Pythonic Nirvana - towards a true Object Oriented Environment [visionary rambling, long]

Corey Coughlin corey.coughlin at
Wed Jun 30 20:55:37 CEST 2004

Actually, the last time somebody propsed writing a python based OS, I
had pretty much the same idea.  The idea you have currently looks good
for a pure text environment, but you may want to think about what
enhancements would look like as people add things like GUIs in the mix
and see how that works.  I suppose it could wind up looking something
like a Naked Object framework, but it could go a lot of different
ways.  But in general, putting together an interactive object based
interface will probably lead you down the OS optimization path.  As
main memory gets cluttered with objects, you'll want to swap some back
to disk, so you'll need some kind of virtual memory system, and some
way to store those objects on disk, which implies an object file
system, and once you start screwing with file systems, you may as well
get right into the OS level.  And that sounds like a vaguely good
idea, although the top down approach seems like a different way of
doing it, start with a basic linux kernel, then start modifying what
you need to, rewriting parts in python as needed, until you get down
to a core and the python object space.

But to take another tack, you may also want to think about the user
experience.  Generally, if the system works on a text level, you'll
definitely want to bring it into a gui framework, and when people see
a gui, they'll want to start doing all the things they can do on other
systems, like creating documents, spreadsheets, databases, listening
to mp3s, looking at pictures and movies, and so on.  So you may want
to start thinking about more complicated standard types above list and
dict, like Picture, Document, Sound, Table, and so on.  Then make sure
that creating these basic objects is fairly easy, then think about how
scripting data flow in and around these objects can be done, object
casting (for instance, casting a picture to a document would seem to
require an OCR engine) and so on, and then you can begin to see how a
whole framework could work, and act somewhat as expected in a normal

Of course, this has certain implications, for a system like this to
interoperate with other normal file based systems, you'll need
automatic conversion of incoming and outgoing files into your base
object types, so it would probably help to pick current standards as
the basis for your object models (like jpeg for pictures and so on) so
that they can easily be cast as files to the outside world.  So I
wouldn't go too crazy coloring outside the lines with this.  But it
could be a great thing.

And yes, I have thought about this before.

Ville Vainio <ville at> wrote in message news:<du7d63hwk0x.fsf at>...
> >>>>> "mjt" == mjt  <mjtobler at> writes:
>     mjt> Ville Vainio wrote:
>     >> Pythonic Nirvana - towards a true Object Oriented Environment
>     mjt> ... with every new language/scripting language, we are
>     mjt> supposed to discover nirvana
> Nirvana is not discovered - Nirvana just is ;-).
> The point was not liberation-through-Python, it was
> liberation-through-interactive-integration-at-deeper-level.

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