Saturday, July 11, 2009

Google ChromeOS: My Wish List

Open letter to Google,
request for features of ChromeOS.

I am anticipating ChromeOS because I work mostly on the Web and on Java and therefore, I would like to throw out all the Vista baggage that is slogging down my PC. My whole professional life revolves around Google - Apps, Docs, GAE, Blogger, GData, Sites, etc.

I also write in .NET C# quite a lot but I can do that on another machine or another session of a dual boot. Perhaps, the advent of ChromeOS would make my .NET skills obsolete. I hope so.

  • I need ChromeOS to be dual-bootable between itself and Vista(or any future version of Windows). As I would need to share data between my Windows and ChromeOS sessions, I would need ChromeOS to recognise NTFS.

  • I want Google to provide me a convenient migration path from Windows to ChromeOS, so that for the initial 18 months I would be vacillating between Windows (or MacOS) and ChromeOS but thereafter, ChromeOS features should be so persuasive that I abandon Windows (or MacOS) altogether.

  • I have dual-core 64 bit Intel CPUs. Would ChromeOS be able to exploit 64 bit and give me an advantage over 32 bit machines? I hope so. Would it be able to exploit multi-CPUs? I hope so. Will it be able to exploit the power-saving variable speed of the CPUs? I hope so.

  • I use Eclipse or Netbeans. Mostly Eclipse. It must run Eclipse.

  • Of course, it would have to run the beloved Java Platform, and if it wouldn't, I would be so extremely dismayed and surprised.

  • Perhaps it could run Mono, just in case it comes in handy with .NET applications and I don't have to run off to another machine, but please, please, please, put Mono inclusion in the lowest priority because if I wanted to .NET, as I said earlier, I'll do it elsewhere. But it would not hurt if it runs Mono.

  • Should it run flash? I am sure it has to run flash because everything with a movie on the web runs on Flash, especially Youtube. And CNN, Yahoo, etc.

    As a programmer, I am hoping some other technology would be in advent to replace Flash because I find writing actionscripts really tedious and unreliable and barely debuggable. I use OpenLaszlo on Tomcat because I do not wish to afford the $10K Adobe enterprise Flash authoring system.

    JavaFX is an extreme disappointment because it runs on a JVM and therefore is about 9 or 10 times slower than Flash. Then, Silverlight runs only on .NET.

  • Perhaps, further down the milestones on the roadmap of ChromeOS, Google could come up with a JVM that violates the JVM specification by improving on the JVM virtual CPU a little bit, like their Android DVM, so that we could run JavaFX at the speed of Flash. Sun would be unhappy? Who cares about Sun? May be they should just use DVM without the Linux underneath.

    How about a multi-virtualCPU DVM, where two or more DVMs could run concurrently on the same task. A JVM/DVM is like a virtual CPU - so a multi-VMCPU VM. In fact, why don't you just base ChromeOS on your own version of DVM - where we could configure a system to create as many virtual DVMCPUs as desired and depending on loading, we could configure the system to spontaneously dynamically reduce or increase the number of DVMCPUs running on the system?

    Would Sun be unhappy? Perhaps, they would, but you don't have to talk to them now because they don't exist anymore. I have the impression that Oracle, a more business oriented and practical entity, would cooperate with you readily, especially when it helps their mostly Java-based admin utilities run faster and friendlier.

    I think you should rope in IBM to define this multi-VMCPU VM thing, because IBM is a very powerful (and enthusiastic) force in the Java world. They've had quite a few skirmishes with Sun over Java. I have been fantasizing a Java-oriented OS since the birth of Java.

    And how about a virtual coprocessing VMCPU whose instruction-set is dedicated to handling graphics IO - so that graphics IO is not bottle-necked by system processes, vice versa. Perhaps, we should call it a VVM for Video Virtual Machine.

    Also, how about a DVM optionally capable of 64 bit processing?

    With all this multi-VMCPU VM in place, nothing would prevent me from knitting a few lowly ChromeOS lap, book or palm tops together to run as a single VPS (virtual processing space) super-computer. With the appropriate permission/privilege processes in place, ChromeOS based on a renewed Java multi-virtual architecture would make this scenario possible, where a teacher in a classroom of 24 kids says, "Hey kids, I'm borrowing your JVMs over the wireless for a minute" to crunch the solution to a set of equations.

  • And people are asking why Google is trying to compete with Apple and Microsoft in the PC arena. Well, Google, you are not - because neither Apple nor Microsoft has come up with a framework that would allow me to create a supercomputer over the wireless of a classroom of 24 students and a teacher. Those two have too much baggage and Google has none. Moreover, internet-based cooperative computing is Google's expertise and Google is merely expanding their expertise to the cooperative-intranet arena where neither Apple nor Microsoft has the focus or expertise to provide for this much needed arena.
Therefore, if following my recommended road map, Google is not competing with them, Google would merely be conquering outer space where barely anyone (except for some quaint academic esoteric systems) has ever been before.

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