SkyOS development is currently halted

Submitted by Robert Szeleney on Fri, 2009-01-30 20:41.

The speed at which new hardware and technology gets developed has increased dramatically in the last few years. Trying to catch up with development of frameworks, drivers, applications, test, etc. got way more complicated than years ago. At that time, you developed a standard IDE driver and SkyOS would boot on 99% of all computers. There was only one way interrupts got routed, devices could be accessed, etc. More important, there was just a single CPU, no hyperthreading, mulitcores, multi cpus, etc. (at least not for computers the usual home user owned). A GUI was easy, in contrast to today, where you must have a 3D accelerated GUI. If you don’t have one your OS is said to be old, out of date. You must have WIFI, USB, Bluetooth, etc.

Catching up with the development for all this is just not possible anymore, at least, not for one person or at least, not for me.
Currently, SkyOS development is on halt, and I’m trying to find a way to get out of this unpromising situation. At this moment I only see four resorts:

- Open source SkyOS
- Make SkyOS available for free
- Specialize on a yet to define niche
- Stop SkyOS development

Eventually, I have to admit that I underestimated the speed at which new technolgy develops and establishes. And, a while ago I was able to spend hours a day developing for SkyOS, for years. Recently, as my first baby was born this of course changed which made the entire developing situation even worse. Again I underestimated a few, personal, real life factors and their impact on developing.
I’m sorry if I dissapointed you, but I guess you favor me being honest about the current situation.

Anyway, I will do my best to find the best possible solution for SkyOS and its future.

News update (6th, apr 2009):
For the last weeks and as it looks like quite a few more weeks I'm in contact with a lot of people talking about their
ideas to continue SkyOS development. Unfortunately many people completely underestimate the amount of work required to manage a development team for SkyOS, either an open or closed source version, or completely lack vision and or motivation and or seriousness. Anyway, I'm still reading through my inbox hoping to get in contact with people with real motives and knowledge being able to bring SkyOS to the next level.

opensource it!

make skyos opensource is the best way you can go. look at projects like syllable, reactos oder AROS. They are growing and growing. the same could be done to skyos.

*sorry for my bad english, i am german*

My opinion is open source

My opinion is open source SkyOS,

all other solutions is no viable.

OpenSource it

I think it would be best, to make SkyOS OpenSource.

> - Open source SkyOS

Best solution. And I hope you see it also so.

> - Make SkyOS available for free

Where would be the advantage, to give it free of charge, but not giving out the SourceCode under an OpenSource license?
That also dont guarant that SkyOS will be developed further more. What happend, when in any time it will be unpossible for you, to work more on SkyOS (lying in hospital or so), then it ends automatical in the fourth point (the SkyOS development stops).

- Specialize on a yet to define niche

Not defined, right. Linux tried to be in any nich.
The goal of SkyOS was, to have - like BeOS, Syllable and so on - one niche: the desktop. So using Linux, BSD, OpenSolaris and other *nixe as Server and SkyOS for the desktop. But now you want to find an other niche, where SkyOS isn't designd for?

- Stop SkyOS development

As many other people say: That would be a waste of time.
Something similar exists with BeOS. In the end it was buyd by Palm, which never published newer versions of BeOS.

simple put

I've been following SkyOS for a long time now. Even when you were still developing a free version.

I think you simply lost the original goal for a closed source SkyOS when you released beta 8 or something like that. If you would look at the original points what you wanted to have done before releasing it, you'll see that you allready implemented most of them (If I at least remember them right it was mostly giving a overhaul of the inner working and an new and better interface).

Why don't you simply release your current version as final? It's workable, as far as I heard and pretty much feature complete. (Sorry don't bought a beta, thought you would release a final soon enough).

As other people can start porting drivers and applications, you might have a better chance of going ahead. The big problem now is that there is a beta after beta, while there is something that could be working pretty good for most. Release a free cut-down version as you always promised so everyone can taste it.

Stopping would be a shame towards everyone who put some money in it, open sourcing it would be nice but not necessary yet (I think), making it available for free would give serious problems for the service you wanted to give and a niche... well, it always was a niche to start with...

rationale for opensource

Just making it free won't help, since you'll still lack the developers.
Finding a niche is highly improbable and again - developer-lacking.
Going opensource is the only reasonable choice, since there is a lot of effort put into this project and simply shutting it down would be a MAJOR waste.
What license to choose? MIT would be the best choice. It's simple, no-nonsence text that allows for high rate of interchangeability between different FLOSS projects (with Haiku for example, that is not only licensed under MIT as well, but is written mostly in C++ just like SkyOS).

free/opensource skyos

There is no point in halting development of SkyOS.. You guys have worked hard over the years and developed a good OS..

Best idea is to make SkyOS free/opensource..

Open Source

Open Source is best way and only one good way...stoker coordination projects open source OS is AROS ...bounty,projects etc.

Szeleney is our guru and king :o)...should operate people under open source SkyOS...

SkyOS has perfect idea...and comunity is no small


dear skyos-team...

that are really bad news.

for the last years i watched your project...and with every release it's gone to be a perfect os.

i really like the idea to set skyos to open-source. open source is the future...i think in the far future nobody would paid money for any os.

rebuild your website and particularly the forum.

build as many as mozilla/openoffice and other applications who needs for everyday life.

make it public...give it a try.

i hope you never stop this project


Perfectly understandable.

Perfectly understandable. You've done more than I or many other people could have. Thanks for that.

Possible great future for SkyOS

How can I contact Robert Szeleney developer of SkyOS? We may be able to help SkyOS and give it a great future.

Best regards

Tedd Gallion
DiscreetFX Partners

possible great future?

How are you supposed to give SkyOS a great future? I remember you as the guy who wanted to buy AmigaOS. They didn't sell, and I can understand why.

Buying SkyOS means investing in its future. I'm a realist, and I don't see more than a niche market for SkyOS within the next few years. And even that will dwindle to zero if you don't have enough competent software developers, a tight roadmap and - which is probably the most important thing - a clear vision of where you are heading. So why do you want to buy it?

Apart from that, I would be really interested in seeing an OSS version of SkyOS. I can't believe all that trash that is said about forks and I will definitely be the first in line to develop free software for a well-designed, free operating system.

After all, it's up to you, Robert. Combining innovation and profit sadly does not seem to work. Maybe you have to decide between the two.

It'll be hard to gain traction

What makes an OS valuable to the public is not the features that it supports but the software it supports. We can take DOS and its Windows derivatives as an example: no support for ACLs, rudimentary multiuser environment, no memory protection, buggy code, viruses abound. However, as Windows / Intel was the de facto leader in software ports, it thrived when it really should've died.
The situation that SkyOS is in right now is unique in that it's a totally new environment based not on Unix or Windows, and is also not open source. This can be an example of the issue with Linux software support blown to its logical end: No one will support the OS if no one's using it, no one will use it if there's no software, etc.
The desktop market is effectively saturated. The only conceivable *profitable* business model is based on the niche market. However, what niches remain to be fulfilled?
You can fix any remaining bugs with security, develop the permissions and get into capability based permissions and then market it as the ultra secure but user friendly server. You can make it a fully real-time operating system and market it to systems that require high availability and reliability. You can GPL it and see where the developers push it, realizing of course that forking in this model is essentially impossible: here's why. If a fork is better than the code it was based on and it's GPL'ed, it can just be incorporated into the existing code! If it isn't, then it won't gain support.
BSD is probably the worst solution if you're planning on open sourcing it. The exception is if it's to schools and universities (which is also a niche that may need to be fulfilled)