• Forum
  • Lounge
  • Why are developers "scared" of writing t

 
Why are developers "scared" of writing their own operating systems?

Pages: 12
With the internet, endless resources, source, ability to study, look up knowledge, hardware, motherboards, specifications, instruction sets, even websites on the subject, I find it hard to believe that such few developers will wholeheartedly tackle the implementation of a working operating system.

Don't get me wrong, it's hard, and some developers know their weaknesses well above a non-developer would, but at this rate I should be hearing about self-made kernels like Linux by now.

Especially with indie groups, small companies, businesses with IT staffs and dedicated computer programmers, I can't imagine why we're not hearing of new ideas and inventions from the "smaller people".

PS: I have sorted out at least dozens of plans to implement a working system. I have yet to start because I want full preparation to achieve a Disk Operating System-like 16-bit clone using only text-mode on x86, but it's one massive accomplishment for anyone to do entirely themselves from scratch, and to have a real-time system with I/O, ASCII graphics, sound, drivers, and user-space.
Last edited on
closed account (1yR4jE8b)
Operating systems are enormous projects, that taking thousands upon thousands of man-hours simply to get into a workable state. They are probably one of if not THE hardest thing to program. We don't see new kernels "like Linux" because people who want a free operating system are more likely to just use Linux and contribute/build-off of that instead of starting from zero. And it would be financial suicide for a small or indie company to write an operating system from scratch and try to compete with any of the big 3 right now that have been around for over a decade. It's just not gonna happen.
There are plenty of people writing their own kernels, I'm sure. I feel it's a quantity over quality thing though - you can write a kernel yourself but your os will be hardly usable until you add a bajillion components. And the actual implementation of each component is tightly coupled with specification of the hardware it is working with - not too exciting, most of the time. I don't like how everybody loves pointing out how hard os dev is. Each component that you feel the need to write is only as hard as you choose.

The bottom line is that people don't write oses because it's boring, takes a lot of time, doesn't leave much space for innovation and doesn't produce anything useful. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to discourage you. I've been writing an os myself for the past week, and I've had fun doing it. But you have to admit that the excitement of "wow, I'm writing an os" will eventually wear off.
It is not very hard to write a working kernel. At least not any harder than creating a CAD application, game engine or database engine. See: Minix - it is really very simple. What is tedious (and sometimes hard) is writing drivers for all the hardware out there. It is not possible to do in reasonable amount of time without having thousands of dedicated coders. And even if you do, the next thing hard is porting all the already written software to your new OS.
I don't know what you're talking about; there are hundreds, if not thousands, of hobbyist OS projects out there, you just have to look.
Plus I'd like to point out, not much reason to mess with OS development when you have so many distros for Linux. As well as Mac and Windows. Linux is still fighting to get recognition from the different software developers while Mac and Windows hold the bar for commercial fields. You can readily find Mac and Windows supported games while Linux is only just now (Steam) having games supported on it without using wine.
closed account (1yR4jE8b)
It is not very hard to write a working kernel.


Depends on how you define "working". Basic features of a kernel, sure, not really that bad -- I had to do my own "basic" kernel for my OS class in just a few months. But writing an OS that runs on 99.9% of hardware configurations? have fun. Linux has thousands of people working on it and over 20 years and it still isn't quite there yet.

See: Minix - it is really very simple.


When was the last time somebody used Minix as a full-time system? I wouldn't necessarily call it "working".
Last edited on
closed account (S6k9GNh0)
I used Minix as a development environment for Posix for about a year from 2009 to 2010. Although, I ended up just messing with it and not doing much developing... in the end, I didn't do much with it.
Last edited on
I said kernel, not drivers. For basic functionality you really only need only some basic interfacing with BIOS (HDD / screen / keyboard access). Kernel is mostly CPU/IO scheduling, memory management and interfacing with drivers.

Linux is so big because of support for lots of commodity hardware like printers, scanners, graphic devices, soundcards, modems, network cards etc. But all of those are not required for something to be called a fully functional working OS.
Google could make one! they got the money and resources, and the popularity!infact its the next logical step, search engine, browser, os

[smug]I should work for one of these top companies, people who are supposed to have clever business ideas dont have as many awesome ideas as me!![/smug]

people love chrome and a google os would be just the ticket for people who hate windows /havn't heard of linux/scared of linux



if employees are waiting for something to happen or are dossing waiting for someone to email the something rather than being told to 'make like they are working' they could switch to a bit of the company os project, I was like that when managing a kitchen it should be like that in an office, people could learn something about how chefs manage their minions time
Last edited on
closed account (1yR4jE8b)
Google could make one!


They did. Two of them actually:

1. Android, based on Linux. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_android
2. ChromeOS, based on Linux. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Chrome_OS

I'm beginning to see a pattern here....
Last edited on
well even they chose to base stuff on linux, so i guess theres never really gonna be another os again, its a shame cos the general public fools as they are, are only really gonna ever know windows, I feel like theres the biggest gap in the market there, of course learning to use a new operating system and not having common stuff working is the issue, but no company should ever have such a monopoly on hardware
closed account (1yR4jE8b)
so i guess theres never really gonna be another os again


I don't really see a point. Pretty much all bases are covered these days, and any new ones that might appear in the future will simply be adapted to by the current ones. I can't think of any existing problems that can only be solved by a completely new OS.
Im just thinking of marketing and the money spinner, think of a techy innovative advert with lots of white and curvy gadgets and a smooth deep voice telling the public something like "what if there was an os that allready knew what you were trying to do, was easy to talk to, never had errors, made sense from day1" etc, no one who likes money cares about solving problems if theres money to be made, look at the i pad;

an over priced small and less powerfull laptop! theyve only gona and advertised them with keyboards!

everyones buying them, my 95£ 4 year old netbook actually does more!!

EDIT: and most common folk only think windows is out there
Last edited on
closed account (3qX21hU5)
no one who likes money cares about solving problems if theres money to be made, look at the i pad;


That is not true. Solving problems is usually what makes money. Innovation, thinking outside of the box, and thinking up new ideas to solve common problems is how most products get sold.
Last edited on
EDIT: and most common folk only think windows is out there

That is a lie, almost everyone knows about mac osx. Linux though is not as normal to talk about.
closed account (1yR4jE8b)
Unless you are talking about Android, which is basically the same.
The mac is known to be a different comp entirley by the common folk, oh yea and I know necessity is the mother of invention but and i am a muppet for saying that but what i mean is, the mobile fone is being re-invented everyday, the television chagnes shape and quality improves it is still a telly box, speakers will always be needed for boombox that will always play music.

All this junk should be in just two formats, in your house and in your pocket.

A soundvision internet and games telly box in your room and a phone internet games pc ghetto blaster in your pocket.

but that could saturate the market to fast so they invented the tablet, kind of a more powerful i phone less powerful notebook

Thats what i meant, that you could fool people into thinking there is a point to buying a new OS that isnt windows
closed account (3qX21hU5)
I'm still really lost...
What I meant was that there are many situations when there isn't so much as a need for something, just lots of potential to sell something useless that people don't need, and that some devices like the tablet were never needed, just that they (the wizards) knew that people would want them/think they needed them.

I will try again tomorrow :/

Last edited on
Pages: 12