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Old 05-03-2003, 01:21 PM   #46
benixau
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This looks promising - very promising. good luck. From a developer in a C based language (objective-c, you know - the one that isnt yet fully documented)
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Old 05-04-2003, 12:54 AM   #47
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Hi

First of all, it's C++ (:

Let me explain the multi-tasking a bit more...

Current multi-tasking systems have a buffer of cpu commands and run one after each other quickly. Each program adds its share it to the buffer and the CPU eats up the commands one by one. There is no such thing as true multi-tasking unless you have two cpu's and more...

I have taken it to a more higher level. Instead of running a tiny bit of this code and a tiny bit of that code, I run code chunks. This means I also have a "buffer" where I throw not code but entry points. It goes through the list constantly running and removing entry points. Each entry point is of course a PilotMain function. Therefore I use a LocalID of the application database and some information sent to the PilotMain.

Since I use PilotMain through palm's AppCmd's therefore I use a custom AppCmd. I send this to an application and if it reconizes the command then it runs what it has to run, however if it did not recognize the command then instead of running the application through the OS, I run it through PalmOS which means my OS shuts-down and switches to the PalmOS application.

This makes it easy for existing applications to support the OS without forcing all applications to do so.

This is also cleaner since the CPU does not have a load. It's either working or not.

Background tasks are also available. You can put a message (entry point) to be activated at a certain amount of ticks/time.

Each time it runs an entry point it waits for it to finish BEFORE running the next entry point.

I hope this is not too complicated. If any of you have any questions PLEASE dont hesitate to ask. (:
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Old 05-04-2003, 01:21 AM   #48
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I am very intrigued by all this. You are certainly taking an interesting approach.
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Old 05-04-2003, 01:47 AM   #49
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Re: More explaining...

Actually, I wouldn't mind you getting a bit more technical.  It's been quite a while since my OS class in college, but I did ace it!  The reason I asked about CPU sharing was that in an earlier post you mentioned that it only runs a process when you click on it (see quote).

Maybe I better read through this thread one more time

Quote:
Originally posted by zhamilton1
...My OS does differently. when you run a program it loads the forms into storage memory (not dynamic memory) and then closes the program. You click on button, it runs the program again, this time with the event only (not initialize), deals with the event and closes the program again. This means that the program is only open when running. This is done using SysAppLaunch function in PalmOS. This means that if you have 30 programs forms running and you use a form, there is NO slow-down at all....
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Old 05-04-2003, 05:47 AM   #50
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Ah, I was under the impression that your application would for example allow apps to run in lores mode in a hires device, taking up only part of the screen (without having to exit your launcher). Will you save all of the states of everything so that when you exit the palm app, everything is as it was when you launched it?
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Old 05-04-2003, 07:31 AM   #51
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Talking Hi Everyone!

First of all, I am happy that you are all interested... (:

The OS only runs the application (through SysAppLaunch) when either the user clicks on something or a timed/idle message is sent. This means that if you dont use it or the application is idle no CPU bandwidth is spent at all!

Each form does not have a bitmap in the backround which means every form displayed takes about less than a 1K. (:

My OS is always-on. This means that if you exit the OS and return to it, it is EXACTLY where it left off. If you soft-reset the device while not in the OS, it will return EXACTLY where it left off. If you soft-reset the device when in the OS, when relaunching it, it will ask if you want to restart the OS. This is for problems. However you can click on No and continue EXACTLY where you left off.

This is done by using storage memory where all chunks are connected to a database. Open databases are stored in dynamic memory but the way the API works is it always checks if it is open and if not it opens it. This allows programmers to not need to know if the db is open or not.

Forms are loaded from a chunk. It includes the form info and all controls and thier states. When you close a form, it saves the chunk to somewhere (where the developer wants to store the form). This means that the form is kept exactly as it was before. Check a checkbox and close the form, when you reopen it, it will be with the checkbox set.

Plug-ins are also stored in the forms. This means any applications connected to a form are also restored when the form is reopened.

If you want to understand the multi-tasking think of the Find in PalmOS. Each time results are displayed, it recalls an application for more results.

The reason I took this approach becauses it was the easiest and most powerfull way I could think of to allow existing programs to be compatible while native programs to take full capability of the OS. This means that one application would work with or without the OS.

Any more questions? (:
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Old 05-04-2003, 11:21 AM   #52
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how would u actually install the os...????
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Old 05-04-2003, 02:03 PM   #53
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Talking Answer

The OS consists of a few prc files. just hot-sync them and run the main one. It will start the installation where you choose a few questions. It then builds the main db which includes the OBS (Object Based System). It loads and runs. Note that this is only on the first run. Every time the PalmOS device soft-resets, the OS reinitializes itself to continue just where it left off. However going into or exiting the OS while the device is on is fast. This because there are minimal parts to unload/load. Note that NO dynamic memory is used while the OS is not the active application (from the PalmOS point of view). (:

Uninstall is also easy. Just choose Uninstall when the OS is running... and delete the main prc file. That's all... (:
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Old 05-04-2003, 09:36 PM   #54
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Sounds good.

Just make sure you make it as easy as possible for developers to port their existing applications to your OS. Will entire apps need to be recoded to use new APIs, or will your SDK headers be able to possibly replace functions from the Palm header files so that minimal recoding is required (other than including the new launch code handling) for most applications? If it is too difficult to port an application to your OS, I fear that your OS will either not have many applications and not have much developer support, or have new (and inferior) clones of existing apps built by other developers for your OS (especially when it may cost $20-30). I don't see people paying $20-30 for a launcher for applications that do not support your OS. I think they'd only pay that much if either the apps they use or better alternatives are compatible with your OS and are able to make use of the advantages of your OS. Perhaps providing (certain?) developers with free copies of it along with a well-documented SDK will encourage development. Without developer support, you're going to run into a lot of trouble I think.

I'd hate to see a great idea/project like this fail because of poor marketing/support.
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Old 05-05-2003, 12:52 AM   #55
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Talking Serious Stuff...

If I would of released the OS long ago it would of failed totally. Why? First of all it did not have enough features to even make developers look at it. Second of all, it WAS more of a launcher than an OS. Third, I had not totally formed my ideas.

That is the main reason why I am taking so long. The first dive is the main one. If I fail on the first version, I might never able to recover the OS.

Therefore it is better for me to take as long as I need for the first version. If you look at windowsTM, applications of Windows 2.0 work on WindowsXP. This is because the base is the same even though recoded, the structures are the same.

Therefore I need to make the structuring of my first version the best I can do.

My success IS based on developers. If developers adopt the system so will users. Users need power and will take it if the developers show them to my OS.

I am working very hard lately on how to make it easy to port existing applications. The problem is that PalmOS and my OS are very different. PalmOS works on giving the programmer entire control. PalmOS only gets control when the programmer closes his application. My OS works by giving the programmer's application seconds of control periodicly. Plus how am I going to allow windows of 160x160 size to the OS's design. I would not want applications to be inconsistent. The OS at the moment is designed to allow existing applications to run but include native OS code to ALSO work on my OS. This means that a native application would ALSO work on the current PalmOS structure.

If anyone has any ideas, they would be realy helpfull... (:

The price of the OS is between 10$ and 20$. It will only grow when I can REALY call it a mature OS. I am thinking on how to make it worth while for developers. Any Ideas?
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Old 05-05-2003, 01:32 AM   #56
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This sounds very exciting. Maybe I missed where you mentioned this, and was just wanting to have something cleared up. You say you can do windows of 160x160, does this mean you will be able to view multiple apps on the screen at one time? Like four apps on a 320x320 screen?
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Old 05-05-2003, 02:43 AM   #57
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Answer

The OS does not hold 4 apps 1 each corner. Its more like a portable windows DESIGNED for mobile devices (not like Pocket PC...) you have movable forms. So if a form took 320x320, it would take the whole display space on a 320x320 device. As on a 160x160 device it would be sized to be smaller. Therefore the maximum start size for a form is 160x160 - System bar size). The form can be sized to full-screen but the form controls must be able to be in a 160x160 enviroment.

So effectively you could have 4 apps tiled on screen. (:

Note that controls are not just positioned at a point and fixed sized, but rather they have a start and end point. The start point being from a corner (left top, left bottom and so on) and the end point also being from a corner (bottom right, ...) This allows controls to be automaticly sized without any extra coding from the programmer. This is great for lists, edit boxes and tables.
You can also choose between point from current form or from display. This would allow to implement a app where the picture fills the display but only shows the area where the app form is located. (:

Each form has a minimum size which is by default the current form size.

The OS supports overlaying (where one form is on top of another) and I found a unique way to do it. (:

I draw a the form's control/controls on a off-screen window. Then I cut out all the parts which are not on display (which are hidden by other forms on top) and then paste the off-screen window to the display. This avoids flickering and is faster then drawing ALL the windows to an offscreen window and then copying to the display (which is the way I first did it). (:

I am telling all my secrets... FOR ALL YOUR EYES ONLY! (:
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Old 05-08-2003, 12:20 AM   #58
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OS6 is coming...

I have seen some OS6 pictures on PalmInfoCenter.
Even though they might be not the real screen-shots they might be very close.

First of all, OS6 will be having multi-tasking. We will just have to see how they implement it.

How does OS6 affect my OS. Hardly at all. Face-lift I am giving any way. Redesigned basic applications I have also including.

The only difference apart from supporting underlying features such as enhanced wireless and security is the multi-tasking.

At the moment, The OS DOES HAVE MODAL PROGRESS FORMS.

This means if I am launching a program. It copies it from the card to the main memory. This is a single function and therefore stops Screens from moving forward. Therefore a progress form is used.

This is where OS6 would come in. Instead of having to have a modal progress, this progress could be made modeless by doing the copying in the background. I am working on doing that with OS 3 and up using background tasks but I dont think I will get much out of it.

If I do however figure out the background tasking on preOS6 devices, then OS6 wont be such a big improvement on the OS.

News about the development:
Ran into huge design problems with my OBS system. Working on it full time. The actual GUI has not changed much but has got some few nice GUI add-ons like trails for menu's that allows to see where the menu was displayed from, animations using invert and so on...

I have a "local" friend who is helping me on the project (We might become partners but that's just a wish... (: )
He will make sure I dont make any big changes.

I MUST release my OS BEFORE OS6. Why? Because I must close the inches between the PalmOS and my OS even though my OS works on PalmOS.

I have got rid of scroll bars. Call it good, call it bad but It allows easy of use without taking up space. Using the pen, you can scroll, select and even drag and drop.

I am sure some users will prefer the basic GUI of PalmOS. However I expect to get the power users to my system. I HOPE ! (:
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Old 05-08-2003, 05:14 AM   #59
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No scroll bars? Oh you mean just in your operating system?

Hmm...... Wow, I just saw the OS6 stuff. Reading it now. Looks impressive.

If you want to encourage developers:
Give them free copies
Make sample applications
Make a guide on converting their existing applications to your OS (AND provide a template project that works with your event system etc). Have code snippets etc that will help with converting. Try to make this as easy as possible, since most wont do it if it takes too much time.
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Old 05-12-2003, 12:23 PM   #60
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Moving right along...

Hi there. For those of you who don't yet know me, I'm working with Zakai on the OS. In recent days we've been working especially hard on the OBS, and have made signifigant progress. I am monitoring Zakai's work and a decision has been made to stick with the current interface design, and not to rethink appearance at a later date. Instead of thinking up new ideas, we will be pressing ahead with fleshing out our (primarily Zakai's) ideas, with a goal of as early a release date as possible.

We have given no dates for a simple reason: we don't yet know the exact time. Zakai has made the decision, and I back him up on this, not to give a target release date until the code is actually completed, and we are well into the testing phase. You may rest assured that we are making daily progress, and are moving forward at a surprising rate.

My job in this project is not actual programming. I will be responsible for tech support, as well as helping Zakai flesh out his ideas and help him to overcome difficulties as we move along. In the development phase I'm acting as more of a consultant, so all programming questions should be addressed to Zakai.

Zakai will probably be posting tomorow with an update on the problems found and solved in the much fabled OBS.
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