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What new subsystems does AmigaOS need?
Just popping in
2020/11/17 12:08
From Slough
Posts: 193

I'm interested in people's ideas as to what new subsystems AmigaOS - 3 or 4, although 4 has a bit more than 3 (e.g. built in USB) these days - you think AmigaOS needs to remain useful and relevant at least for the hobbyist community.

AmigaOS highly extensible structure has allowed third parties to fill many gaps over the years, from new filesystems to new bitmap datatypes, to mini apps that replicate functionality built in on other systems.

But there are some things where a common standard or common set of APIs with deep OS integration enables and fosters wider innovation, whether that's something we got in OS3 like the datatypes system, or something added by third parties that became a defacto standard, like Picasso96, AHI or Poseidon.

Some ideas I have would include:

- a proper 'sources and sinks' multimedia framework with support for stream i/o, containers, codecs, capture and render devices, not unlike QuickTime or gstreamer which is exactly that. Even a properly integrated port of gstreamer would do the job. It could be integrated also into datatypes, which is missing streaming/progressive playback and currently treats data formats as monolithic container-codec-data entities.

- a webkit (or similar) browser port, but one built as a system service, with the headless webview as a window class, and libraries such as javascript interpreters made available independently of the primary browser that uses them. Of course, this is probably the most ambitious of any potential projects and not necessarily practical for classic hardware. But it would unlock the ability to run spotify, gmail, office365 and all the rest meaning that the lack of modern productivity apps was no longer a limitation. And architecting it this way would allow standalone web apps using e.g. the electronJS framework.

- a properly integrated UNIX subsystem, and for this we've always been pretty close to being able to do this, from the original ixemul, to the improved POSIX support in newlib, to AmiCygnix.

- a 'WarpOS' type standard for using Arm co-processors with native Arm code for critical sections

- a standardised WiFi system. Yes we do have some SANA2 drivers and they are not that different from ethernet drivers but they require a management tool for management of connections and it would be nice to have a common GUI, perhaps a Commodity, that would integrate with the wider system better, for example with a Docky.

What ideas do you have?

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