Isnt it time for Java OS?

Offlate the number of applications that Im starting to use are Java Based. Be it my PVCS Client or WSAD/Eclipse or CleverCactus. As Sun has embarked on a java Desktop initiative doesnt it make more sense to start thinking about a Java OS? I digged around and realised that there were 2 efforts

  1. Java OS @ (Domain is for sale)
  2. JavaOS from SUN.(Disappeared ??)

While Microsoft is happily coding away its new OS with C#, what has SUN been upto? Trying to create its own distribution for Linux!(Project Mad Hatter) I dont get it! Looks like SUN has totally given up the idea.Would it not make sense for IBM to jump in? SWT seems to be emerging as a standard for developing GUI Applications( Even SUN has decided to JOIN eclipse!). Or does the idea of creating a Java OS absurd?  I find more applications being written in java. It takes about 6-8 years for an OS to establish itself. So someone has to make a start now. Here are some applications that one would need

For one this is not an exhaustive list but its definitely a start. Moreover many of these application are in their nascent stages but moment could build up.

Makes sense to me. What do ya think?


6 thoughts on “Isnt it time for Java OS?”

  1. The problem with a Java OS is that Java sucks at talking to existing hardware; the “Java OS” would in fact have to be mostly C/C++/assembler under the covers. One could design Java-friendly hardware, but the economics wouldn’t be good at all; that’s a market with entrenched competition.

    And really, where is the need? Java has already been ported to most significant operating systems… what exactly can’t you do now that would justify a “Java OS”?

  2. JavaOS itself basically died off with the Network Computer idea. When it became obvious that nobody was going to bow to the NC hype, Sun didn’t see any other market for the OS, and canned it.

    Certainly, a significant amount of the OS kernel would have to be written in native code. But maybe not as much as you’d think: microkernel architectures are wonderful things.

    An example of one place Java would benefit from a purpose-built OS would be memory management. To the OS, the heap of a Java program is just one big opaque block of memory. Even worse, GC means that all that memory has to regularly be touched. As such, a Java really can’t handle having bits of it paged out.

    A Java-friendly OS would have a memory-manager purpose-built for storing Java objects, rather than just opaque pages. This would mean far better handling of available memory (say goodbye to explicitly setting maximum heap sizes for each application, for example), and more efficient programs in general.

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