The Flat Earth Society

Other Discussion Boards => Technology & Information => Topic started by: Misero on February 15, 2015, 04:30:22 PM

Title: Getting into making an OS
Post by: Misero on February 15, 2015, 04:30:22 PM
I figure I might as well do something useful for once, so I'm getting into making an OS. Where could one learn how to begin? I've heard Linux From Scratch is good, but are there any alternatives I should try? I've attempted something before, but my laptop with Xubuntu was destroyed and the structure for my OS with it. (Next time I'll remember to back it up.)
Title: Re: Getting into making an OS
Post by: junker on February 15, 2015, 08:21:00 PM
I figure I might as well do something useful for once, so I'm getting into making an OS. Where could one learn how to begin? I've heard Linux From Scratch is good, but are there any alternatives I should try? I've attempted something before, but my laptop with Xubuntu was destroyed and the structure for my OS with it. (Next time I'll remember to back it up.)

I am not entirely sure what you are getting at here. Are you talking about compiling your own OS from existing code, or building an new OS from the kernel up?
Title: Re: Getting into making an OS
Post by: Misero on February 15, 2015, 08:47:57 PM
I figure I might as well do something useful for once, so I'm getting into making an OS. Where could one learn how to begin? I've heard Linux From Scratch is good, but are there any alternatives I should try? I've attempted something before, but my laptop with Xubuntu was destroyed and the structure for my OS with it. (Next time I'll remember to back it up.)

I am not entirely sure what you are getting at here. Are you talking about compiling your own OS from existing code, or building an new OS from the kernel up?
Kernel up, the way LFS describes, at least.
Title: Re: Getting into making an OS
Post by: la xasop on February 15, 2015, 09:56:22 PM
I am not entirely sure what you are getting at here. Are you talking about compiling your own OS from existing code, or building an new OS from the kernel up?
Kernel up, the way LFS describes, at least.

This answer only confuses things further. LFS is about compiling your own OS from existing code.
Title: Re: Getting into making an OS
Post by: Ghost of V on February 15, 2015, 09:59:47 PM
Is this your first time attempting something like this?
Title: Re: Getting into making an OS
Post by: Misero on February 16, 2015, 01:50:54 PM
No, but it was a few years back, so things have changed, I assume. I meant that answer to say that I would like it not based off existing code, but I don't mind doing it off existing code. Was a bit vague there.
Title: Re: Getting into making an OS
Post by: jroa on February 16, 2015, 02:05:02 PM
Everybody and their brother does it from existing code.  If you really want to make an OS from scratch, expect to work on it for 3 or 4 decades. 
Title: Re: Getting into making an OS
Post by: la xasop on February 16, 2015, 11:10:35 PM
Everybody and their brother does it from existing code.  If you really want to make an OS from scratch, expect to work on it for 3 or 4 decades.

You can get a working OS in much less time than that. I haven't done it myself, but I've considered it, and 3 or 4 weeks is much more reasonable to me.

What you can't get easily is decent hardware support. There are so many drivers in modern operating systems that no new contender will ever be able to catch up, but if you're doing it for fun, that doesn't matter.

Anyway, I wouldn't call following LFS "making" an OS. It's just a Linux distro that you compile yourself.
Title: Re: Getting into making an OS
Post by: Fortuna on February 16, 2015, 11:13:31 PM
Microsoft has had a literal army of engineers building Windows for decades, and it still sucks. Do you still want to build an OS from scratch?
Title: Re: Getting into making an OS
Post by: la xasop on February 16, 2015, 11:22:11 PM
Microsoft has had a literal army of engineers building Windows for decades, and it still sucks. Do you still want to build an OS from scratch?

Windows should not be used as a good example of anything. It has never been Microsoft's goal to make a good OS, only to make an OS they can sell.

A much better example is UNIX, which took about two years to become ready for public release, and steadily improved from that point. It was in active use at Bell Labs prior to public release, too.
Title: Re: Getting into making an OS
Post by: Thork on February 17, 2015, 07:50:38 PM
Unix doesn't play games very well. Bit of a fail for a desktop OS.
Title: Re: Getting into making an OS
Post by: Rushy on February 17, 2015, 07:57:38 PM
Windows should not be used as a good example of anything. It has never been Microsoft's goal to make a good OS, only to make an OS they can sell.

That makes it a good OS unless you're using some narrow definition of good. If Unix-like computers were more intuitive, more people would use it. Apple stunts its own growth by insisting it should be a "premium" product and no Linux distro has apparently found the ability to not require line input to do basic tasks like installing new programs.
Title: Re: Getting into making an OS
Post by: Fortuna on February 17, 2015, 08:43:47 PM
Most Loonix distros I've tried, you can use the GUI to do plenty of things an average user would in Windows. Neckbeards use Bash because of how intuitive and powerful it is, but it takes some effort; something the average user isn't willing to put in.
Title: Re: Getting into making an OS
Post by: jroa on February 18, 2015, 12:02:37 AM
If Unix-like computers were more intuitive, more people would use it.

I think you are confusing "intuitive" with "what I am used to".  If Windows was intuitive, nobody would ever need to take a basic computer class. 
Title: Re: Getting into making an OS
Post by: Rushy on February 18, 2015, 01:15:23 AM
I think you are confusing "intuitive" with "what I am used to".  If Windows was intuitive, nobody would ever need to take a basic computer class.

Any "basic computer class" I took involved how to use Windows programs, not Windows itself.
Title: Re: Getting into making an OS
Post by: Fortuna on February 18, 2015, 09:41:07 AM
I think you are confusing "intuitive" with "what I am used to".  If Windows was intuitive, nobody would ever need to take a basic computer class.

Any "basic computer class" I took involved how to use Windows programs, not Windows itself.

ITT: Rushy thinks more people use Windows because it's more intuitive.
Title: Re: Getting into making an OS
Post by: jroa on February 18, 2015, 12:25:47 PM
I think you are confusing "intuitive" with "what I am used to".  If Windows was intuitive, nobody would ever need to take a basic computer class.

Any "basic computer class" I took involved how to use Windows programs, not Windows itself.

I have dad several basic computer classes over the years that covered several different OSs, and they all start out with the basics, like navigating the file system,  opening/closing/saving files, switching users, you know... the basics.

It is not intuitive to click the Start button in order to shutdown a computer, or to right click on My Computer in order to navigate to the Device Manager.  Nothing about Windows is any more intuitive than any other operating system; in fact, if you took people off the street who had never used a computer in their lives and sat them in front of different operating systems, I personally think that the learning curve would actually be lower for the *nix systems, provided that they are using a friendly desktop. 

By the way, I used to teach a basic computer class for adults, and I had to show people how to log in, maximize and minimize windows, and even how to shut a computer down, and this was on Windows systems.  Once they learned the basics, the I could teach them how to do more advanced stuff, like checking email or creating a document. 
Title: Re: Getting into making an OS
Post by: Lord Dave on February 18, 2015, 06:40:05 PM
Could you even make an intuitive UI?  Everyone is different in what they think should happen to do something.  So aside from tapping into their brains, I don't see any way to make any UI completely intuitive. 
Title: Re: Getting into making an OS
Post by: Thork on February 18, 2015, 06:57:03 PM
Could you even make an intuitive UI?  Everyone is different in what they think should happen to do something.  So aside from tapping into their brains, I don't see any way to make any UI completely intuitive. 
"Computer. Open a new document. Its going to be a letter. Put my address on the right and Anna Wilkes on the left. Sign it from me and date it. Open my e-mail and find the e-mail John Smith sent me last week and use that as the body for the letter. Change it from first person to third person and then .pdf it and send it Via E-mail to Anna."
"John Smith sent you 2 e-mails last week"
"Yeah, the longer one about the BBC"
"Message sent"

It could be far more intuitive. Computers just don't work that way yet.
Title: Re: Getting into making an OS
Post by: Rushy on February 18, 2015, 06:59:50 PM
That doesn't sound intuitive, it sounded like the user gave a long stream of verbal commands, which computers can do, they simply have to be programmed as macros first.
Title: Re: Getting into making an OS
Post by: Thork on February 18, 2015, 07:07:50 PM
That doesn't sound intuitive, it sounded like the user gave a long stream of verbal commands, which computers can do, they simply have to be programmed as macros first.
Speaking plain English to a computer isn't intuitive?
Title: Re: Getting into making an OS
Post by: Rushy on February 18, 2015, 07:30:40 PM
Speaking plain English to a computer isn't intuitive?

I don't know about you, but I typically don't speak in a stream of execution commands.
Title: Re: Getting into making an OS
Post by: Thork on February 18, 2015, 07:45:44 PM
Speaking plain English to a computer isn't intuitive?

I don't know about you, but I typically don't speak in a stream of execution commands.
Be easier than looking for them.
Title: Re: Getting into making an OS
Post by: Rushy on February 18, 2015, 08:02:34 PM
Be easier than looking for them.

A person speaking in that manner already memorized commands the computer recognizes. Only a person familiar with the functions of the computer would say things like "open a new document" or "change to [...] .pdf"

The scenario you described is already entirely possible. There are plenty of computer programs that can recognize commands that are so blatantly stated. e.g. http://www.nuance.com/dragon/index.htm
Title: Re: Getting into making an OS
Post by: Thork on February 18, 2015, 08:12:39 PM
No, I mean just being able to talk to the computer and tell it what you want it to achieve. And it actually getting it no matter how dumb you are with computers. That would be more intuitive than any operating system in existence ... obviously.

"computer, I want to write an app for my mobile phone. Make it show news feeds from the huffington post and let people share them. Make the pictures a bit bigger. Make the font an bit more easy to read. Nice font but make it bigger. too much. Perfect. and then make an icon that is a dolphin hoping through a hoop and load it onto my phone. Add some adverts and put it into the store for me. Ok, now show me some naked ladies but turn the volume to mute. No, lesbian nonsense. yuck, white girls only please. make it hd. Don't take any calls or make any notifications until this film is over. Oh and make sure my webcam is off this time. "
Title: Re: Getting into making an OS
Post by: la xasop on February 18, 2015, 08:15:28 PM
Unix doesn't play games very well. Bit of a fail for a desktop OS.

I'm not sure how you managed to be wrong so often in such a short post. The first ever UNIX application was a game, and desktops didn't even exist when UNIX was first created, which is the only period of its development relevant to a thread about making an OS.

Windows should not be used as a good example of anything. It has never been Microsoft's goal to make a good OS, only to make an OS they can sell.

That makes it a good OS unless you're using some narrow definition of good.

That would make perfect sense if the average computer user made an educated decision about which OS to run. The average computer user doesn't even know what an OS is, which means that making a good OS is a waste of money if your goal is to make an OS that sells. Microsoft understands this, which is why their strategy has always been to eliminate the competition instead.
Title: Re: Getting into making an OS
Post by: Rushy on February 18, 2015, 08:22:09 PM
No, I mean just being able to talk to the computer and tell it what you want it to achieve. And it actually getting it no matter how dumb you are with computers. That would be more intuitive than any operating system in existence ... obviously.

Up to this point nothing you said even remotely indicated that was what you meant. Maybe you should have just outright stated that instead of using some bogus example of a guy barking orders at a computer.

That would make perfect sense if the average computer user made an educated decision about which OS to run. The average computer user doesn't even know what an OS is, which means that making a good OS is a waste of money if your goal is to make an OS that sells. Microsoft understands this, which is why their strategy has always been to eliminate the competition instead.

Microsoft has the highest market share because it is the only company that provides extensive enterprise level support for its OS. Apple does somewhat, but isn't particularly great at it, and as a result most businesses use Windows. Linux's enterprise support is pretty much nonexistent, which is why lots of companies use Linux for their backend but don't ever let it see the light of day.

Microsoft meets its customers needs, meaning it makes a good OS. To say differently would be to deny that corporations are viciously profit driven. After all, if Linux were better than Windows, they'd use it for everything because it is free.
Title: Re: Getting into making an OS
Post by: Particle Person on February 18, 2015, 08:31:26 PM
Microsoft has the highest market share because it is the only company that provides extensive enterprise level support for its OS.

It isn't that simple. Remember this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._Microsoft_Corp.)?
Title: Re: Getting into making an OS
Post by: la xasop on February 18, 2015, 08:42:02 PM
Linux's enterprise support is pretty much nonexistent

Did you seriously just make that claim? This might well be the most wrong thing anyone has ever said on FES.

See also: http://www.redhat.com/en/technologies/linux-platforms/enterprise-linux

Microsoft meets its customers needs, meaning it makes a good OS.

Even if this were true, providing good customer service and providing a good OS are two completely different things.

To say differently would be to deny that corporations are viciously profit driven. After all, if Linux were better than Windows, they'd use it for everything because it is free.

That's a lovely straw man you've built.
Title: Re: Getting into making an OS
Post by: Rushy on February 18, 2015, 08:48:43 PM
Did you seriously just make that claim? This might well be the most wrong thing anyone has ever said on FES.

See also: http://www.redhat.com/en/technologies/linux-platforms/enterprise-linux

And? I didn't say it doesn't exist, posting a link of a seldom-used Linux system doesn't refute my claim that their enterprise support is nothing compared to Microsoft.

Even if this were true, providing good customer service and providing a good OS are two completely different things.

No, they're not.

That's a lovely straw man you've built.

In other words, you can't explain why greedy corporations aren't willing to use a free system that is better than one that costs millions of dollars. Yes, it must just be that they're dumb and you're not.
Title: Re: Getting into making an OS
Post by: la xasop on February 18, 2015, 08:51:18 PM
I didn't say it doesn't exist
Linux's enterprise support is pretty much nonexistent

ok

Even if this were true, providing good customer service and providing a good OS are two completely different things.

No, they're not.

Thanks for the tip. I will make sure to compliment the waiter on the fine operating system next time I go to a really good restaurant.

In other words, you can't explain why greedy corporations aren't willing to use a free system that is better than one that costs millions of dollars. Yes, it must just be that they're dumb and you're not.

Why do you expect me to explain that? You brought Linux into this discussion, not me.
Title: Re: Getting into making an OS
Post by: Rushy on February 18, 2015, 08:52:54 PM
ok

Are you just choosing not to understand English now?

Thanks for the tip. I will make sure to compliment the waiter on the fine operating system next time I go to a really good restaurant.

Okay, I get what you're doing.

Why do you expect me to explain that? You brought Linux into this discussion, not me.

Yeah, my job is done here, you're out of steam.
Title: Re: Getting into making an OS
Post by: Fortuna on February 18, 2015, 09:26:22 PM
Linux's enterprise support is pretty much nonexistent

LOL
Title: Re: Getting into making an OS
Post by: Lord Dave on February 19, 2015, 01:56:38 AM
No, I mean just being able to talk to the computer and tell it what you want it to achieve. And it actually getting it no matter how dumb you are with computers. That would be more intuitive than any operating system in existence ... obviously.

"computer, I want to write an app for my mobile phone. Make it show news feeds from the huffington post and let people share them. Make the pictures a bit bigger. Make the font an bit more easy to read. Nice font but make it bigger. too much. Perfect. and then make an icon that is a dolphin hoping through a hoop and load it onto my phone. Add some adverts and put it into the store for me. Ok, now show me some naked ladies but turn the volume to mute. No, lesbian nonsense. yuck, white girls only please. make it hd. Don't take any calls or make any notifications until this film is over. Oh and make sure my webcam is off this time. "

"Computer, I want to write a letter to my grandson."
-would you like to type and print a letter, e-mail, or use another messaging program?
"What?"

Intuitive fails with terminology.  As the example above shows, what you say can mean multiple things.  Yes a letter traditionally means snail mail, but it could be an email if you aren't familiar with that term.

The computer must know what you mean before it can do what you want.  And that takes either direct brain reading or training.
Title: Re: Getting into making an OS
Post by: la xasop on February 19, 2015, 06:40:35 AM
Are you just choosing not to understand English now?

I'm just quoting you. You do remember saying those things, right?

Okay, I get what you're doing.

Now if only you could do the same, your arguments might make some amount of sense.

Yeah, my job is done here, you're out of steam.

I haven't seen any evidence of you starting any kind of "job", let alone finishing one. You still haven't explained how Linux is relevant.
Title: Re: Getting into making an OS
Post by: Rushy on February 19, 2015, 03:53:15 PM
Why don't you explain how Linux is unrelevant?
Title: Re: Getting into making an OS
Post by: la xasop on February 19, 2015, 06:36:46 PM
Why don't you explain how Linux is unrelevant?

Sorry, it doesn't work that way. You brought it into this discussion, so you presumably had some reason for doing so, and therefore should be able to articulate that reason. If you can't, it isn't relevant.
Title: Re: Getting into making an OS
Post by: Rushy on February 20, 2015, 02:09:27 AM
Why don't you explain how Linux is unrelevant?

Sorry, it doesn't work that way. You brought it into this discussion, so you presumably had some reason for doing so, and therefore should be able to articulate that reason. If you can't, it isn't relevant.

I'm not the one who brought relevancy into question here. I just brought true facts to the table and now you're trying to unfact my trues.
Title: Re: Getting into making an OS
Post by: Pete Svarrior on February 22, 2015, 06:24:41 AM
Are you just choosing not to understand English now?
He does that a lot. Originally, I thought he's just trolling. Nowadays I suspect it's just due to lack of social experience. He picks interpretations of conversations which can be argued for if you just ignore all of society.

In this case, the only winning move is not to play. No matter what you do, he won't get out of this chain of reasoning for a while, so it's probably best to leave him be and try again later; or not try at all.