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AROS, Anubis, FriendUP UP and Away!

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2005/7/8 7:04
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Hello all!

As you know, I was part of the AROS developer community for many years. At least from 2003-2009. I worked on Wanderer and made some apps. I was probably one of the few that actually coded inside of AROS on native hardware - sustaining heavy crashes and hard disk corruption.

My activity ebbed out. The lack of momentum demotivated me. Battles in the source code repository tired me out. I ended up with publishing my LunaPaint code on SourceForge and focused on other things.

The other things were efforts like the Anubis OS, which was a new path for the AROS code base. Michal Schulz(mschulz), Matt Parsons(Bloodline), Alexander Stevenson, Ola Stokka(4play), Alex Perez and others got together and formed a sort of think tank. Here, we came up with great designs. But the project came to an end, because too many ideas inevitably failed to land on solid ground.

We actually did write some code! Not in any repository. It was kept privately by each participating member. Because we were preparing to demonstrate how we could port AROS architecture over to a Linux based environment - to each other. Memory protection. Keeping runtime linking simple. Driver management. The lot.

Our idea was basically to do what Apple had done with Mac OS X. Use *nix as a base and put an AROS layer on top. Apple made use of FreeBSD. Anubis was going to use Linux - because of the driver richness and sizable developer base. Over time, we planned on cutting through layer after layer until we had our own mean and tight kernel.

Anyway, Anubis never came to be. It became a WIKI and a website that remained for a couple of years. And then it disappeared. It will be written in the record that Anubis was the true father of Friend.

Friend came into being one day in the company I had founded with some partners back in 2010; Idéverket. This company was a software and design bureau located on the West Coast of Norway. We got an interesting customer one day, and he liked the idea of a web based desktop environment.

This was back in 2013. Since 2001, I had been working on web applications, and I had seen the evolution of browser technology. It was amazing! In fact, the web engines revolutionized media programming. It killed Macromedia Flash for this reason, giving Adobe a rotten egg when they bought the tech.

Even back in 2012, web browsers could do 3D, hardware acceleration and experimental web assembly. I started to realize that WebKit and Gecko, at the time, was becoming a DirectX like graphical library, to be programmed in a high-level language; JavaScript.

By the end of 2013, the speed optimizations and Linux support was so strong in these engines that I could imagine doing an entire graphical user interface. There was no reason not to. The engines were written in C, after all, and optimized for speed. Just like Intuition. Just like X11. Etc.

So I started working, and after a while doing that, I could put the Anubis kernel ideas, and some of my code, into the project.

This became the prototype Friend Core co-kernel. A layer on top of the Linux kernel. Portable. It would work in tandem with other OS's too. Perhaps AROS. And it would communicate with the GUI and Desktop using in-memory structures, shared by the graphics engine - super fast browser tech.

In retrospect, this was a good choice. Blink, WebKit and Gecko has sped up enormously the last few years. These days, JavaScript competes with many compiled low-level languages for speed.

Do not think HTML here. Browser engines are way beyond this now. Many developers hack the DOM tree of the browser directly, without writing a single line of Markup. And by using technologies like Canvas, the HTML aspect of the graphics and layout parser will become increasingly irrelevant over time.

A bonus of using web technologies were that, because of our architecture, our co-kernel could be separated from the GUI over the network, leading to a multi-kernel design. One GUI, many server cores, each with its own kernel.

Today Friend is in v1.1. It still needs to become completely compatible with the Thoth specification (the name TRIPOS had before, TRIPOS - which became AmigaDOS after Commodore bought it for their Amigas). It still needs to be properly packaged so that you can install it natively. Our roadmap (links below) plots out a plan for making Friend Books, which are essentially PCs (ARM or Intel) with Friend Native Linux installed. But for the time being, Friend is only accessible in the cloud, on the internet.

Friend is open source. The project is growing, and new developers are coming in. It's about time we bridged the gap of time and brought in AROS and Anubis developers again. To continue working on our dreams of an AmigaOS like operating system with modern features.

It's time to smell the coffee. Friend now has money backing it, nine full-time developers and a growing open source team. It has project management too. A roadmap. Partner projects. Advisors. Everything needed for success.

Even Commodore and Amiga insiders joined the project. Like David Pleasance (CBM UK). Paul Lassa (CBM US). Colin Proudfoot (CBM UK). Francois Lionet (AMOS/STOS/ClickTeam Fusion), our senior developer. And I have had great luck in meeting with awesome people like Dave Haynie (Amiga engineer), Bryce Nesbitt (AmigaOS 2-3), RJ Michal (AmigaOS 1-x) and many others who could share good advice, and who could convey insights into where the Amiga OS was heading, if time had permitted.

Friend has a bright future and companies are coming into the fold to use it in their businesses.

Let's pick up what's left of this developer and user community and help make this dream happen! Please, consider joining forces, finally, and let the community that's left at least have some real, and realistic hope of being part of something amazing for many years to come.

https://friendup.cloud/discover/roadmap/
https://friendup.cloud/
https://friendsoftware.cloud/
https://developers.friendup.cloud/
https://github.com/FriendSoftwareLabs/friendup/

Posted on: 1/23 11:15
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Re: AROS, Anubis, FriendUP UP and Away!

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2016/1/26 4:31
From Gent, België
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Just one question.
FriendUP seems interesting, but what exactly does it offer a user which doesn't care for the cloud, web applications, blockchain and cryptocurrencies and who just wants to run native Linux applications?

Posted on: 1/24 1:39
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Re: AROS, Anubis, FriendUP UP and Away!

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Well, look at FriendUP as a Chrome OS based on Amiga OS architecture, design and desktop philosophies. It is essentially what Chrome OS would be if it was based on AROS, but with networking functionality in focus.

As you can see in our roadmap, it will be possible to install Friend on your local machine this year. Perhaps even on a compatible Phone (Sony, Huawei?). But right now, the biggest market for a solution like this is in the cloud, so it's just natural that we start there as a company using investor capital.

But the open source project is... open! So if we get enough people on the team who can work on the native version, we will have it out quicker.

Friend could use AROS for DOS functionality, and later integrate with it as a layer for Amiga OS compatibility. Then Friend could provide intense networking functionality needed to connect to decentralized technologies (like Fluence, IPFS, Golem etc).

Friend is a future oriented operating system with deep roots. It's implementation is perhaps a bit non-traditional - to be financially viable - but the whole company, ethos and philosophy neatly aligns with the same ideals that are found in this community.

Posted on: 1/24 1:45
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Re: AROS, Anubis, FriendUP UP and Away!

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2004/4/6 8:40
From Liege Belgium
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One word make me run away as far as possible from Friend, that i have never tested & will never test for any purpose... Cloud. I do not thrust any third party with my Datas, i dunno & never will support dematerialisation of things.

Posted on: 1/24 1:56
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[size=xx-small][font=Helvetica]AROS Native Box: Intel P4 Northwood (x86)2.66Ghz - 2 Gb RAM HD 120Gb - DVD+R Philips - Nvidia Gforce 2MX (works) Onboard AC97 sound (works) - Onboard Net (Disabled) Nic RTL 8029 (works)<BR>Laptop Toshiba, Core2 Duo, Triple b
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Re: AROS, Anubis, FriendUP UP and Away!

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This misconception dies hard. If you run Friend locally, you're not using the cloud – only if you OPT IN. Will you stay away from AROS because it has AmiCloud?

Cloud == Internet storage and computing services

Simple as that. And we're decentralizing it so you don't have to use Google / Azure etc. You can use your neighbor or your PC in the cabin in Switzerland. It's just to allow you to network and share resources. YOU chose with whom or when or where.

In other words, the cloud features in Friend is a strength, not a stealthy surveillance ploy.

So while we do offer web access for the vast number of people who find this convenient, the native version of Friend will work exactly how you want it.

Posted on: 1/24 2:26
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Re: AROS, Anubis, FriendUP UP and Away!

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From Gent, België
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I'm still a bit confused about FriendUP at times. I understand the heavy marketing towards hip words such as "cloud" and "blockchain" (and yes, I know these are real technologies). But I'm following the development anyway. So the native version of FriendUP will be based on Linux? Or will it completely run it's own kernel? If it's based on Linux, which distro is it's base?

Posted on: 1/24 2:31
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Re: AROS, Anubis, FriendUP UP and Away!

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The confusion is understandable. But the reason for it is also rationally explained; Investors don't invest in Norwegian Operating System startups. They invest in global Blockchain / Cloud / Enterprise systems that are on accord with the latest trends.

We've worked hard to align with these trends, while still being free to develop the operating system as originally planned way back when. So it's a very lucid strategy that brings both goals together. Which is good. It means we will get commercial activity that will attract third party developers widely.

For our own interests, here in this forum, FriendUP is the real child of Anubis - which was once an AROS derived project. It's going to run on your PC. We just need a spark in our open source development team of contributors who can speed up the process. And we need users who can contribute in areas of testing, writing documentation, evangelizing and bring it all together.

Posted on: 1/24 2:55
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Re: AROS, Anubis, FriendUP UP and Away!

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2012/8/16 12:52
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Glad that you found investors, and as you say, they follow buzzwords so without them you won't have a chance.
I am not found of browser based solutions and dislike Javascript, both as a user and as a developer. (Had a lot of bad experience during my years with angular/ionic/electron ..whatever)
But I do wish you all good luck, but I'll stick with something closer to the hardware ;)

Posted on: 1/24 3:05
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Re: AROS, Anubis, FriendUP UP and Away!

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JavaScript is only the starting point. There are other interfaces to interact with the browser graphics engine. Indeed, you should view the browser graphics engine as a X11 sort of framework, for drawing boxes and shapes.

JavaScript should be understood as a type of Arexx in this context - a messaging API with powerful features.

On a Native version of Friend, you'll be able to write C code (or any language you wish). JavaScript will simply be a communication channel using the UI. Indeed, if we can get a team working more closely, we may even be able to create C bindings directly to the UI.

Posted on: 1/24 3:08
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Re: AROS, Anubis, FriendUP UP and Away!

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That made me feel a little better actually. I still haven't seen an aging JS solutions that doesn't look like spaghetti and consume hideous amount of RAM in a couple of hours.

Though I'm not an expert in C, it's a great rocketlauncher if you stay away from shooting yourself in the foot.. which is easier said then done.

Posted on: 1/24 3:22
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