The goal of the Linux-Society (LS, dating back to the mid-90s as a professional club and tech-mentoring group) has been a purely-democratic Information Society; many of the articles are sociological in nature. The LS was merged with Perl/Unix of NY to form multi-layered group that included advocacy, project-oriented learning by talented high school students: textbook constructivism. Linux has severe limitations such that it is useless for any computer that will, say, print or scan. It is primarily used for webservers and embedded devices such as the Android. (Google is high-invested in it).

Technology is problematic. During the heyday of technology (1990s), it seemed it had the democratic direction Lewis Mumford said it should have in his seminal
Technics and Civilization.

Today, we are effectively stuck with Windows as Linux is poor on the desktop and has cultured a maladaptive following. Apple is prohibitive, and all other operating systems lack drivers, including Google's Android, an offshoot of linux.

In the late 90s there was hope for new kernels such as LibOS and ExoOS that would bare their hardware to programs, some of which would be virtual machines such as Java uses. Another important player was the L4 system that is a minor relation to the code underlying the Apple's systems. It was highly scientific but fell into the wrong hangs, apparently, and has suffered from having no progress on the desktop. There is a version, "SE" that is apparently running in many cell phones as specialized telecom chips, but is proprietary. SE's closed nature was only recently revealed, which is important because it is apparently built from publicly-owned code as it is not a "clean room" design it may violate public domain protections, and most certainly violates the widely-accepted social contract.

Recent attempts to enjoin into L4 development as an advocate for "the people" have been as frustrating (and demeaning) as previous attempts with the usual attacks to self-esteem by maladaptive "hacks" being reinforced by "leadership" (now mostly university professors).

In short, this leaves us with Windows, which is quite a reversal if you have read earlier posts here. But, upon Windows, we have free and open software development systems in the forms of GTK+ (the windows usually used on Linux) and the Minimal GNU Windows (MinGW and MSYS) systems. It is very likely this direction that development should go (that is, on Windows) such that s/w can then be ported to a currently-valid microkernel system that includes a driver system that can be adapted by hardware developers to reuse of their windows and apple drivers.

From a brief survey of L4, it appears that the last clean copy was the DROPS system of the early 2010s, was a German effort that used the Unix-like "OS kit" from an American University.

If we are going to be stuck on Windows, then it seems that a high level approach to free and open systems integration, such as creating fully transparent mouse communication between apps so that they can seamlessly work together as a single desktop (rather than deliberately conflicting). This would be very helpful for GIMP and Inkscape, both leading graphics programs that are strong in the special ways, but suffer from an inability to easily interrelate.

Another important issue is the nature, if you can call it that, of the "geek" or "hack." Technology is formed democratically but "harvested" authoritarian-ly --if I can coin a term that Mumford might use. Authority is plutarchy: a combination of aristocracy and oligarchy that is kept alive after all these millennia by using, or maligning, the information society as a part of the civilizing (or law-giving) process that embraces the dialectic as its method. Democratic restoration, that is to put humanity back on an evolutionary (and not de-evolutionary) track, I think, will require the exclusion of the "geek" from decision-making. As is, the free/open s/w culture attempts to give leadership to those who write the most lines of code --irrespective of their comprehension of the real world or relationship with normal users. We need normal people to somehow organize around common sense (rather than oligarchic rationalism) to bring to life useful and cohesive software and communications systems.

Interestingly, the most popular page on this site is about Carl Rogers' humanistic psychology, and has nothing to do with technology.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Ideas for Codezero native L4 Implemen...


This next OS needs another layer on top of the UI technology that directly talks to the user. I think that to directly integrate the user into the system, there has to be some kind of mind-mapping interaction with the OS as part of the capabilities that are offered to the user in the UI. Beyond this, the user needs to integrate into the "cloud," which is the rest of society, through the mind mapping, which then becomes minds-mapping. (??)

There is a need for the user to break out of the "client / server" mode, where I see the server as master and the client as slave, a direct extension of the original Information Society that the Jews escaped from: "Let my people go!!" This necessitates one to one connections between devices of this model where the connections are only supported by services but not controlled by them (presumably for money, or "tribute").

Equally important is full support for hardware manufacturers especially with respect to plug-in modules: completing the break from monolithic architecture. Completing this break is what l4 is about. Possibly even going further, a facility could be created to easily convert existing drivers to show manufacturers "good faith" respect to the peripheral market.

In my opinion, the most "excellent" architecture belongs to the "Parrot VM," which unfortunately has stalled, and perhaps needs to fork away from its parentage in Perl towards internal support. In short its programming language resembles CPU architecture in that it does uses registers making it factors more efficient, which of course lends to miniaturization and low power use.

LISP persists as a well-perfected interpreter language, and might make a model for the next system's native management language, though I would use names like "mash-up" or "zing" to describe a language and try to base it on the most accepted and popular interpretations of OO architecture.

I feel if all the necessary architectural aspects of an essential OS are represented, expert voices can implement their architectural ideas so as to finally give the world what it really needs.

Paraphrasing Bahadir Balban:
Codezero is a modern L4 microkernel implementation written in C that targets embedded platforms and aims to implement native OS components. It has a design and API that is similar to existing L4 microkernels.

Two current services: a default pager called MM0 that supports for instance fork, clone, execve, exit, mmap, shm. The second called FS0 and implements the virtual filesystem layer supporting open, close, read, write, lseek, stat, fsync, etc.

It is GPLv3 licensee, and a copyright share agreement option for contributions. On the next few releases there will be a port of the Xynth windowing system. Only that ARM is supported as the first architecture.

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