The convergence of computation and the web

I started to get into computer programming in the mid-2000’s when I wiped Windows XP off of my hard drive, and replaced in with Linux. In time, I have been able to develop fairly deep personal relationships with the microprocessors that I’ve owned.

It wasn’t until 2011, however, when I finally decided to bite the bullet and try to get a handle on the web paradigm. What I mean is that I was interested in pushing the boundaries of what kinds of computing experiences are possible in our browsers. So, I started to dive deep into JavaScript and all of the in-browser APIs… particularly, those of Chrome.

After screwing around with web programming for a year, I set my mind to creating the “mother of all web sites” in mid-2012 by basically putting an entire operating system into a web browser. I started out doing all of the GUI-related stuff, such as window and icon handling. Over time, however, my interests morphed into seeing just how far I could push the theoretical “operating system envelope”, so I began work on a serious text editor (like vim), and finally, a command line interface.

If you’ve ever had any experience with the Linux/Unix CLI, you are probably aware that it is an actual programming language, complete with variables, loops and branches. So, in the last few months, I finally put my nose to the grindstone and basically hammered out a clone of the UNIX shell.

But the difference between this operating system and all others (in the mainstream, at least) is simply that this one is fundamentally distributed. There is a file system that allows you to mount different kinds of directories. One of these kinds is meant to be shared by everyone, which is the thing that gives the system its distributed character.

If you have Chrome (or Opera), you can check it out at

When users first log on to it, they are supposed be a little bewildered about what they are supposed to do… but then a little “present” is thrown out there. When you “unwrap” it, all hell starts to break loose… Just check it out, you’ll see what I mean.

The philosophical implications of this thing are huge. I would be so bold as to call this a necessary first step towards general purpose Artificial Intelligence. A funny story is that my first experience with Linux happened at the same time as my first experience with other philosophy types on ILP. I remember back in the day when Dunamis and detrop were stalking this place like hyenas. When all of that craziness was happening, I was making my first tentative steps into the bowels of the Linux system.