The Web Browser's Operating System
Introducing BrowzOS, an open-source project to create a full-fledged, online operating system (well, a sort of simulated operating system); the goal of this project is to give BrowzOS the ability to manipulate files and folders on a client and/or server computer's hard drive from within a web browser instead of using the client's currently installed programs, as well as to encourage programmers to create online applets (be they in any scripting language, Flash, Shockwave, Java, etc.) with the ability to function as such. In spite of this, anyone is free to use BrowzOS for any purpose, including the creation of applets that do NOT have client (or server) computer file access.
Here's how it works; open a web browser, log into the BrowzOS website and the operating system's ready to go. The web page will lead users to a Desktop and a Dock, all in one window (similar to Mac OS X,) from which any user can run "applications" such as games, a word processor, a media player and other common "programs" found on any other operating system.
OK, so this sounds pretty neat, but of course this does have a few limitations.
- For the most part, this website works with all mainstream GRAPHICAL web browsers; that is, to say, BrowzOS will NOT work in command line browsers such as Links, Lynx or Arachne.
- As with any other website containing applets and scripts, BrowzOS is NOT lightning-fast; this is because scripts have to be interpreted by the client computer's web browser.
- Even though the point of the BrowzOS project is to provide an alternative to software currently installed on a client computer, this does NOT mean BrowzOS can ultimately replace such operating systems as Linux, Mac OS X and Windows (obviously because BrowzOS is completely dependent on web browsers, which are completely dependent on being installed on a hard drive and executed from a mainstream operating system).
For experienced programmers, BrowzOS is a great platform for creating and testing applets of all kinds, especially the types that directly access the client and/or server computer's hard drive. Of course, all programmers who would like to use this operating system for programming are free to create whatever applet they wish (such as streaming audio/video players, standard Flash/Shockwave/Java game applets, online emulators, online rich-text editors, etc.)
For the average computer user, BrowzOS will (hopefully) eliminate (or minimize) the need to download and install software from the web, especially trial programs, bloatware and other programs that simply fail because of improper installation. Since this is an open-source project intended to be a platform for creating "alternative" programs (to replace those found on a typical computer,) BrowzOS will (hopefully) reduce software piracy through the creation of TRULY free, open-source alternatives to such programs as word processors, spreadsheet programs and other expensive applications on the market.
For the amateur/hobbyist web designer, BrowzOS is an excellent addition to anyone's website; its construction is completely modular and simple to modify; replacing the current "applications," "icons" and even rearranging the position of the Dock and Desktop has never been easier. As a matter of fact, BrowzOS can even be manipulated to present information in a very professional manner (such as résumés, photos, programming projects and just about anything imaginable).