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Blake Ross Working on Parakey Web OS 150

prostoalex writes "IEEE Spectrum is running an article on Blake Ross, creator of Firefox, and his new project called Parakey, which will bridge the gap between Web and desktop operating system. From the article: 'As he describes it, from a user's point of view, Parakey is "a Web operating system that can do everything an OS can do." Translation: it makes it really easy to store your stuff and share it with the world. Most or all of Parakey will be open source, under a license similar to Firefox's. There are differences between the two projects, however. Although Ross plans to incorporate the talents and passions of the free-software community, he's building Parakey around a for-profit business model. And he's leading the charge with a simple battle cry: "One interface, not two!"'"
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Blake Ross Working on Parakey Web OS

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  • I did a bit of searching to find out what it is. His idea is simply to take files from a machine, and make them accessible on the web. (Potentially via your own subdomain of To that end, it will probably be a program that would automatically handle the upload of things like digital images from your camera, and important documents to the web. It's conceivable that it's implemented as a virtual file system, but it could be something as simple as a right click menu item that says, "Send to Parakey". It could even be a set of drivers to handle things like digital images automatically. We'll have to see.
  • by blakeross ( 611172 ) on Wednesday November 01, 2006 @07:15PM (#16681717) Homepage

    I'm well aware that a "web operating system" would not fulfill the same functions as a true web operating system, and I'm as tired of the "WebOS" rhetoric as anyone else. I did explain this to Spectrum, and it seems the magazine decided to leave the mention but explain that it's only an "operating system" from the average user's perspective--which is difficult to prove either way, since my mother probably thinks an "operating system" is some kind of surgical device.

    As for the "how is this different from XXX?" comments, I understand that it may be difficult to differentiate Parakey based solely on the description provided in this early article. Rather than chase those sorts of questions here, I'd rather continue working towards putting the product in your hands so you can decide whether it's different and, ultimately, whether it's worth your time. Thanks everyone.

  • Re:well... (Score:3, Informative)

    by blakeross ( 611172 ) on Wednesday November 01, 2006 @10:05PM (#16683595) Homepage
    The quote in the article is not correct. Parakey will be open source, as the article does say elsewhere ("Most or all of Parakey will be open source").

    I am indeed primarily a Windows user. If you're going to make software for everyone, it helps to use the same computing environment as 95% of the world, so you can understand their problems better. However, my partner Joe is primarily a Mac user. There is no primary development platform; we develop on all platforms.

    As for the business model, it's a new take on an old idea, and something we likely won't divulge until launch.

    And finally, we are not offering any release dates at this time.

    Thanks for your interest.

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