to the presumably lighter ui of this new shell. Since, this has nothing to do with google's chrome-os appart for the fact that it copies its interface, no performance implication should be derived from it.

    • ChromeShell is a Shell for Windows. Therefore Windows needs to load before the Shell can load. ChromeShell will only decrease the time of logging in (which can be a LOT on many Windows machines), not the time to boot.
  • Useful (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Tablizer (95088) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @08:01PM (#30264876) Homepage Journal

    If 90% of what a user does is web browsing and email, that sounds like a good bet. If you push "on" and have it up and running in a few seconds, who would bother going into Windows? You'd only need to boot to Windows when doing some office work or the like, and that boot option would be a quick-click icon. If you primarily do office work with it, then you'd want a full-blown "regular" laptop anyhow instead of a netbook.

    However, I imagine that Microsoft will find some way to sabotage multi-OS-boot options via screwy licensing and pricing games.
             

    • Re:Useful (Score:5, Insightful)

      by StreetStealth (980200) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @08:16PM (#30264976) Journal

      I don't think ChromeOS will catch on as an "early boot" option any more than some of the options the BIOS manufacturers have been pitching for a few years. The benefits of ChromeOS are pretty much mitigated by sticking it on a full laptop -- you're lugging a fully-featured computer around and you don't have access to any of it, and you could get the whole thing just by waiting around another 30 seconds.

      ChromeOS is about having a bare minimum of hardware required to have a smooth internet experience. It's about the proliferation of internet access, always having something nearby that will connect you to whatever you're looking for.

      • Re:Useful (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Stan Vassilev (939229) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @09:42PM (#30265374)

        ChromeOS is about having a bare minimum of hardware required to have a smooth internet experience. It's about the proliferation of internet access, always having something nearby that will connect you to whatever you're looking for.

        And that would make sense, if Chrome didn't require more resources for smooth experience than the majority of productivity software people use on their "full computers". Therein lies the problem: Google will have to pull a miracle to make ChromeOS run well on a device that would not run well, say, XP complete with Office, image editing software and even some casual games, or if we're talking ARM, then a light Linux distribution with more than a mere fullscreen browser window available.

        In that light, ChromeOS is not unique or slim enough to compete in its own niche, and it's questionable why computer manufacturers would prefer to sell a ChromeOS ARM netbook instead of, say, Ubuntu's netbook distribution with Chrome or Firefox pre-installed. More value to the customers for the same money.

        If Google are smart, we have not yet seen the main reason that turns ChromeOS into a desirable product. Otherwise, I guess they were simply throwing some stuff on the wall to see what sticks, as many of their other deviations.

        • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

          by javilon (99157)

          Every time this speed comparison between Linux and Windows is done, it is done on newly installed systems. My experience is that after six months of running by a regular (read non technical) user, the windows system will be bogged down by all kinds of crap that make it unbearably slow.

          After six months of use, it seems a safe bet the chrome OS computer will run at the same speed as the first day. After a year, the windows user will need to find someone that reinstalls his system or at least cleans it up a bi

          • After six months of use, it seems a safe bet the chrome OS computer will run at the same speed as the first day. After a year, the windows user will need to find someone that reinstalls his system or at least cleans it up a bit. The chrome OS user will not have noticed any problem whatsoever.

            This is a possible advantage, but the purchase decisions will be based on a clean install, as the users who are 6 months into their use of an OS have purchased the machine 6 months ago. So I'm not sure if this benefit can drive sales alone.

          • Every time this speed comparison between Linux and Windows is done, it is done on newly installed systems. My experience is that after six months of running by a regular (read non technical) user, the windows system will be bogged down by all kinds of crap that make it unbearably slow.

            So, "don't install crap" is now a technical skill? Wow.

            My wife his hardly technical, and I haven't had to touch her laptop since I installed the OS on it. And her laptop moves along just fine. Faster than mine, in fact, but I can blame that on the oddly matched hardware I've got.

            I tell you what -- setup a linux install for your "non-technical users", give them the root password, and leave them alone for six months. Assuming they don't find a new techie who will let them actually play games on their mach

            • by javilon (99157)

              I tell you what -- setup a linux install for your "non-technical users", give them the root password, and leave them alone for six months. Assuming they don't find a new techie who will let them actually play games on their machine, I'll be they'll wind up every bit as bogged down as as similarly-configured and abandoned windows installation.

              You forgot we are talking about Chrome OS. No software installation allowed. Please read TFA.

              The fact that a chrome install will allow absolutely no crapware and yet will be updated is the main advantage of this idea.

            • by ajlisows (768780)

              For the record, I know of at least two people who really like the Netbook keyboards. My wife types much faster on it than she does a 15" laptop or standard desktop keyboard. She is a small person with small hands so it seems reasonable. Oddly, the other person I know who really likes typing on their netbook keyboard is a 6'6" guy with enormous hands. He looks comical with his netbook but claims he never was very good at typing until he started using it.

        • by MikeURL (890801)
          Monopolies going up against each other can do some wacky things. Google is a near-monopoly in search and the same goes for MS with Windows and Office.

          I watched the engadget video and, well, it sort of boots a browser that almost works. That isn't news. A grad student working on a CS project could probably do that.
        • by prockcore (543967)

          Not exactly. My laptop is older and while it can run Hulu, it doesn't do it well. It severely taxes the CPU, taking roughly 70%.. and windows will occassionally use the other 30% just running and Hulu video starts staggering.

          Of course the better solution to this is to have flash use hardware acceleration. Netflix with Silverlight doesn't take nearly the CPU that Hulu does.

      • It could also be very useful for recycling otherwise obsolete computers. If it gets computers in front of someone that couldn't otherwise afford one, great! If it gets a school in an impoverished area a computer room instead of just one box, even better! Talk about great promotions for Google...

        I'm betting Microsoft will respond with something, can't have kids having their first computing experiences on a unix-based OS... they might grow up to be linux-heads!

    • I think Microsoft's idea was to launch their office suite for free on the web, so when you can edit Word and Excel documents in your browser, that is really all most people need. The question is which web OS will prevail. (And for whatever två öre is worth, I think Microsoft has a huge advantage in providing decent backward compatibility with the largest library of software on this planet, which could be a deal breaker if they can pull it through. I wonder what the ReactOS guys are doing.)
    • Why not just use a smart phone if 90% of what you do is web browsing and email? Today's smart phones are capable of providing a good user experience for these tasks and if it's something the phone can't handle, the netbook probably can't either. I suppose the one major alternative is document editing, but who knows what phones will be capable of in the next few years.

      For me, netbooks fall into the overly-large phone or underpowered notebook category. If they work for you or your needs, great, but they do
      • by Tablizer (95088)

        Their screen and keyboard are too small.

      • by Yvan256 (722131)

        I sure wouldn't want to use a smart phone 90% of the day. It doesn't matter which cellphone you think is the best, the display and keyboard are going to be too small.

        • by ksemlerK (610016)
          With the HTC Rapheal, (running EnergyROM), you can use a USB --> TV output, and plug your home charger into the TV adapter so the battery will not run down. The keyboard issue can be resolve with the purchase of a bluetooth keyboard. With these options, you will always be able to use your phone as a computer if that's what you are limited to.
      • Netbooks are cheap small computers. Why pay for computing power you don't need, when 300$ netbook will work better than your old piece of junk desktop? If you only want to pay for what you're going to use, and you aren't doing anything resource intensive, netbooks are very cost efficient.

        Netbooks would even make great command line servers, with a built in UPS.

    • by tnordloh (462939)

      This article prompted me to download Chrome OS, I just started it on a VM. I'm currently bemused by the fact that it doesn't recognize the https certificate for mail.google.com (wow! Either I'm hacked in a seriously bad way, or it really doesn't recognize a cert issued by the company that wrote it. Suddenly I'm feeling paranoid). I'm typing this on my native OS, as the vm appears to be frozen. I'm debating logging into mail.google.com, and unchecking 'always use https', to give it a more fair test, but

    • HP's netbooks are quietly shipping already with what HP calls "QuickWeb". It is essentially a splashtop linux distribution that boots up quickly and launches a browser. I am not sure if it is possible to kill the browser and get to linux or if it is possible to edit the init.rc files and stay in Linux. But a few user comments say that they have used QuickWeb so much they have not booted into full WinXP for quite some time.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I have the sneaking suspicion that everyone good at Google left a long time ago; with bags of money.

    Now, we're left with Adsense and the Marketing department rebranding the concept(s) behind [CompuServe/Prodigy Online/AOL Online] because people don't remember the 90's.

    • It's possible you're talking about the wizards who gave us Windows NT in 1993. AFAIK all those guys, and everybody who could understand how they did what they did, left long ago. They should have - their options were fully vested and stopped gaining value over a decade ago. I've certainly seen little evidence since that they remain though the business types who think they're the smartest guys in the room seem to remain active to this day.

      People at Google keep coming out with this immensely scalable stuf

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by bonch (38532)

        What goldmine? For crying out loud, Chrome OS is just a Linux distro that can only load websites. What's the point of using Chrome OS if you could run a real Linux distro or even Windows 7 on a $300 netbook and run the same web apps as well as native apps?

        Apple tried the web app thing with the iPhone, and people wanted native apps.

        • by symbolset (646467)
          If what you say is true then why does Microsoft and all of their paid mouthpieces in the press have their knickers in a bunch over the damned thing? Methinks they doth protest too much.
          • by Lisandro (799651)

            If what you say is true then why does Microsoft and all of their paid mouthpieces in the press have their knickers in a bunch over the damned thing? Methinks they doth protest too much.

            Because it's Google. Microsoft execs have been paranoid at everything Google has been putting out since day one, and with good reason - the Google paradigm is to have everthing web-centric, including stuff like Google Docs. When you give users for free what Microsoft sold for years (Office, which is their main cash cow), they

        • by fyrewulff (702920)

          I was sure the web app thing was due to the iPhone being rushed to buy them some time while the SDK got up and running.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    An ideal approach is an OS that's *more* focused on the cloud, rather than *entirely* focused. I use many cloud apps with Chrome's current "Web Shortcuts" feature which removes browser elements from view and presents the web app much like a native one. This approach is used in several Linux cloud distributions already. Google is mistaken in their mission to turn every consumer and business class PC into a thin client.

    • Concerning the altering of a web browser to facilitate web apps, Microsoft did this a long time ago with Internet Explorer. And Mozilla tried to do it. If it was bad when they did it, how can it be good when Google does it?
      • In my case because I actually use it. I get plenty of mileage out of that feature. Some of it could just be timing. There are a lot more web apps that I even care about now.

    • An ideal approach is an OS that's *more* focused on the cloud, rather than *entirely* focused.

      You mean Plan 9?

    • Google is mistaken in their mission to turn every consumer and business class PC into a thin client.

      You mean in the same way that Tesla wants to replace every car on the road with a battery powered two seater sports car?

      Google is taking an incredible amount of flak for offering an alternative, it seems.

  • ChromeShell looks like something I made in VB in like Grade 8. OLE controls anyone? (ahhh the memories)
  • Presents and Futures... what the heck is that supposed to mean?

  • There is much more to Chrome than it's fast boot, most of that is because it's cloud based not inspite of it, most users don't want/need to have control of their data/applications.

  • The word you were looking for is "nascent".
  • Who gives a fuck? (Score:2, Informative)

    by nhytefall (1415959)
    Honestly?

    Aside from the latest, greatest, shiniest geek toy... this thing isn't even in a beta state, yet somehow it is going to reshape the industry? I think not.

    Come out of the basement, folks... the sun here in a real world only hurts for a moment or two.
  • by KNicolson (147698) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @09:02PM (#30265220) Homepage
    There's quite a few places where the Trusted Platform Module and Chromium intersect [blogoftrust.com], which looks like being an interesting approach to certain problems.
  • by theodp (442580) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @09:03PM (#30265224)

    From Chrome and Chrome, What is Chrome? [cringely.com]: "The most interesting part for me will be Microsoft's response. This strikes at the very heart of Redmond's business success and Microsoft will not take it lying down. Expect thermonuclear warfare."

    • by dickens (31040)

      get your 50 yard line seats now...

    • by yuhong (1378501)
      Yep, particularly since Netscape had a similar vision of reducing Windows to just "a buggy set of drivers".
    • "The most interesting part for me will be Microsoft's response."

      The WalMart shopper has spelled doom for every web appliance introduced to date.

      His big expenses are in Internet services and consumables. Inks and papers. The thin client doesn't save him a lot of money.

      His mobile Internet service options can be very limited and unreliable.

      There are an increasing number of relatively low-cost gadgets competing for his attention:

      E-book readers
      GPS
      Hand-held video game players
      The iPod and and its competitors
      Pocke

  • I don't really see the point in using Chrome OS rather than Windows or Ubuntu. Lets see, the boot up time is about the same (30 seconds), all the OSes have good browsers, Ubuntu is just as free as Chrome OS, etc. So really, why the hype about Chrome OS? You are essentially getting less than what you would get with a standard distro like Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian, etc.
    • by Tynin (634655)
      Sometimes less is more, I know that is exactly why I starting using Google search was its minimalistic approach to its front page. Most people that this would be targeting aren't going to be Linux OS nerds, yet I imagine if anyone can pull off the Year of the Linux Desktop, it would be Google. I just don't think it will be the Linux Desktop most of us had envisioned.
    • Until it actually comes out Chrome OS is just running the hype machine. It seems to be on par with the iPhone on page hits so there will be many stories hyping it up and some calling out that not having your own data and everything is bad. I wouldn't put any real merit on what is being said about it until the market actually answers whether it's good or not.
    • by Huntr (951770) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @09:54PM (#30265430)
      Most of my family and friends are not techies or geeks. They only use their computer for email, web/facebook and passing pics around. These are the same people asking me if a $400 laptop Black Friday deal from Wal-Mart would work to replace their (aging) desktop and they won't listen to me when I tell them to get a used one for $50 on e-bay. I'd tell every single one of them to get a ChromeOS net appliance if it were available. You said

      You are essentially getting less than what you would get with a standard distro like Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian, etc.

      We on /. often forget on there are many people who NEED less.

      • by Ed Avis (5917)
        Your family and friends never want to plug their camera into the computer and download photos? Or upload music to their iPod? Those are two common tasks that, so far, can't be done using just a Web browser.
        • by Ash-Fox (726320)

          Note: I am not the grandfather poster.

          Your family and friends never want to plug their camera into the computer and download photos?

          I would say a good chunk of my friends and family don't actually want to download pictures to their computer, but to upload it to flickr, facebook or e-mail. Which, Chrome OS in theory could support just fine.

          Or upload music to their iPod?

          In theory, if Chrome OS let you upload from external devices, don't see why it wouldn't let you save to most devices. That said, likely woul

    • not 30. Chrome Shell boots in 30. --Sam
  • I have Chrome OS running on VirtualBox - works as advertised, and when it is solid I'll probably buy a low cost device running it for travel, web browsing around the house and yard, etc.

    I am hoping that it will eventually include a *great* xterm app with SSH support so it can also be used to monitor servers, and light weight admin work.

  • by OrangeTide (124937) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @10:21PM (#30265568) Homepage Journal

    It seems if you are aiming to have a very narrow and specific design to your system, a general purpose Unix work-a-like is overkill. Wouldn't a minimal POSIX-ish system with some graphical operations be sufficient. It's great to use something familiar and actively developed like Linux. Just for the device drivers alone it is pretty valuable. But after digging into the Plan9 kernel, I realize that most of these drivers are not really that complicated if you can accept a basic level of functionality and less than optimal level of performance. (like the nvidia drivers in Plan9, it's only one short .c file, and just enough to get 9wm up and going). Even something like L4 is overkill, a lot of the cool abstraction it offers is probably not necessary if you can just wedge it into a library.

    Many of us on here have hacked together little pseudo-kernels. Glorified Hello World bootloaders really. If you had a TCP/IP stack, using an existing one like KAME or uIP, or a new implementation (I don't care which) and a filesystem that is more like a simple memory mapped key-value pair database (using critbit, hash table, b+tree, whatever). it seems to me that would be enough to get something like WebKit going.

    What value would a custom kernel/OS have over a specialized Linux? Well I think you could focus on implementing abstractions most suitable for a browser instead of trying to fit a filesystem or sqlite library to your design. Mostly I suspect you could optimize the boot of a very primitive system pretty easily. And you could do things where isolation of the browser in memory can be done in a way much finer grain than the Unix scheme of dividing everything into a user process or kernel mode thread.

    Perhaps the browser would be more like a root user, but individual tabs would have permissions controlled by a kernel or hypervisor that would be in isolation of one another. One page may not be able to hijack the rest of your browser or access cookies or passwords unless specifically authorized. And it could be done in such a way that is still relatively fast and low overhead, but more secure than current schemes.

    Imagine if plug-ins like flash and video codecs had to run through a socket or some fast IPC messaging scheme. where you could just close it to force the process on the end to shut down.

    Why don't I implement it you ask? Well assuming I have the skills necessary to do a good job, and the ambition to complete such a task. I'm too old school to accept the idea that a system where the only application is a browser is useful to me personally. Maybe when kernel development becomes browser based?

    • after digging into the Plan9 kernel, I realize that most of these drivers are not really that complicated if you can accept a basic level of functionality and less than optimal level of performance.

      Not really going to cut it for a netbook. I suppose it depends how much of a performance hit it is...

      a filesystem that is more like a simple memory mapped key-value pair database (using critbit, hash table, b+tree, whatever).

      This is why I like ZFS -- you can build things like that, which live on the same phyiscal disk as your POSIX-like filesystem, with a common allocator for both. You want that common allocation, so you don't need to partition your drive, but it's nice to not have to go through the POSIX layer.

      What value would a custom kernel/OS have over a specialized Linux? Well I think you could focus on implementing abstractions most suitable for a browser

      Can you think of anything specific?

      instead of trying to fit a filesystem or sqlite library to your design.

      1. They already built it this way for the desktop. Why complicate things?
      2. The filesyste
      • 1. Filesystems are the wrong way to go. ZFS is especially bad because it is extremely heavy weight. I seem to recall a Lisp kernel where the only secondary storage was a block device mapped to the address space like swap, but preserved between boots. And everything was just transparently kept as lisp objects.

        2. flash without a filesystem is pretty easy to get working. plenty of us have had to do a lot of tricks to get it to run on a read-only flash filesystem. it's not a huge stretch to get it to run withou

        • Filesystems are the wrong way to go.

          Yes, you've said this. I disagree.

          I seem to recall a Lisp kernel where the only secondary storage was a block device mapped to the address space like swap, but preserved between boots. And everything was just transparently kept as lisp objects.

          Very interesting. Also fairly useless for a browser that's already designed to work with filesystems.

          I suppose the lesson here is, those who don't understand Unix are destined to reinvent it, poorly. The point of the filesystem and process model is that they're incredibly simple, and easy to tune to whatever you want. Maybe one part of the browser just wants to store some JSON. Maybe another wants a full sqlite database. Maybe a plugin wants some proprietary key/value store

          • hehe read-only filesystem support is quite a bit different from ZFS write support. while I didn't actually get subpoenaed, the company lawyer had to contact me to defend against the WAFL patents. Filesystems are a very very good thing, when you actually want to store files or share a block device in a multiuser way that is sane.

            I've done plenty of embedded devices that didn't need a file system. And there is essentially no point in having a file system if you only have one file.

            Yes, I got it working without

            • A read-only file system is no different conceptually from a number of very simple data structures.

              That's true of any filesystem, really -- it's just a data structure that happens to live on disk.

              I don't really want to focus this on filesystem versus no-filesystem. That's just one small aspect of the discussion really. And I'm not terribly passionate either way about it.

              My point is that the filesystem is a perfect example of something that I think doesn't need to be reinvented in this case, especially for the browser.

              When I was young, I kept wanting to just throw everything away and do it from scratch thinking I could do it better. But really it was because I couldn't be bothered to understand it.

              I don't think that's quite why I did, I think it's because I would start to understand it, and I'd see hack upon hack upon hack. For example, the advantages of actually forking a separate process, with its own memory space (even if it's COW'd), in order to make a m

              • Agreed with pretty much all your points. I'm still a little iffy on the value of Java applets, but I must admit they are on the web. I think HTML5 will likely replace Flash in the important features and not Silverlight or JRuby.

                So hard drive firmware almost certainly doesn't need anything like Unix, as long as it's actually just a hard drive.

                I think what happens is this, the more things you want your OS to do, the more qualified Unix is as a base line for comparison (ie. your design must do it as well as Unix or people will be disappointed). Once you need to run a variety of services and applications that can share data

  • "I'm already questioning whether the extremely autocratic "all data in the cloud [gigaom.com]" model that Google is pursuing will alienate users. I question whether people trust the cloud to that extent, and I know I love many of my local software applications and utilities"

    Why not run your apps and your data from a portable USB device [ghacks.net].
  • Isnt ChromeOS more aimed at replacing thin clients?
    With the Cloud replacing the centralized Server.
    No more need for expensive Server hardware.
    No more need for expensive Server OS Licenses.
    No more need for expensive Server Antivirus Licenses.
    (No doubt this may cause Ballmer to sob his way to sleep
    every night)

    For all people that just want to write and surf and such,
    COS would Check-Mate all Thin Clients and Ubuntu/XP/Vista/7.
    (More sobbing)

    People that need faster hardware, gamers and such dont need
    to bother wit

  • I just upgraded my Eee901 to the current eeebuntu [slashdot.org] standard this weekend and was pretty impressed. They have compositing working on the desktop and it's pretty slick.

    Add the Chromium [ubuntugeek.com] nightly repository to your /etc/apt/sources.list and you have Chrome running as well. With the virtual desktop, it's pretty easy to run it in full screen on one display and slide back and forth to the other desktop apps as well.

    I'll have to go home later and time the boot / suspend / resume, though.

    I only wish Google Maps Mobi

  • One derivation I found for the word "nacent" was Scottish "na-cent", i.e. "not a cent", i.e. poor.

    I don't think the Slashdot article submitter meant to imply that ChromeOS was "poor". Methinks they meant "nascent". That would make a lot more sense (cents?)..

/earth: file system full.

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