I have been doing some house-cleaning, the digital kind. I wanted to dig through old projects, see why I worked on them, etc. One project, that I alwasy wished I could work on more was my little OS. I hacked togther a small operating system a couple of years ago. It was simple, It was based on early versions of linux. It basically jumped into 32-bit protected mode from real-mode and printed some text to the console. Note, this took several thousand lines of assembly code and C code, not the easiest thing in the world.
Why should you care?
It would be my dream to create an Operating System or something similar that is NOT a GCC'ed based, monolithic, Trillion line, beast that are these monstrous Unix/Linux based systems. My other dream is to live near the beach.
Linux is probably one of the greatest things to hit the computing age in a while. But, I imagine future operating systems will have to verge off into new directions. Linux will have to change or some new style of opensource system will emerge. On Linux, the project will become too complex for even the global body of open-source hacker to keep up with Desktop operating trends. On a new system, this is how evolution works, over time, things change. I am for things changing not because I don't like linux or unix operating systems but mainly because I can see an advantage in new and creative ideas.
Here is one idea. It is hard to hack on an operating system. I would love to see a system that reduced the complexity of low-level hardware hacking. I propose building an operating system on other languages. Billions of Languges already exist? Let me say it another way. It would be nice to build a system where the language is not so tied to GCC based shared/static libraries. Is this even possible? I would love to see a system built on top of other languages/platforms besides GCC. GCC/BinUtils/Shared Libraries are just embedded through out most applications, it is amazing. Outside of Microsoft Windows Products and the other Realtime Embedded OSs out there, it would be hard to find code that wasn't tied to some GCC system. And, I want to reiterate, "GCC is not bad!". It would be just interesting to see if it could be done.
One more note, it would be nice if I could upgrade my entire system without having to download a complete ISO image or install by CD. Normally, if you wanted to install a new OS, you insert the CD or CDs, wipe your harddrive clean and wait 3 hours later. Or, with the newer linux systems, download/install the packages you want to upgrade. Gentoo/Debian are pretty close to ideal. You can upgrade the kernel/apps/system. But, you are still kind of left with garbage files. You never really trust gentoo to have a fresh "world" upgrade even though you think you do. It is kind of scary really. Your compiler could have been upgraded? But, what about the glibc? The glibc++? Did all my apps need to be recompiled? Will they work with the current kernel I am using? It would be nice to have a system that could wipe your system clean with a full upgrade through some type of server or something similar. I wouldn't have to insert a CD and I wouldn't have to reboot, but I get a clean, fresh install.
I didn't get everything out I wanted to. I wanted to discuss possibly ways to completely integrate new languages into this new operating-system. Maybe in our next installment. Am I proposing a complete rewrite of all major system code and utilities that are popular today? Yes, I am, crazy isn't.
My OS spam I will leave you with the code I found. You might try googling on the most recent version of Bochs. And, I can't promise this code will compile on your version of GCC.
"OS Notes and Example Assembly Code":http://www.newspiritcompany.com/CreateAnOS.htm
"Orange Linux - Original Project":http://orangelin.sourceforge.net/
"...Rich Skrenta, argues that Google is building a huge computer with a custom operating system that everyone on earth can have an account on..."