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Facebook Acquires Parakey's Web OS Platform 64

NaijaGuy writes "Facebook has purchased Parakey for an undisclosed sum. We have previously discussed how Facebook recently opened up development opportunities for third-party developers. With this acquisition some observers have noted that Facebook might be trying to become a Google alternative, by providing an application development platform based on Parakey's technology. Facebook's 'Web OS' has also been discussed, and the company has made headlines partly because of the fame of one of its founders. Blake Ross helped launch Firefox, and it was enthusiasm for helping less geeky users like his mom to thrive on the web that got him through the doors of Netscape at the age of 15. A recent interview charts how that same enthusiasm led him to start Parakey, 'a Web operating system that can do everything an OS can do.'"
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Facebook Acquires Parakey's Web OS Platform

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  • without RTFA (Score:3, Insightful)

    by caffeinemessiah ( 918089 ) on Friday July 20, 2007 @10:40PM (#19935189) Journal
    'a Web operating system that can do everything an OS can do':

    can it:

    (1) boot your computer (without requiring local media and thus becoming more of a "real" OS)
    (2) run photoshop / gimp / doom 3 / (insert resource-heavy app here)
    (3) run without any loss of functionality when you're sitting in the middle of nowhere without a wifi hotspot

    Sure, the answers may all be yes...but not without a lot of hacking at the reasons why.

  • CS320 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mrroot ( 543673 ) on Friday July 20, 2007 @10:58PM (#19935281)
    "a Web operating system that can do everything an OS can do"
    I'm guessing you didn't make it to Operating Systems before you dropped out of Computer Science.
  • by blakeross ( 611172 ) on Friday July 20, 2007 @11:05PM (#19935315) Homepage
    This has been discussed ad nauseum, even in the last Slashdot article, but: no, Parakey does not do "everything an OS can do" from a technical perspective, which is the only perspective most people here care about. That should be obvious. The quote was in the context of average users--people like my mother--who are not thinking about concepts like memory management. The idea is that Parakey accomplishes the functions of an OS (and much more) from an *end-user's* perspective.

    I'm confident the truth won't stand in the way of another 200 posts on this topic :)
  • Google. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Frosty Piss ( 770223 ) on Friday July 20, 2007 @11:28PM (#19935391)
    Of course, Facebook will soon be purchased by Google.
  • by clang_jangle ( 975789 ) on Friday July 20, 2007 @11:30PM (#19935403) Journal

    The idea is that Parakey accomplishes the functions of an OS (and much more) from an *end-user's* perspective

    Actually the phrase you seek is "software suite", not "OS".

  • by moosesocks ( 264553 ) on Saturday July 21, 2007 @01:52AM (#19935891) Homepage

    But you've got the problem that Web Browsers (and most "modern" languages like Java) are hideously inefficient for these sort of tasks. CSS/HTML/Javascript are being contorted to do things that they were never really meant to do.

    The fact that firing up Firefox to look at my GMail (which is, by all accounts one of the more efficent "Web Apps") consumes considerably more CPU time and RAM than it does to fire up a fairly robust mail client is disturbing to say the least. Let's face it -- the Web is a shitty place to get day-to-day tasks accomplished that involve any sort of interaction.

    If this web app idea is to get off the ground, I'd imagine that we'll eventually be using some sort of modern derivative of the X11 protocol to natively display apps, using our screens as true thin clients. Rebol [] did this a few years back, and it regrettably didn't catch on (probably due to it being proprietary), but I remember checking out the tech demos, and being floored by how fast it was, even on a 56k connection.

    HTML's great as an information distribution medium, but the fact that it's even being taken remotely seriously as an application platform is laughable.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 21, 2007 @03:01AM (#19936137)
    What's wrong with a display protocol that pushes document object model changes, rather than vector or pixel changes, to the client? That's where we already are.

    Personally I prefer semantically encoded data to "applications" whenever possible, it's easier to reuse in unplanned ways (the same reason PDFs are prettier but less useful than HTML).
  • Re:Google. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by majid_aldo ( 812530 ) on Saturday July 21, 2007 @03:11AM (#19936159)
    some things don't need to be changed like: the google search page, basic instant messaging, basic email, windows xp, and the jeep cherokee.

System checkpoint complete.