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Unix Operating Systems Software Java Programming

Pure JavaScript Unix-Like Web Based OS 313

Posted by Zonk
from the java-and-unix-sitting-in-a-tree dept.
slummy writes " JS/UIX 'is an UNIX-like OS for standard web-browsers, written entirely in JavaScript (no plug-ins used). It comprises a virtual machine, shell, virtual file-system, process-management, and brings its own terminal with screen- and keyboard-mapping.' If only you didn't need an OS to run the web browser on."
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Pure JavaScript Unix-Like Web Based OS

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  • by kevin_conaway (585204) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @07:54AM (#12831443) Homepage
    • It was a fluke. None of us are reading your post. You didn't see anything...
    • The fact that it is slashdotted now and not when the comment was published (i knwow, i went there then, and on robin too) show, on the contrary, that most people don't.
  • Next up (Score:5, Funny)

    by tqft (619476) <ianburrows_au&yahoo,com> on Thursday June 16, 2005 @07:54AM (#12831446) Homepage Journal

    From TFA:
    "The only application for now is a simple implementation of vi"

    How long before emacs is ported?
    • Well, that reminds me of the old emacs joke:-

      --:-- *scratch* (Lisp Interaction)--L5--All--
      Loading vmunix.el... Done.

      It is rather impressive to have an OS in a web browser though.. even if it's not exactly that useful.
      • Here's code to to implement that joke. To get it right and be truly funny, you have to use realistic timing of course. Snicker: (defun load-vmunix () "Loads the vmunix OS into 'the' Emacs." (interactive) (message "loading vmunix.el...") (sleep-for 65535) (message "loading vmunix.el...done") )
    • Re:Next up (Score:3, Funny)

      by Ingolfke (515826)
      Wow, that boggles the mind. A web-based OS running an editor-based OS. Holy virtualization Batman!
    • VI works! I saved a text file to my home directory. Pretty neat.

    • More like:

      How long before this is ported to emacs?
    • Once you have Emacs ported you can start implementing the frequently proposed vmunix.el.
  • Uses? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AKAImBatman (238306) * <.akaimbatman. .at. .gmail.com.> on Thursday June 16, 2005 @07:54AM (#12831448) Homepage Journal
    That's kind of neat, but I am having some difficulty in deciding what it's useful for. Perhaps teaching Unix to new users? It is, after all, a "fake" environment that looks like the real thing.

    Related to this (but much cooler), there used to be a site at WebOS.com where the site lauched a full-screen browser window and allowed you to interact with an entirely HTML desktop. Even the applications were downloaded on the fly, and the files were saved on the server.
    • Re:Uses? (Score:5, Funny)

      by AnObfuscator (812343) <onering@ph3.1415926ys.ufl.edu minus pi> on Thursday June 16, 2005 @08:10AM (#12831573) Homepage
      Usefull? Usefull??!! Dude, it's a Unix OS written in JavaScript that runs on a web browser... the nerdiness is off the charts! Who cares about usefull?!
    • Re:Uses? (Score:5, Funny)

      by rjamestaylor (117847) <rjamestaylor@gmail.com> on Thursday June 16, 2005 @08:11AM (#12831578) Journal
      If your browser is sufficiently tabbed you can run multiple sessions and create a Beowolf Cluster from them -- BeoFox? Beafari?
    • Too bad, it has no networking code. And this is what we would really want. It would be possible using a hidden IFRAME. The latency would suck, though.

      I happened to be reading the JS/UIX page right as the slashdotting came in. I want a JavaScript viewer for my termrec tool [angband.pl]. My version is in very early stages [angband.pl], but at least it's in color :p
    • I am having some difficulty in deciding what it's useful for

      well, that deopends how it works. the site is under some load at the moment so I can't read it. is the OS running locally in your web browser? or are you getting a shell to a web-based OS on the web-server?

      if the latter then it could be very useful, esp if they can port ssh across. then users inside a corporate firewall can use it to get a shell outside the company that they can ssh from, when they may not have ssh access fgrom inside. and as it
      • It's a shell and an in-memory file system running in the browser. As a result, it's able to present working versions of most Unix utilities (e.g. vi, cd, ls, cat, etc.) but doesn't actually let you *do* anything to interact with other environments. :-)
    • Well, maybe not as robust or developed as Cygwin or Unix Svcs, but the concept is the same. A unix environment avaiable on a non-unix platform.

      I tried this out on mirrordot and was impressed (even if it is still in proof-of-concept stage). It would be neat to have a unix environment anywhere you have an internet connection. I could also see it being used as a extremely portable virtual machine for simple applications.
    • I've not yet looked at the code to find out if it's written cleanly enough for this, but theoretically someone could use an out-of-browser JavaScript interpreter and a replacement terminal part to make it talk over a socket, telnet-style. Then you could run it as a daemon and forget it's written in JavaScript...

      If you were really crazy, you could even figure out how to make it support multiple concurrent terminals, run it as init (with an appropriate wrapper+js-interpreter written in C) on a system with th

    • Re:Uses? (Score:3, Funny)

      by kin_korn_karn (466864)
      It's a geek-penis compensation device.
    • Re:Uses? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Goaway (82658)

      Related to this (but much cooler), there used to be a site at WebOS.com where the site lauched a full-screen browser window and allowed you to interact with an entirely HTML desktop. Even the applications were downloaded on the fly, and the files were saved on the server.

      Shameless plug: I've made something similar here: http://wakaba.c3.cx/desktop-test/desktop.pl [c3.cx]
      Log in as test:test. It's fairly useful for doing management of a web server. Try not to Slashdot it too badly, OK?

      Mor information here: http [c3.cx]

    • That's kind of neat, but I am having some difficulty in deciding what it's useful for. Perhaps teaching Unix to new users? It is, after all, a "fake" environment that looks like the real thing.

      I've truly stopped looking for the 'why' and just accepting it was because someone thought it would be shiney and cool to do.

      Increasingly, it's quite obvious some of this is just simply because it can be done.
  • Especially... (Score:4, Informative)

    by nmoog (701216) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @07:55AM (#12831455) Homepage Journal
    ..Especially when combined with XUL [sf.net]
    (apologies to slashdot member CTho9305)
  • Compiler (Score:3, Funny)

    by derphilipp (745164) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @07:55AM (#12831456) Homepage
    Is there already a customized gcc or other c-compiler available?

    I wanna run doom on it!
  • Obligatory (Score:3, Funny)

    by Deep Fried Geekboy (807607) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @07:56AM (#12831475)
    I for one welcome our new web-based OS overlor... oh, shit, look at that, it's slashdotted.

    PS You do know that in Soviet Russia, your browser runs your OS, right?
  • Screenshot (Score:5, Funny)

    by md81544 (619625) * on Thursday June 16, 2005 @07:57AM (#12831485) Homepage
    Dead already, but I managed to grab a screenshot:
    [guest@www.masswerk.at:2]$
    :-)
  • fake DOS... (Score:4, Funny)

    by wirehead78 (576106) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @07:58AM (#12831491)
    I remember back in the day I wrote a BASIC program that looked exactly like DOS, except it would give weird error messages any time you did anything. My parents sure loved that one.
    • by rayde (738949) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @08:04AM (#12831532) Homepage
      did you call your creation MS-DOS?

      ;-)

    • Parents? You're supposed to run such things in the classroom!
    • I did this in school once, and got kicked out of the computer lab for the week.

      c:\> prompt "enter password:"

      so then, instead of the friendly c:> prompt, this was what everyone saw:

      enter password:

      I still don't think they'd figure that out if presented with that prompt today.
    • I did that too! Wow, looks like a lot of us did stupid stuff like that.

      Mine said things like "I can't find that for you. Can't you see that I'm busy?" and stuff like that.

      I think I called it "sleepy" or "grumpy" or something. I tossed it into the autoexec.bat, and annoyed family and friends for ages :)

      -WS
    • Just to add to the list - I created a BASIC program on a 6502 micro (BBC Master) and convinced a friend that I had written a PC emulator. I convinced him to bring in his sytem disks so I could test it with DOS, then told him I had to have the original disks and had to have write access. He watched in horror as the machine "formatted" the 5.25" disks as part of the "autoexec.bat" script that it had loaded.
    • by PakProtector (115173) <cevkiv@NOSPAm.gmail.com> on Thursday June 16, 2005 @09:25AM (#12832068) Journal

      You wanna hear a really fucked up story?

      Okay. It's 1993. I think. I was somewhere between 8 and 10, so maybe it was '94. Anyway, it's not important.

      I was learning to program at the time, and my uncle who is four years older than me decided that since I was a rather dull child, with wit as sharp as a rubber ball, I should start with QBASIC.

      So I created a grand program: A DOS Shell. It would let you look around, cd, all that fancy stuff. I added colours.

      It was all good.

      So, anyway, I didn't really have a good concept of exactly what an OS was, and I decided I'd written one, so, (this was back in the day you understand, and my parents really weren't too computer savvy) I got on their AOL account and uploaded it to AOL's file center, billing it as a revolutionary new operation system called DHDMP. I think. That or DHCMP. I forget.

      The instructions went something along the lines of, STEP 1: Uninstall DOS.

      You get the picture.

      Well, after around 9 thousand downloads, my parent's AOL account was canceled.

      I'd like to think I did a great deal of good via those 9 thousand downloads.

  • crap .. (Score:3, Funny)

    by macaulay805 (823467) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @07:58AM (#12831493) Homepage Journal
    Does this mean that Boot Managers need to be Acid2 Certified as well??!!?
  • by AtariAmarok (451306) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @07:59AM (#12831498)
    If this becomes to successful, we might get lawsuits in the future to prevent a browser company from shipping a free OS add-in!
  • Site slashdotted (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Underholdning (758194) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @07:59AM (#12831499) Homepage Journal
    The site is already dead, so here's something else [sourceforge.net] - not a complete OS, but still has a (working) browser, games etc.
  • by Idou (572394) * on Thursday June 16, 2005 @07:59AM (#12831500) Journal
    Can it run Lynx?
  • by sandstorming (850026) <[johnsee] [at] [sandstorming.com]> on Thursday June 16, 2005 @07:59AM (#12831502)
    JS/UIX is an UN*X-like OS for standard web-browsers, written entirely in JavaScript (no plug-ins used). It comprises a vir- tual machine, shell, virtual file-system, process-management, and brings its own terminal with screen- and keyboard-mapping.

    For an overview of implemented commands have a look at the complete > JS/UIX-Manual-Pages; see also the > Version-History.

    The keyboard accepts the US-ASCII character set. As key-mapping depends from your browser, you may have to use the cursor and backspace buttons at the lower right of the terminal. A complete keyboard can be accessed at the lower left.

    Compatibility: Netscape 4+, MS IE 4+ and DOM-aware browsers.


    Mirrordot link:
    http://mirrordot.org/stories/1c1bf041ca7144dbe4b35 249a8db7dff/index.html [mirrordot.org]
  • by rayde (738949) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @08:00AM (#12831511) Homepage
    I've already got my browser based OS of choice [albinoblacksheep.com]. ;-)
  • by Tim C (15259) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @08:05AM (#12831541)
    For the nth time, Java and Javascript have nothing at all to do with each other. The syntax is similar (both being based loosely on C), but that's it.

    It might as well go in the Hardware topic too, while you're at it - after all, it must be running on some kind of hardware.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 16, 2005 @08:16AM (#12831628)
      For the nth time, Java and Javascript have nothing at all to do with each other. The syntax is similar (both being based loosely on C), but that's it.
      Why do you call yourself Tim C? For the nth time you were not written in C, you are composed of DNA and a bunch of other chemicals. The syntax is similar (both being based on a series of instructions), but that's it.

      You might as well call yourself Tim x86 Assembly - after all, there's some underlying atomic arrangement to your cell structure.

    • I would throw the blame in the direction of the person/group that called it javascript rather than come up with a better name for it.

      Likewise, I think that Intel should have done better to name their new card format other than PCIe because PCI-X was available for a few years already. At least PCI-X is electrically, physically and software compatible with the PCI standards, PCIe isn't on any of these accounts.
    • > For the nth time, Java and Javascript have nothing at all to do with each other. The syntax is similar (both being based loosely on C), but that's it.

      Javascript was initially called LiveScript. When LiveConnect came around and let people script java applets and instantiate arbitrary java objects, they changed the name to JavaScript. I think it's still officially spelled with StudlyCaps.

      For being unrelated, there's actually some pretty tight integration. Mind you, LiveConnect was (and perhaps is no
  • Mirror (Score:3, Informative)

    by b0lt (729408) <b0lt@ls.qc.to> on Thursday June 16, 2005 @08:08AM (#12831557)
    Mirror here [mirrordot.org]
    The terminal works, just without pictures for the buttons.
  • Webserver? (Score:2, Funny)

    by generic (14144)
    So can I write a webserver for it and use my browser to serve webpages and look at them!

    I am tempted to check it out.
  • by ratta (760424) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @08:16AM (#12831626)
    the ease of use of Unix with the security of Internet Explorer.
  • I checked it out on Mirrordot. Very Impressive. I was able to create a directory, touch a file, and used vi to insert and save text, then copy it to another file. The shell even appears to be scriptable

    "OS" is probably a misnomer, it would be probably better to call it a Write-Once/Run Anywhere Virtual Machine. A JS-based virtual machine might be kinda neat. It would probably never be as robust and general-purpose as JAVA, but could be useful for simple applications.
  • SSH client? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ahg (134088) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @08:24AM (#12831670)
    An in browser SSH client in Java has been done before... but I would love one in Javascript, no extra components to install in the browser.
    • Sounds possible to me.

      Take in input, relay via AJAX, get response, display, repeat.

      Although might not be 100% secure though.

      - shazow
    • Re:SSH client? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Jerf (17166) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @09:15AM (#12832011) Journal
      An absolutely pure, portable, cross-platform Javascript SSH client is currently not possible. Javascript does not have a "socket" primitive. It only has XMLHttpRequest, which can only connect to webservers via HTTP, which is page-based protocol and you can't emulate a socket that way, either.

      Of course you can build an SSH-like thing that has a server component, but that's been possible for a while. (It's not easy emulating a term, and it'd be latent as all hell, but that's what you get.)

      You can hack and hack and hack, but without server support you just can't get past the fact you don't have a real socket connection in Javascript.

      I added all those adjectives at the beginning because if you're willing to write and install a Mozilla XPCOM control or ActiveX or something that exposes a socket you can do it. But that is, presumably, not what you meant since you mentioned not needing to install components.
  • Uh oh... (Score:2, Funny)

    Hopefully they had good procedures for ensuring that none of SCO's javascript got in there.
  • I Know!!! (Score:4, Funny)

    by eno2001 (527078) on Thursday June 16, 2005 @08:30AM (#12831714) Homepage Journal
    Let's build a kernel around the Gecko engine!!! Boot into Firefox on a framebuffer!!!! The ultimate intarweb terminal! In the process we accomplisht the following:

    1. No more monolithic Linux kernel or proprietary Windows kernel!
    2. No more mach kernel because they're slow dontchaknow
    3. We get rid of X Windows and replace it with Gecko, Javascript, CSS and Mozilla chromes
    4. No more clunky X Windows network transparency because nobody uses it anyways. Now all graphic connections will happen in memory instead of going out over the network to the router and back in to the machine they went out of!
    5. No more ability to run servers (because only crackers and pirates do that)
    6. Google searches become embedded in teh OS like Microsoft plans to do in Pot Noodle Hornlong!
    7. A driving instructor somewhere in Johanessberg gets his job back mate!

    Man am I thirsty! ;P
  • Countdown (Score:2, Funny)

    by kryogen1x (838672)
    Wonder when google is going to hire the guys that made it?
  • Right? (Score:2, Funny)

    by RasendeRutje (829555)
    So need need another operating system
    to run aan browser
    to run javascript
    to run this new operating system?
    This must be useful!
  • If only you didn't need an OS to run the web browser on."

    If this caught on, they'd probably come up with a sytem that has an embedded browser built into CMOS.

    As is is, however, I think that this has to run extremely slow due to the number of layers of abstraction and emulation involved.
  • If only you didn't need an OS to run the web browser on.

    Technically, you don't.

  • Here's the documentation from http://www.masswerk.at/jsuix/jsuix-documentation. t xt [masswerk.at]. The lameness filter is complaining about too many junk characters, so let's see if this paragraph will be enough to get it by.

    JS/UIX - A Short Documentation (based on v.0.42) by Norbert Landsteiner

    [Logo removed -- attempt to defeat lameness filter]

    1) What it is

    JS/UIX is a virtual OS written entierly in JavaScript to be run in any standard web-browser (type 4.0 or higher). The user interface - a simple 80 colum

  • This beats the sending the cracker to 127.0.0.1. Now we can just honeypot them inside their browsers! M.
  • I have an OS running my browser to run an OS shell on. Now can I get a browser on this OS so I can bring up web pages inside the browser inside the OS running on my browser running on my OS?

  • Lemmings! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Butterspoon (892614) <Butterspoon+slashdot@@@gmail...com> on Thursday June 16, 2005 @09:47AM (#12832224)
    For another really cool example of what you can do with JavaScript, click here [193.151.73.87].
  • It's an abstraction layer.
  • Finally, the efficiency of javascript, the user friendliness of unix, and the uncompromising speed of a web based application all in one package.
  • Right this moment is succumbing to the /. effect...

  • For some reason, geeks seem to have this innate need to build shit that no one needs and no one asked for.

    Why not spend your time doing something that's actually useful, such as, say, making Linux easier to use?

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