Thursday, April 12, 2007

Web Operating System "YouOS"

What the heck is a web operating system?

YouOS is a web operating system. Your immediate reaction should be to ask what is an web operating system? First let us define what an operating system is. According to various definitions an operating system is two folded. One an operating system manages the hardware and basic system operations of a computer. This creates a layer between the software applications and the hardware. Two an operating system provides the foundation from which software applications can run. A Web operating system meets the second criteria by providing the foundation from which software applications can be run.

It Looks like an operating system

YouOS contains many features that give it the appearance of being a real operating system. Like most operating systems YouOS has a desktop. From this desktop you can move icons, click icons and even change the wallpaper.

Even more impressive is the YouShell. The YouShell is like the command prompt in windows. Using the YouShell you can view all running processes, kill processes, run programs, create directories, delete directories and perform various other tasks.

Additionally YouOS like most operating systems have windows(dialogs) that can be resized, maximized, minimized and closed. When minimized these windows are placed on task bar that resides at the top of the screen. The stuff button is similar to the start button in windows. From the stuff button you can access additional programs and features.

The purpose of YouOS

YouOS essentially is an operating system that you can be accessed from any location that has an internet connection. The real value of this product lies in the fact that users are now able to access a suite of applications from one central point at any location. For example, a student could log into YouOS and use the GoogleDocs application to take notes during a class. upon arriving home the student could log into YouOS to review their notes.

Developing applications

YouOS provides an online integrated development environment(IDE). Software development for YouOS takes place from within YouOS itself. Software developers are only required to know Javascript and HTML to develope for YouOS. YouOS even provides an API for server side data storage and communication. YouOS has made data persistence simpler by providing an API that allows software developers to persist data without having to know or use any SQL.

My Thoughts

Like most software developers I am very curios as to how YouOS has been created. As I continue to test and play with each new feature I always ask myself how is this implemented? By asking this simple question it allows for mind to wonder and theorize on the various ways that this solution has been created. Furthermore this has allowed me to realize that YouOS is no small web application. I'm sure that the YouOS team has encountered many interesting design decisions along the way. As a software developer the prospect of working on such a ground breaking project would be extremely exciting. A more exciting prospect is the thought of being one of the individuals who first had this brilliant idea.

For more information please take a look at the YouOS manifesto and sign up for an account.

No comments: