Where I see myself

Tom Novelli tcn@clarityconnect.com
Wed, 28 Jul 1999 17:06:39 -0400

When I joined the Unios mailing list a few months ago, I was feeling
disillusioned with the TUNES project... this was when we were arguing a lot
and it seemed to be falling apart.  As it turns out, I have more of a
philosophical difference with Unios than with Tunes.  I'll explain: You
can't please everyone.  Windows is billed as an "OS for the masses", but it
only performs a few basic functions common to everyone's needs; it's not
adaptable to most of our real-world needs.  A better way is to allow
compatibility between different operating systems.  TCP/IP was a good start:
it lets different OSes talk to each other.  A portable binary format like
ANDF would let them run the same programs more easily; we could also use a
generic user interface that works with both graphical and text displays,
voice synthesis/recognition, mice, keyboards, etc. (this is the hard part)
We need good, simple, nonproprietary standards.

When I joined Tunes, it had much in common with my vision of an OS...
reflection, a unified user/programmer interface (for flexibility),
decentralization, similar political views, etc.  I also learned about some
cool ideas through Tunes... persistent storage, for example.  There were a
few things I didn't understand or care about, like security by proofs.  I
may never care... I'm more interested in simplicity and practicality. 
That's where we split off, I guess.  My dream OS could be written 50% in
assembly, but it'll be easy for me or any sufficiently skilled programmer to
quickly port it to another machine, because it's simple and well-documented.

My current proejct, Retro, could be considered a partial prototype of Tunes. 
If it only covers half the ideas in Tunes (and it's usable, not a lab
curiosity), that's a big step up from existing OSes.  If someone else wants
to add other Tunes features, I'll leave it up to them.  Meanwhile I'll be
happily using it for more practical (or whimsical) purposes, no longer
isolated from the machine by 20 layers of shit built up over the decades.

I'd like to write some demos, games, music programs, also run-of-the-mill
applications (but acting as an interoperable, extendable whole, unlike
typical programs used in offices).  I'm interested in making it useful for
businesses, to free them from the software industry's yoke, and to free
employees like myself from mundane tasks.  Will that put people out of work?
Probably.  Will they mind?  Not me... if I work 30 hours a week instead of
40, no problem.. even if I make less money, I have more time.  People
shouldn't sit at a desk 40+ hours a week anyway, they should do some real
work :)

Tom Novelli <tcn@tunes.org>