Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Inferno OS Running On Android Phones

Soulskill posted about 3 years ago | from the hot-stuff dept.

Android 109

New submitter Digi-John writes "Employees at Sandia National Labs have put the Inferno OS on Android-based phones, replacing the default Java UI. Applications are written in Limbo rather than Java. The full announcement is at the bitbucket repository, and a short video demonstrates some of its capabilities."

cancel ×

109 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

FIRST POST from Android phone (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37430894)

Best investment I ever made.

Its a native app running on Android, not an OS (1, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 3 years ago | (#37430910)

My fork of the Inferno OS, tweaked to run on Android

and more

The Hellaphone runs Inferno directly on top of the basic Linux layer provided by Android. We do not even allow the Java system to start. Instead, emu draws directly to the Linux framebuffer (thanks, Andrey, for the initial code!) and treats the touchscreen like a one-button mouse. Because the Java environment doesn't start, it only takes about 10 seconds to go from power off to a fully-booted Inferno environment.

Re:Its a native app running on Android, not an OS (4, Informative)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | about 3 years ago | (#37431268)

The Android OS is actually a Java layer running on a Linux base code. If you never load the Dalvik VM, Zygote, or any of the Java system, you are not loading Android OS, you are loading nothing.

Inferno replaces nothing with something. The Inferno OS system is running on the Linux abstraction layer on an Android-compatible device. It *is* an operating system, and is *not* 'running on Android OS'.

Re:Its a native app running on Android, not an OS (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 3 years ago | (#37431396)

From the wiki [wikipedia.org] :

Android consists of a kernel based on the Linux kernel, with middleware, libraries and APIs written in C and application software running on an application framework which includes Java-compatible libraries based on Apache Harmony. Android uses the Dalvik virtual machine with just-in-time compilation to run compiled Java code.[17] Android has a large community of developers writing applications ("apps") that extend the functionality of the devices. Developers write primarily in a customized version of Java.[18] There are currently more than 250,000 apps available for Android.[19][20] Apps can be downloaded from third-party sites or through online stores such as Android Market, the app store run by Google.

Android as you describe would be a desktop environment.

Re:Its a native app running on Android, not an OS (2)

Microlith (54737) | about 3 years ago | (#37431742)

Android is much more than that, however. Android drags along with it a custom libc that renders its code and libraries incompatible with standard Linux systems.

Re:Its a native app running on Android, not an OS (3, Insightful)

Timmmm (636430) | about 3 years ago | (#37431436)

No, native apps still use the Android APIs (mostly). This is a separate OS that is built using the core of Android.

You can't press home and go back from Inferno into Android. And MacGyver2210 is right.

Re:Its a native app running on Android, not an OS (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37433068)

The kernel is the OS. Anything on top of that is extra, VMs, shells, etc. Android kernel = Android OS.

If Inferno isn't replacing the kernel, it's NOT replacing the OS.

I'm underwhelmed (2, Insightful)

Maow (620678) | about 3 years ago | (#37430942)

I hadn't heard of Inferno, so watched the video.

Sorry, but it was just not impressive. Seems to me Android has more interesting visuals in its robotic fingernail than Inferno on mobile has.

Seems barely better than operating a phone from a terminal session.

So I clicked the link about what Inferno is (Bell Labs' distributed computing effort), which DID sound interesting, but was hard to jive with what I'd seen on the phone.

I think it's great that new stuff is being ported to mobile devices, and like the idea of dumping Java completely from a phone, but... I don't think Inferno is ready for actual usage yet, not even for hackers.

Kudos on the effort, and I do hope it leads to more mobile options in the future, but for now, meh.

Re:I'm underwhelmed (3, Interesting)

Alain Williams (2972) | about 3 years ago | (#37431032)

Sorry, but it was just not impressive. Seems to me Android has more interesting visuals in its robotic fingernail than Inferno on mobile has.

It is a start, not something complete -- we all need to start somewhere. You don't need a lot of imagination to see that once they attract more developers then they may get something that can provide true competition to Android & iOS.

But: why would anyone bother when they have a choice anyway ? Applications written using Limbo seem nice & small, small is good on something like a mobile 'phone. Probably lots of other reasons -- but I don't know enough about it. I was a little concerned to see that the GUI is based on Tk, this is quite old, will it be up to the job for the high quality graphic apps that some people want ?

Whatever: competition is good!

Re:I'm underwhelmed (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37431256)

Sorry, but it was just not impressive. Seems to me Android has more interesting visuals in its robotic fingernail than Inferno on mobile has.

I for one am not impressed by sluggish eye candy. This project is interesting because it opens new possibilities by bringing a new operating system to new hardware.

I was a little concerned to see that the GUI is based on Tk, this is quite old, will it be up to the job for the high quality graphic apps that some people want ?

Inferno's GUI has always been neglected because there was little need for it before now.

-- Colonel Simon Vale, Plan 9 Internet Defense Force (Ret.)

Re:I'm underwhelmed (1)

Maow (620678) | about 3 years ago | (#37431766)

It is a start, not something complete -- we all need to start somewhere. You don't need a lot of imagination to see that once they attract more developers then they may get something that can provide true competition to Android & iOS.

RIM would give 100 left testicles to attract enough developers to provide competition for Android & iOS, and it doesn't appear to be happening. MS is arguably in the same boat.

So I'd suggest that it would take a lot of imagination to see enough developers jump on board to make this competitive.

Not that it cannot happen, I sincerely hope it does happen, but ... I'm skeptical.

Re:I'm underwhelmed (5, Interesting)

jamiethehutt (572315) | about 3 years ago | (#37431232)

Fuck fancy visuals.

The idea in Inferno is that your phone, your desktop, the cloud and your mate's computer are all the same file system space. You can copy data between all these devices, seamlessly, securely and quickly. "Data" is anything represented as a file, so that's music and documents, your phone's cpu, speaker and microphone, or even the applications your currently running on your desktop.

Plan9 and Inferno are about addressing networking and adding operating system support for it. The developers don't consider modern OS as networked. This is a project to make every computer attached to the network, as far as the user is concerned, the same computer, and the idea is to do it at the OS level, not the browser.

You want the yet to be programmed Inferno equivalent of Office on your phone? It's there. Not just as an installable application but that instance you have running on your desktop right now is also available to you on your phone via an exported file system either to stream over the network or you could just copy the running instance...

Fuck fancy visuals.

Re:I'm underwhelmed (2)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | about 3 years ago | (#37431790)

Fuck fancy visuals.

Some people have learned nothing from the last 25 years or so. The "fancy visuals" are everything. They key to successful personal computers lies in making the human-machine interface as natural as possible to make sure people can smoothly interact with their computer so they don't have to think about what they want to do, they can just go ahead and do it. All the technical things you talk about sound nice but they'll never be used without a well designed shell around them.

Re:I'm underwhelmed (3, Insightful)

jamiethehutt (572315) | about 3 years ago | (#37431890)

OS9 Vista Rebecca Black Countless other bits of more instantly forgotten crap. Don't kid yourself, without a core the shell is just a shell. I mean if this guy had made a pretty GUI in Flash you'd of been here posting "this is awesome!"? No, you wouldn't, you'd see it for the substance-less crap it is. You've forgotten the massive amount of work that it's taken for your fancy visuals to come about, DECADES of work on ugly software. And you guys don't half ask for the earth. Where would we be if when Linus had posted the Linux kernel everyone just went "This sucks. Why is there no GUI?".

Re:I'm underwhelmed (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37431998)

Where would we be if when Linus had posted the Linux kernel everyone just went "This sucks. Why is there no GUI?".

We'd be using a superior BSD OS rather than shitty Linux?

Re:I'm underwhelmed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37432186)

What's that bulge on your cheek? Oh just the tongue.

Re:I'm underwhelmed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37435444)

Where would we be if when Linus had posted the Linux kernel everyone just went "This sucks. Why is there no GUI?".

We'd be using a superior BSD OS rather than shitty Linux?

Shitty Linux is a distro for n00bs. I recommend Ultimate Awesome Linux, it makes your e-penis HUGE.

Re:I'm underwhelmed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37432190)

This is what you call setting yourself up for failure. As it's already been pointed out we would probably be using the superior kernel with the superior license - BSD.

We also wouldn't have to listen to that cantankerous self proclaimed asshole, Linus.

Re:I'm underwhelmed (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37432682)

You trying to say Theo is not a cantankerous self proclaimed asshole?

Well, you've learned the wrong thing (2)

dbIII (701233) | more than 2 years ago | (#37432774)

The fancy visuals are the bit you put on once you've screwed down the side of the case and not while the bits are all still hanging out. If you hunt around the net there are thousands of dead "projects" that are nothing but concept art because they paid almost 100% of effort to form instead of function. Once you work out what the hell you are doing you then start to have some idea of how to present it in a pleasing way to the user. Projects such as a revival of Plan9 are not yet anywhere near the point where it's know what options should be available let alone how to present them.
If it was being pushed as something finished you would have a point. It isn't so IMHO you don't.

Re:I'm underwhelmed (2)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 2 years ago | (#37432798)

>The key to successful personal computers lies in making the human-machine interface as natural as possible to make sure people can smoothly interact with their computer so they don't have to think about what they want to do.

Absolutely correct, but the last time something like that was achieved was... in pre-quicktime MacOS days, when everything but very vertical applications had the same menu layout and action names. Quicktime started breaking apple's own guidelines and made something "fancy": windows always was an UI mess, maybe they wanted to look less alien :D

Now, the UI or, more precisely, the users' familiarity with one particular UI, is a mere instrument for OS and application makers to keep them from easily switching to competing platforms. That's why many software makers devote more resources to reinvent the wheel in UI than to clean up performance and security.

Back to topic, fancy visuals are important as you say, but now people NEED to work with their fancy gadgets, and a fast and secure operating environment has its place. Good luck to inferno though because the gadget makers prefer to sell fancy power sucking toys every two years than optimized terminals every six.

Re:I'm underwhelmed (2)

RobbieThe1st (1977364) | about 3 years ago | (#37431920)

Sounds to me like SSHFS/NFS on Linux. My N900 will allow my to use both, so I can simply mount any of my networked machines folders, and copy files on or off. I can also do the reverse, mounting my N900 as a directory on my desktop/laptop.

Interoperability is nice.

Re:I'm underwhelmed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37436338)

nope.

one 'system', residing on multiple devices -
not multiple devices from multiple systems available on another system.

Re:I'm underwhelmed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37432862)

You can copy data between all these devices, seamlessly, securely and quickly.

forget about "quickly".

9p (the network filesystem plan9 and inferno are using) is horribly slow. It only works on fast no-latency LANs. Don't even think about using it on any link with more than 20ms latency.

The protocol has also other glaring mis-features -- it lacks the ability of moving files -- if you want to move a big file on a remote machine from one directory to another, you'll have to copy it back and forth, all the way. This is incredibly dumb.

And unfortunately, that's not all. I doubt plan9 will ever get into a usable system. Everything inside is like high-brow silliness, second-system syndrome and stupid vulnerabilities you only meet with in historic code from 30 years ago.

As to the ideas inspired by plan9 in modern unix systems, they quickly became just encumbering legacy crap -- e.g. the /proc system in linux.

Re:I'm underwhelmed (2)

excelsior_gr (969383) | about 3 years ago | (#37431364)

Seems barely better than operating a phone from a terminal session.

Now, THAT would be cool:

dial 001340287261 -speaker=true

Re:I'm underwhelmed (1)

pionzypher (886253) | about 3 years ago | (#37431984)

Hmm...

grep 'contact name' phone_book | dial

Sign me up.

Re:I'm underwhelmed (2)

poofmeisterp (650750) | more than 2 years ago | (#37433816)

$ dial 911 --allow-gps-tracking=true --allow-roaming=true --speech-mode=speakerphone -fast --allow-m
*croak*
/snark :)

Re:I'm underwhelmed (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37431392)

Either why you understand that this is neat:
Dial a number:
  echo dial > /phone/phone

Hang up a call:
  echo hangup > /phone/phone

or you don't. If you don't, then you can stick with your flashy android graphics. If you do, we've got a new environment for you, waiting for interesting things to be done.

ron

Re:I'm underwhelmed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37433588)

You say it's an environment for interesting things, but don't you actually mean it's an environment for neat things?

Re:I'm underwhelmed (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 2 years ago | (#37433480)

> I hadn't heard of Inferno, so watched the video.
> Sorry, but it was just not impressive. Seems to me Android has more interesting visuals in its robotic fingernail than Inferno on mobile has.

For something you've never heard of and never used you;re quite the expert on its use cases.

Newsflash : not eye candy bullshit

Sounds hellish. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37430974)

Hurr hurr.

Re:Sounds hellish. (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about 3 years ago | (#37430994)

No, it just has really lousy CPU throttling. (Ba-dum, tssh.)

Re:Sounds hellish. (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 3 years ago | (#37431014)

"No, it just has really lousy CPU throttling. (Ba-dum, tssh.)"

Of course Inferno (plan 9) is 25 years old. Inferno is a 10 - 15 year old newer version of it. ... oh wait people here still use XP which is also 10 years old so nevermind.

Re:Sounds hellish. (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about 3 years ago | (#37431184)

I think that there's a rather wide difference between using a ten-year-old research operating system and a ten-year-old consumer OS. (And, furthermore, that Vista didn't exactly help.)

MeeGo? (2)

diegocg (1680514) | about 3 years ago | (#37430982)

I wish I could do the same with MeeGo.

Re:MeeGo? (1)

Microlith (54737) | about 3 years ago | (#37430996)

You can, theoretically.

You'll just have to forward port the drivers in the kernel tarball for your phone forward, taking care to strip out the android-isms they're rife with. Then you'll have to hope there aren't too many userspace binary blobs linked against Bionic, though you're guaranteed to hit a hard stop with X11 (and OpenGL) drivers except for a handful of platforms.

Re:MeeGo? (1)

Digi-John (692918) | more than 2 years ago | (#37435018)

It should actually be easier than Android. MeeGo seems much more of a standard Linux system, and Inferno already supports Linux/arm systems. It's up to you to run Inferno as an app on top of the MeeGo graphical layers, or to strip things down to the kernel/utilities layer and build from there, like we did.

Replacing the UI (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37430990)

Android is the OS. Sense, Motoblur, and others are the UI. So this article is stating that they replaced the UI? That's not hard to do.

Is this some kind of nostalgia thing? (0)

AbRASiON (589899) | about 3 years ago | (#37431016)

What is inferno? I just looked at the video and same as others here, it's errr terribly small, clunky and I don't see any significant features there which would even make me consider using it?

It looks vastly worse than any of the other Android 'skins' deployed by carriers over the top to crum things up?

Can someone please explain, I honestly thought this was a joke?

Re:Is this some kind of nostalgia thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37431078)

If I remember, inferno was originally plan 9? This was supposed to be the successor to Unix from Bell Labs?

Re:Is this some kind of nostalgia thing? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37431096)

If I recall, it's meant for distributed computing. Applications written in Limbo can run across multiple machines witout even being aware that they're doong it.

Re:Is this some kind of nostalgia thing? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37431124)

Folks that haven't just arrived here are well aware of Inferno [slashdot.org]

Inferno is an offshoot of Plan 9, a AT&T research OS created by such luminaries as Ken Thompson, Rob Pike and Dennis Ritchie.

It looks vastly worse

Phone people...

was a joke?

No joke. Replacing the entire Java stack in Android with Inferno is not a joke. In fact, I'm certain it is far beyond anything you will ever accomplish.

Re:Is this some kind of nostalgia thing? (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37431354)

Replacing the entire Java stack in Android with Inferno is not a joke.

I'd like to add that Java and Inferno are contemporaries whose purposes were much the same. There are some articles kicking around explaining Inferno vs Java in more detail. On the one hand, Java was slow, bloated, and not too portable. On the other hand, Inferno was quick, small, portable*, and marketed by AT&T. So naturally Java became popular.

* 386, Arm, Mips, Power, Sparc, WinNT, Linux, *BSD, Internet Explorer plug-in, Mac OS X, Solaris, Irix, and probably more.

-- Colonel Simon Vale, Plan 9 Internet Defense Force (Ret.)

Re:Is this some kind of nostalgia thing? (1)

Wyvern2005 (891801) | more than 2 years ago | (#37432736)

Hey, AT&T really does suck that bad at some things...the mobile people saw the logo of the Evil Empire and ran away....

Re:Is this some kind of nostalgia thing? (5, Insightful)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 3 years ago | (#37431200)

Are you sure you're on the right website?

Next you'll say you haven't heard of Plan 9 or that it's just a crappy movie. Or that you don't know who Rob Pike or Ken Thompson are.

And yes it won't make for anything usable for someone who wants to, oh I don't know, make a phone call. But this isn't "Consumer Phones For Idiots" either.

Re:Is this some kind of nostalgia thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37432866)

How dare you saying Plan 9 it's a crappy movie?

License stinks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37433370)

The License.... is a mix.
If it were pure GPL this would take off.

Otherwise, it's another way for someone to use your stuff for free and not give back what they do.
Quote from Wikipedia:
Inferno 4th edition was released in early 2005 as free software. Specifically, it was dual-licensed under two sets of licenses. Users could either obtain it under a set of free software licenses, or they could obtain it under a proprietary license. In the case of the free software license scheme, different parts of the system were covered by different licenses, including the GNU General Public License, the GNU Lesser General Public License, the Lucent Public License, and the MIT License. Subsequently Vita Nuova has made it possible to acquire the entire system (excluding the fonts, which are sub-licensed from Bigelow and Holmes) under the GPLv2. All three license options are currently available.

Re:Is this some kind of nostalgia thing? (3, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 3 years ago | (#37431420)

Inferno(at least if true to its Plan9 from Bell Labs roots) is pretty much "more unix than unix".

Instead of unix's "everything is a file, except a bunch of special stuff", that is actually carried through. Also, there is a robust network filesystem included. By comparison to virtually everything else, we are talking crazy elegant manipulation of pretty much everything throughout an N node networked environment. It's really pretty cool.

Unfortunately, it is also "more unix than unix" in the sense that it is more obscure, less widely supported, and more nerds-only-need-apply than are conventional unix and unixlikes... It's too bad, really.

Re:Is this some kind of nostalgia thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37432308)

Leave.

Re:Is this some kind of nostalgia thing? (1)

AbRASiON (589899) | more than 2 years ago | (#37433338)

So the third post asking "WTF is inferno" is a troll, clearly there's either 2 other trolls asking the same question,... or I dunno maybe we actually haven't heard of this obscure thing.
Which I might add is so ugly, it quite seriously looks like the first OS written for a phone or something, it's so plain, boring and seemingly awkward to use.

So, I ask again - what am I (or rather, several of us) supposed to be excited about here? and would someone please fix the moderation.

Cut the FUD. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37431092)

Obviously you don't seem to understand this potential.

It's nether nostalgia nor a native app. Inferno is a virtualized OS and runs in top of others, or in bare bone hardware.

Looking forward to use 9P/Styx on my android phone.

Meh, do the same with X (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37431128)

Someone should do something similar to get X running on the Android kernel. Dump Java like this does and just run native X apps.

Seems like it wouldn't be hard, just need an X.org or whatever with framebuffer support. X.org might be too big though, a stripped down non-networkable X might offer better performance.

Re:Meh, do the same with X (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37431190)

Running X on a touchscreen device is awful. I have one - a Sharp netwalker, impulse buy - that does exactly that, runs ubuntu on an ARM cpu with unusable keyboard and a decent resistive touchscreen. X is slow, slow, slow, apps are even slower, and using those keyboard+mouse thingies on a device that is meant to have a stylus is beyond awful.

The Android UI makes is perfectly usable. The only trouble is that since Sharp has stopped support, but not provided details on how it boots etc. so you have to run the Android as a service on top of the linux; and that some things aren't working inside android - like the battery meter.

In other words, until someone rewrites X to support touch reasonably well, thanks but no thanks

Re:Meh, do the same with X (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37431350)

Maemo/Meego has X and it performs relatively well, even on quite slow hardware (the first Maemo tablet was released in 2005, with 250 MHz ARM CPU).

Re:Meh, do the same with X (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37431362)

Is it a stock X like the one in Ubuntu?

Re:Meh, do the same with X (0)

RobbieThe1st (1977364) | about 3 years ago | (#37431938)

Yes. Well, perhaps optimized or something, but fullly X compatible(at least in the N900). It's just that the window-manager uses GLES and there's nice hardware acceleration for that.

However, I have to say... Running a stock Debian LXDE chroot works fairly well, and that's using software rasterization. It's not as responsive as the tweaked, native, GLES-accelerated environment, but it's plenty usable.

Of course, applications like LibreOffice take ages to start and isn't great as far as interfacing... but hey. It runs. Which is more than you can say for most phones and tablets.

Re:Meh, do the same with X (2)

dbIII (701233) | more than 2 years ago | (#37432790)

It's a bizzare shame that X is a hell of a lot faster on something like a SparcStation5 than on much faster hardware with a theoretically more optimised X. X itself isn't the problem, somebody's really crappy implementation of it when they already have the source code is the problem.
So that's speed, but touch is a different problem that has to be sorted out a the window manager level.

Re:Meh, do the same with X (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37431226)

X.org might be too big though

No kidding.

a stripped down non-networkable X might offer better performance.

Inferno is fully networkable and doesn't need to be stripped down.

Re:Meh, do the same with X (1)

inglorion_on_the_net (1965514) | more than 2 years ago | (#37433030)

Maemo [wikipedia.org] runs X and native Linux apps on smartphones and tablets. I love it. Sadly, it hasn't really caught on.

Seems like it wouldn't be hard, just need an X.org or whatever with framebuffer support. X.org might be too big though, a stripped down non-networkable X might offer better performance.

If it were non-networkable, it wouldn't be X. But stripping it down hardly seems necessary; you can run Linux + X.org in 64 MB RAM [damnsmalllinux.org] (and I'm sure it can be done in less), and most smartphones have a lot more memory than that [wikipedia.org] .

Programmers can see the potential (3, Insightful)

sauge (930823) | about 3 years ago | (#37431138)

If people cannot see the potential of this... so much for slashdot being for programmers...

Re:Programmers can see the potential (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37431196)

Summary: Sounds good. Looks bad.

Re:Programmers can see the potential (5, Funny)

turkeyfeathers (843622) | about 3 years ago | (#37431246)

Mod parent up! As a programmer, I can definitely see the potential and I plan on porting my Bitcoin mining program to Inferno OS.

Re:Programmers can see the potential (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37431312)

Slashdot has not been for real programmers, techies, or intellectuals for a couple of years now. Seriously, the only people left are die hard nostalgics and wannabes. And these days, its almost all the later. Slashdot is dead. The only thing sadder is most of the shallow wannabes actually think they are the real thing.

Re:Programmers can see the potential (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37431390)

s/a couple/about five/ # FTFY

Re:Programmers can see the potential (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37431438)

s/about five of years now/about five years now/
$a
FTFY

-- Colonel Simon Vale, Plan 9 Internet Defense Force (Ret.)
.
wq

Re:Programmers can see the potential (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37432074)

Where does that put you?

Re:Programmers can see the potential (0)

Timmmm (636430) | about 3 years ago | (#37431446)

I'm a programmer and I can't see the potential. The UI looks really really awful. Is Limbo some super-language that I've never heard of, despite its amazing awesomeness?

Or were you being sarcastic?

Re:Programmers can see the potential (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37432006)

I guess they didn't teach you that in Java school.

Re:Programmers can see the potential (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37433644)

A quick look tells me that Limbo is like Java but worse, and like the Dalvik VM Inferno is register rather than stack-based which should theoretically make it better than a Java VM but actually they're also worse.

The real question is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37431574)

...can it run Crysis? If not, can I make a Beowulf cluster of these?

Re:The real question is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37431648)

No. Yes.

Next?

Re:The real question is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37431874)

How many thousand aPpZ are there in the Inferno stawwwrrr?!

Re:The real question is... (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#37432864)

How many thousand aPpZ are there in the Inferno stawwwrrr?!

five.

but real questions: is the phone functionality rock solid and how long does the charge last and is it gpu accelerated?

Not running native.. (1)

rbpOne (2184720) | about 3 years ago | (#37431264)

Its running on top of Android OS. I was expecting and hoping to see it run directly on the smartphones hardware.

Re:Not running native.. (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#37432858)

it's not a dalvik application.

it's a native application, which uses android for drivers. it runs as directly as any linux app on any linux.

Plan 9 is too good to be "successful" (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37431272)

Unfortunately, the sort of seamless network-agnostic computing Plan 9 and its descendants enabled is now a commercial threat to all the other players in the mobile space. Half the point of the "cloud computing" trend is to lock people in to one provider's weakly interacting web service, and, by extension, into the controlled ecosystem of third-party services that do interoperate well with it. Plan 9 is too good at what it does to be successful.

Not Pretty... (2)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | about 3 years ago | (#37431286)

This OS is definitely not pretty, but it seems more like a functional OS than a visual "Future Look" OS. I bet all of the crazy graphics compositing and overhead of the typical Android Java VM/OS is enough to slow it down significantly. Without those I bet my phone or tablet would be seriously fast.

Re:Not Pretty... (2)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 2 years ago | (#37433268)

You mean the interface is not pretty. I have never "seen" an OS. And that interface is not set in stone, this is just a start to get the core OS running.

Also, pretty is relative. And you are right, java is the reason your android phone is slow as mud.

Re:Not Pretty... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37433914)

It's not "java". It's what's being done with java.

Proper usage of Java results in good performance. Bad usage of Java, which we've seen on most mobile phone OS's, results in crap. But it's not Java itself that's crap.

Re:Not Pretty... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37434516)

And why your brain is as slow as molasses.

Re:Not Pretty... (1)

DaVince21 (1342819) | more than 2 years ago | (#37434996)

If I read all the descriptions about this OS, it seems like a "future look" OS as in they think ahead. :)

Almost 13 years before... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37431288)

...I write a review about Inferno OS in a newspaper:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/11296162/Inferno.jpg

Yep, it's nostalgic! ;-)

Plan 9 for the win. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37431310)

Plan 9 was an awesome idea back in the day. Inferno and Limbo both came out of it as did, i believe, the /proc filesystem for linux.

Sweet.. (1)

Wovel (964431) | about 3 years ago | (#37431324)

Now I have a use for his POS Inspire (I hope). Had to go back to my 3GS while I wait on the iPhone 5 and stuff that thing in a drawer. I know I should have recognized I hated it during th return period, but I was trying to like it.

fortune(6) (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 3 years ago | (#37431432)

"Abandon all hope, ye who port here."

overrated (1)

kungfuj35u5 (1331351) | about 3 years ago | (#37431628)

Having lived with the openmoko as my only phone for nearly three years I can safely say the novelty of a community developed ui with barely functioning code for basic tasks wears off quickly. SHR was terrible to live with along with every other distribution

Re:overrated (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37431746)

Luckily Inferno has nothing to do with the "novelty of a community developed ui" to begin with. Its main strenght is its strong networking capabilities on the OS level. Making stuff like sharing machines(CPUs and Printers for example) and files over a network trivial. On a side note limbo is a language that's easy and has strong concurrency. Making it allot more fun to program for then for a normal android distrubution with the eyesore called java.

Re:overrated (1)

oddtodd (125924) | about 3 years ago | (#37431778)

I tried the OpenMoko, too. Ended up getting an N900 and it's much better for an everyday phone.
Wish I could get an N950, but I'm not that serious of a dev for that platform.

Re:overrated (1)

RobbieThe1st (1977364) | about 3 years ago | (#37431950)

Believe me, you're better with the N900. Mainly because there's no Aegis(look it up). And the default browser won't have flash.
N900's awesome. N950/N9 will take ages to be "usable", and, because of Aegis, will never be as open as the N900.

What I need to know (1)

supersloshy (1273442) | about 3 years ago | (#37431844)

...But can it run Linux?

They put Limbo on an Inferno phone (3, Funny)

Ukab the Great (87152) | about 3 years ago | (#37431870)

Because SNOBOL wouldn't have a chance in there.

Re:They put Limbo on an Inferno phone (1)

friesandgravy (1086677) | about 3 years ago | (#37431996)

Because SNOBOL wouldn't have a chance in there.

nice!

Re:They put Limbo on an Inferno phone (1)

Lawrence_Bird (67278) | more than 2 years ago | (#37434126)

SNOBOL4 .. I barely knew ya 30 years ago.. man don't date yourself like that!

What is that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37431974)

thing in the far field to the left of the phone. It looks like the video was made with a head mounted camera. Perhaps it was a hot day???

An OS for the Neckbeards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37432084)

Finally, someone has created an OS for those neglected neckbeards who dislike Android and iOS because of their fancy graphics and animations.

Hey, aren't they supposed to be (1)

Compaqt (1758360) | about 3 years ago | (#37432346)

working on nuclear bombs or some such at Sandia?

Or is this going to be the new control interface for the bombs?

EFL port - a perfect match? (1)

staalmannen (1705340) | more than 2 years ago | (#37432648)

First, I just want to give a great kudos to the Inferno developers who made this new Inferno-based Android. I am really impressed by what you guys have accomplished. For those that critizise the UI: They even mention that in the youtube video that the UI at the moment is based on Tk which is outdated. An idea that I got was that perhaps an EFL ( http://www.enlightenment.org/ [enlightenment.org] ) port/binding to limbo would be the perfect match. 1) Language-wise: In contrast to its competitors GTK and QT, it is based on C rather than C++. 2) EFL already has its uses in embedded UIs, including phones. 3) Ideology-wise: EFL is permissively (BSD) licensed and fits nicely with the Android userland (Apache) and Inferno (MIT/X) licensed parts.

Total lack of understanding (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 2 years ago | (#37433306)

I think what amazes me even more than getting Inferno running are the responses here and other place. How few people ( outside of the Plan 9 community ) actually seem to understand what is going on here. Even when you explain it to them.

I really thought 'geeks' were supposed to be smarter than this, but it they look more like regular users that are just wearing a pocket protector to look cool.

Rather disappointing.

Re:Total lack of understanding (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37436664)

Potential Shmotential. Currently that Sandia Nexus phone is just text-based UI. That's not going to move this Apple Fanboi's opinion in any significant way, no switching for me from this milestone. New Steve, now where's my iPhone 5?

Great name... (1)

ResidentSourcerer (1011469) | more than 2 years ago | (#37433676)

Inferno. Gotta like it.

Brings new meaning to "blazingly fast performance" Or the latest 'hot thing.'

And firewall...

And daemons...

Of course an OS that supports migrating processes from one machine to another will need some form of checking out the imported process for malware. Purgatory?

Is code 'blessed' or 'damned'

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>