As we transition into this age of instant content delivery, our collective ethos as webizens has to be put under scrutiny. How do we communicate ideas effectively? Will the intrinsic power of the connected masses be able to destabilise the established media and lead us into a new era of networked e-democracy? Is it now time for inter-governmental institutions to step aside as the strength of social networks proves to be more forceful in enacting global change?
Hah! Only kidding. I'm more likely to sample John Virgo's commentary onto Bach than ever use the words 'blogosphere' or 'e-citizen' in anything other than jest. Blogs are, like, places where people post stuff about stuff that may be cool to other people interested in the same stuff, and if not, it doesn't matter. And even if it's supposed to matter, it probably still doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things.
It's in this spirit that I'm giving an update on the status of MikeOS for anyone interested. For the 3.0 release, I cut out the primitive DOS support that'd I'd written in the 1.x series (it was enough to run Visicalc and a few old games, but not much more). I also dropped the mouse driver. It was a tough decision: these features have plenty of potential for growth, but their complexity was shifting MikeOS away from its original goal of being a learning tool.
Fortunately, Tomasz, the mouse driver author, was happy to spin-off MikeOS into his own project and continue with development on these features. TomOS is an experimental branch of MikeOS and I may well pull some features back into the main MikeOS code one day. But since 3.0 I've focused intensely on code clarity and detailed documentation -- not at the expense of new features, but making sure that everything added is well-commented, easy to understand and usable for anyone interested in OS development. So the highlights of the last few months are:
Plus new system calls, API changes, bugfixes etc. I think with 3.3 we've got a lot of solid code and documentation in place now. There are loads of hobbyist OSes out there (many of them far cooler and more capable than mine), but we've got some of the best docs -- and with the code, build scripts and Handbooks, it really comes together as a whole 'OS development kit' bundle. I'm really glad that people are finding it useful, but I'm sure there's still some code that could be explained better so I welcome all feedback!
And remember blogizens: if you think you've got something important to say but nobody cares and you can only post about it on a blog, then it's not important. It's only important when you can stand on a soapbox with a megaphone in the middle of a big city and people start listening to you and turning over buses and ousting governments and calling you leader and cool stuff like that.