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September 25, 2005

Portable VM

In my last entry I talked about the current state of Portable VMs and listed some of their problems. I think that the emulated platform is definitely the way to go because then you could run on any Arch/OS that you can port to. Of course this begs the question what about Java or what about using the browser in some way? Well, the browser may not be quite there yet and using Java you have that as a dependence.

That being said, I think a hybrid Java/OS is the way to most effectively provide the functionality desired. This way the underlying VM is already written and the only thing that would need to be developed would be the hybrid OS layer. The drawback of something like this is that current non-Java applications can't be easily ported. However, we must defend that by saying we aren't interested in that kind of thing. This will be more akin to an embedded system where each core application is maintained by the OS (platform) maintainer and we just allow others to extend our platform via 3rd party apps.

It's always a trade-off, but I think this is what I'll try. Look for further announcements on Hazelnut Cafe [hazelnutcafe.net].

Posted by Guy at 12:24 PM | Permalink

September 21, 2005

Portable What?

There's been a lot of talk about Portable Virtual Machines lately. Namely Portable CE 2.0 [furrygoat.com] and The Portable Virtual Privacy Machine [metropipe.net]. These are great concepts, in fact, I've been trying to find a light-weight way of performing a similar architecture for a while. My requirements go beyond the use of these platforms however. For example, for both you need a portable drive, something writable that can hold at least 128MB. This works for most people, but I can't bring these kind of devices into work with me. Problem 2 is that they are very slow! Portable CE is the worst. Understandably because they are emulating an entire platform, while the PVPM (qemu-based) is quicker because I think they virtualize the CPU.

My idea is closer to the Portable CE implementation, but more. It has to be quicker, lighter and able to be extended to a hardware solution. As alway, I'll promise more for later.

Posted by Guy at 8:01 PM | Permalink