Sunday, July 12, 2009

WIKI-OS: an interesting project


WiKi-OS seems to be quite an interesting open source project in terms of building a “web based OS”. The most important fact that differentiates this form other web OSes is that there is not a single line of JavaScript or HTML in this, but is entirely written in C# and runs in Silverlight plugin. Another interesting aspect is its Wiki nature, you can edit customize and deploy applications (including 3D applications) on the fly as you would edit Wiki pages. And finally, it comes inbuilt with code editor, so you can edit the application code as you want, you do not need any dependence on external tools to write applications on Wiki-OS, not even an editor or a debugger … well eventually that means you don’t require the browser too. Who said browser was becoming the OS of today? I personally feel that this project has quite a large potential, if of course there are compelling applications written for it.

To access visit Note that as of now the site can only be accessed from a Windows PC running IE or Firefox. But I see no reason why this should not work at places where .Net is supported.

Also would be interesting to know if some one has tried to do similar stuff with JVM instead of .Net, which I think is more portable, though lacks 3D support on many platforms.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Google Chrome OS and Windows 7

As has been speculated by many, Google is finally planning to release a Linux based OS for PCs and Mac and those ARM based netbooks, and it is called the Google Chrome OS.

Apparently the idea of OS directly booting into an web browser is not new (for those of you who follow tech news frequently would well know of the CrunchPad from Tech Crunch). Interestingly, the site on CrunchPad's early prototype says that it runs Linux with a WebKit based browser, which sounds quite close to what Google Chrome OS is described to be.

Though it is too early to compare Google Chrome OS with now "quite mature" Windows 7, it would be interesting to know in which market they will compete. Initially I would think that Google Chrome OS will create a whole new market for it self, rather than "downing" the sales of Windows 7. As I see it, Google Chrome OS is targeted more towards people who spent a lot of time on the Web, unlike me, who also spent a lot of time over an ssh connection! I doubt, Chrome OS will have ssh client on it, though I might be completely wrong ;-) That example was not great, but I wanted to bring home a point that if you rely too much on "fat applications", for what ever reason it be (document processing, editing media files, developing applications or system programs), Chrome OS is not for you, the same reason why Sun Microsystem's Java OS was not for you.

There is a difference though. When Sun first came up with the idea of "Network is the Computer", and pursued relentlessly till the end, they always seem to fail, largely because they were way ahead of time. But that time seems to have come now. There are fair bit of "web applications" out there for a web-based OS like Chrome OS to succeed. And when it comes from Google, you know that it comes with some pleasingly simplistic and elegant UI.

Regardless of this, I still see myself moving to Windows 7 as my primary home OS, when it gets released.

(PS: For a more deeper commentary on why this release of Google Chrome OS is a "turning point", have a look at: