Google Chrome OS

Now, this is something that hasn’t completely taken me by surprise - an operating system with a lightweight user interface supporting only Javascript applications.

The questions are:-

  • How flexible with the API be?
  • Will it be possible to create standalone (non network based) applications (guessing yes?)
  • Is this OS likely to be at the leading edge of abandoning the desktop for web based technologies as we move toward working more and more on the web?
  • Could Haiku eventually support running similar apps in its own desktop environment, managed by the Haiku window manager on behalf of an embedded version of Tranquility? (or whatever the name will eventually be)

Just some thoughts about this new system… I think without seeing Chrome OS, I’d still rather run Haiku on my EEE since it would feel more like my own system.

What are your thoughts on this new OS and the future of the web AS the operating system? Should there be a better scripting language for the web? Maybe ECMAScript 4, Lua or something else…

I get from what I’ve read this morning that it is likely to have a few marked similarities to Haiku, especially with the UI.

Going to be watching this with great interest!

With Google’s sponsoring of Haiku through the Summer of Code I had high hopes it would use it as the base OS. It’s no big surprise that they went with Linux since it’s their workhorse, has lots of support, is in use on desktops, etc. They also can push it hard to get it into the mainstream.

If only Haiku was ready…

Google announced that it has started, developing an operating system named Chrome OS. Google’s operating system, Chrome OS, has been a long time coming. The big news on the software front these days is about the Google operating system that is beginning to debut. It’s good to know that you can get the Google operating system without needing money and the unending amount of registration that comes with Microsoft products. The Google operating system is being released as a competitor to Windows 7, and the Google OS, or Chrome OS, bears the same name as the internet browser they released last year, and best of all will be free. It is set to begin debuting on netbooks, and its primary focus is online applications. Press for it has said that they geared it to plug the gaps in internet security of most OS packages.

The answers to the questions in the main post are as follows: (it’s my opinion only, of course).

  1. JavaScript is a high-level programming language. Theoretically, it can do everything, just what C/C++ can do, provided there are stand-alone compilers/interpreters of JavaScript.
  2. JavaScript is neither fully object-oriented, nor fully procedural. It’s something in between. While some developers see it as a strength, because it allows really flexible programming, I personally see it as a weakness, since the language can’t use OOP abilities to the maximum (e.g., it doesn’t have classes, though they can be simulated). However, fascinating things can be done with JavaScript.
  3. There are stand-alone JavaScript engines. Even BeOS had something in this direction.
  4. IMHO, Google Chrome OS will not be in the leading edge of technology. Networking is still limited by the transfer rate, and computation abilities of the netbooks are limited by the netbooks’ cheap hardware. In this case, operating systems like Haiku, written at level which is closer to the hardware then JavaScript, will benefit the end-user more and will be more productive. Consider this: despite extreme popularity of Java, there are just a handful of desktop OSes written in Java and none netbook / smartphone OSes written in Java.
  5. I, personally, don’t see any good in JavaScript applications; they have no advantage in my eyes over Perl, Python or C++. Besides, some things (like hardware drivers) are easier to implement in C/C++ then in JavaScript. But, again, the more development languages are supported - the better.

I think the main reason for user acceptance esspecially within companies will be the data privacy issue. Does the majority of people trust Google enough to host all their data? I guess not…

On the surface it looks like Chrome OS is just a tit-for-tat response to Bing. But something tells me we will be quite surprised once its out. Pleasantly, that is. The fact that its open source is an indicator for something workable that offers an alternative future in the OS market.

One thing I would like to say about Google is that if they do something they do it right. They generally don’t make crap. Google Chrome may not be the #1 browser in the world, but it is the best up and coming browser.