Monthly record

Going back 30 years in time (September, 2021)

Time traveling is possible. I already did it. I put aside my smartphone. I started to use nano, a text editor similar to Pico from 1989. I switched to alpine, an email client similar to Pine from 1992. The hardest step was to switch to elinks, a web browser similar to Lynx from 1992.

I could spend most of the time using just these programs on my computer. They were refreshingly simple to use, and I was surprisingly effective with them.

It was certainly fun, but why I did this? I want to make programming common knowledge and for this I have to test my ideas on operating system design. It is a lot easier to write a prototype but still usable operating system if I lower my needs temporarily.

Using my own system (October, 2021)

The programs nano, alpine and elinks were simple enough for me to rewrite, especially because I used only a fraction of their features.

Instead of replicating their look-and-feel, I replaced alpine and elinks with my own solution, a Haskell source file containing 500 lines of code. (I reused programming libraries to do the lower level steps of receiving and sending emails and getting web pages.)

500 lines of code is so small that I can have full control over my email client and my web browser. I can change the code whenever I want. I can try out new ideas tailored for my workflows, which is a very good feeling.

I could replace nano too, but I decided to do that later, because I arrived to the point where I can reimagine what an operating system is, which is a lot more interesting! But before that I had to stop for starting my Patreon project.

Patreon project start (November, 2021)

We don’t have universal basic income, so I looked for an alternative. I chose Patreon because it gives enough independence and freedom for me, and it has very little bureaucracy.

You can read my short CV on my homepage. Donate me if you are interested in the outcome of this project. I can work 40 hours per week on this project if I reach €1500 per month.

I log your questions and my answers to them on the questions and answers page.

I will monthly report my progress. From the first report, my work will be open sourced with documentation such that partial results can be reused in independent projects.

Rephrasing the goal (December, 2021)

Although my ultimate goal did not change, I have to rephrase it because almost nobody understood it, according to the feedback I have got.
Here is the rephrased goal, I hope it is more clear now. I bet this is not the final version though :)

To be transparent, I put the source code of my homepage on GitHub where you can follow how it changed in the past if you are interested.

In the meantime I was working on my prototype operating system too. The first official version will be released next month.
Stay tuned!

One-line text editor (January, 2022)

In December and January I prepared the prototype code for the first public release. I was not satisfied with the description of the email client and I started an experiment to reduce its code complexity.

The experiment resulted in a case study about a one-line text editor.

editor demo
editor demo

Case study documentation (February, 2022)

I finished the documentation of the case study and I finally released the operating system code on GitHub. The released source code contains

Next I want apply the principles learned during the case study on the operating system code.

Switching to half-time employment (March, 2022)

I didn’t get close to my Patreon goal so from April I will be half-time employed by a commercial company. I continue to work on this project in 80 hours per week.

I decided to shut down my Patreon page, to reduce administration.
Thank you very much for your support!

Stay tuned for the April news on the project!