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Appless Merge OS / DB

Operating system without user-facing apps. Instead, exposes basic functionalities, high level programming language, API and data.
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Today, pretty much all operating systems allow installation of apps. However, apps share basic functionalities, for example, there is a ton of call apps, messaging apps, payment apps, drawing apps, etc. etc. etc.

Since all that people need is the functionality and data, not the apps, "Appless Merge OS" has drivers and virtualization layers, that provides the functionality of the apps via drivers framework (like "Metadrive") that drives apps, rather than exposing user to interact with them manually, collects and organizes the data from those apps, and provides it for the user in a unified interface, that implements viewer for items with arbitrary properties as generalized:

- Lists
- Matrices
- Trees
- Graphs

The Appless Merge OS would introduce a high level programming language and a unified API, that allows user to have true ownership of their OS. Instead of "OS" as a framework for apps, it is just an "easily programmable OS, that takes care of being a good DB of everything on it".

Mindey, May 15 2019


       the serverless approach from both AWS and Azure is kind of going in this direction, isn't it?
theircompetitor, May 15 2019

       Are you just describing a web browser?   

       In the 90's there was a lot of hullaballoo about widget based os or document workflows, where library widgets were what were sold, and you assembled them as you like to do what you wanted on the computer.   

       however i think what defeats this, is that people really are sensitive to holistic experiences, which is why a chat app, can be better then another chat app, and why one image sharing program, is better then another. Just because of some small extra feature or slicker experience. That whole experience is controlled by the app.   

       So in your system how do you encapsulate nice workflows, that you might like to share? Might you not just package them in boxes and call them apps?
mylodon, May 16 2019


       // Are you just describing a web browser?   

       Not really. Web browser does not have generalized data model that would abstract all apps and data in all formats, and does not work as a generalized database.   

       // that people really are sensitive to holistic experiences   

       Yes, they are. However, we don't know how sensitive they will be about the simplicity. Namely, imagine a "Calls" functionality, which have "SIM Card Call", "Telegram call", "WhatsApp call", "WeChat call". When you click it, it just makes the call, and provides you all data about it, from those apps, which it runs and controls itself. If the apps in question have the public APIs, then using their APIs; if they have no public APIs, then through the virtualization the whole app in the background, and providing that functionality through the UI and I/O control, that abstracts away the need for humans to use ***apps***, returning humans to using ***functionalities*** (+user gets data and programmability).   

       The "Calls" functionality, then would be the generic client of these apps for this functionality (instead of user having to learn new interfaces), simplifying the overal experience, which is defeats the "sensitivity to holistic experiences" with "simplicity of experience, and user's ability to record and programmatically control those resources, and get normalized, organized data".   

       // where library widgets were what were sold   

       Being that there is just a very small set of widgets that are needed to display lists of lists (after all, all other types of data, even bytes, even graphs, are just lists of lists of bits), this library could easily be open source, like Twitter Bootstrap is.   

       The OS would provide user with the functionality and data from those apps without compromising the user's data and control. Such OS may be of interest to power users, intelligence community, and military, which needs that control, however, can also be of use to communications providers, which are also credit institutions, which want to provide extra services based on all the data from all of "apps" abstracted away and being controlled by such drivers subsystem.   

       One benefit, it would be able to provide functionality and data from app services in a consistent OS-level environment that can virtualize and provide any apps designed to be run in any OS. For example, need only the coordinates and their transformations from Autodesk Inventor? No problems, a driver can instantiate it on virtual machine, and provide the API to control the objects being engineered with it, without user having to manually control Autodesk Inventor's UI.   

       This kind of OS would also be useful for simplifying the building of artificial intelligences to achieve goals using arbitrary APIs and UIs, which are originally designed to be used by humans "sensitive to holistic experiences" -- when the data from all apps is aligned into OS database, and the control operations are unified, it will make it much easier to use the functionalities of all apps without having to learn their new "holistic experiences", easier to understand the whole, and to program behaviors.
Mindey, May 18 2019

       [Mindey] You seem to describe an AS 400.
Toto Anders, May 19 2019

       [Toto Anders], I guess I know an expert on AS/400s. How were they superior to what I described?
Mindey, May 19 2019

       "Namely, imagine a 'Calls' functionality."   


       "Namely, imagine a 'Calls' app."   

       Just make a nice icon for it.
mylodon, May 19 2019

       // "Namely, imagine a 'Calls' functionality." // fixed: // "Namely, imagine a 'Calls' app."   

       Well, call it "meta-app" then, because it is the one to provide pure functionality, extracted from apps, as a client of all apps with that functionality, as OS-level service.
Mindey, May 20 2019

       // people really are sensitive to holistic experiences //   

       Doesn't this offer an even bigger holistic experience, by making all apps work and look the same? It would be like what the current OS providers have tried to encourage app developers to do through their interface guidelines, but successful.   

       // would abstract all apps and data in all formats //   

       I think the difficulty in creating such an OS is right there: it has to support all conceivable data types and app features, even those not yet conceived. That is almost certainly possible, but probably extremely difficult (unless you cheat and achieve it by allowing apps to provide their own UIs, which defeats the whole purpose).
notexactly, May 26 2019


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