The Place to Start for Operating System Developers
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 Post subject: OS Dev
PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2004 5:59 pm 
I am aware that there are various FAQs on OS development available around the internet. At the moment I've become quite intrigued in making my own operating system, and I guess there is lots of reading to do. I've just bought four books on the subject and hopefully that should get me started (once they arrive). Time is precious, and although I'm generally quite patient I'm wondering in terms of research how much should I be expecting to undertake. If anyone has any recommendations on what I should do over the next 2 years (by the time I hope to have a basic microkernel), any advice will be welcome (sorry for the dull, impaired introduction).

 Post subject: Re:OS Dev
PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2004 7:19 pm 
Write code.

I know that seems like a dumb response, but I'll explain what I mean.

An author (Terry Pratchett I think) once said in an interview that people aspiring to be writers kept asking him for advice, and that the advice he always gave was to write. Not write a novel, just to write a few hundred lines a day.

OS programming is quite different (IMHO) to application programming, there are a lot of pitfalls and subtleties to learn about and deal with.

So yes, do the research, do the design work, but for god's sakes write some code at the same time. It doesn't matter if you throw it all away for something that fits better with your final design, the exercise will be worthwhile and give you better insight into what you want in that final design. It's all too easy to fall into the trap of following flights of fancy with paper designs whilst forgetting to ever code anything (There are many OS projects with a large website of documents, but only a bootsector of working code, dreaming of being the next big thing). If programming is art not science (As I believe) then you can think of this type of programming as your rough sketches, that will hopefully provide reference for your final masterpiece :).

 Post subject: Re:OS Dev
PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2004 7:28 pm 
Excellent advice, greatly appreciated. I'm 15 at the moment, just about to turn 16 soon, I've been a geek for the past 5 years of my life, so I have the neighbors calling me a nerd and all, it's evil! Anyway, this is probably a disorder to my persona... I often singularly engaged at what I do, I live for what I do. From what you're saying I take a hint that you should go in steps, learn systematically, little at a time.. Is it not good to be single-trapped minded? (once again, sorry for what may appear to be pathetic questions).

 Post subject: Re:OS Dev
PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2004 12:54 am 
When I turned 16, I've finished the first 200 or so pages of a book - it took about seven years to finish it and it's been a big endeavour. They called me a nerd/moron. They didn't understand, thats all, and I told them.

As for your intentions: aye, it is like curufir has stated: write code besides doing the research and design things. It is worth the exercise to try out algorithms, to learn how to implement linked lists - and by the time develop a library of helper algorithms needed for all days programming work - you 'll need them. The first thing I've been writing for my kernel - besides the keyboard handling - 's been a printf. Not the most typesafe thing it is, but it works and 's been of valueable help.

STay safe and enjoy the endeavour. and no, you don't sound pathetic. You write with your own style.

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