[racket] Finndesign Liitin: Computing rethought

From: Matthias Felleisen (matthias at ccs.neu.edu)
Date: Wed Jan 5 17:09:25 EST 2011

Jukka, this all sounds like an inspiring idea, kind of like a return to the future of Lisp machines. 

1. What kind of uses do you imagine? 

2. I am not sure how the phrase 'network OS' connects to the rest of the message. 

-- Matthias

On Jan 5, 2011, at 10:04 AM, Jukka Tuominen wrote:

> Hi all,
> after about a decade's development work, we (Finndesign) are about to
> release something that we feel very exited about. It's a network OS called
> Liitin and it uses Scheme (Racket) as built-in language. BTW, Liitin means
> 'connector' in Finnish and is pronounced like "Lee tin".
> Rational:
> There are lots of great free software and snippets out there, but due to
> incompatibilities and overall complexity to setup a working environment,
> they are often out of the reach of most of us. Or it's just not worth the
> trouble. Often data disappears or keeps changing without warning, so
> eventhough you know it's out there, it's an unsure and tedios task to
> actually utilize it (let alone to build something on top of it).
> Liitin tries to address these problems with some of its key principles:
> - The environment is kept static and uniform, so when you create an object,
> anybody else can use it instantly without worrying about compatibility.
> - Development and dynamicy is done by Liitin objects. You can create an
> infinite number of objects and use and share them on the fly. That is,
> object are located in a global database, and you can refer to any object
> directly without requiring a different set of libraries case by case
> (provided that these functions are placed into Liitin once, naturally :).
> - Liitin objects can be anything (data, functions, GUI...), and - thanks to
> Eli Barzilay's help - you can use them just like Scheme's built-in objects.
> For example:
>  (gaia:fibonacci 10) >> 55   i.e. user Gaia has created a public object
> fibonacci.
>  (mirko:eliza "i feel like singing") >> "do you often feel like singing"
>  (liitin:script-manager) >> opens a new window that manages scripts
>  (liitin:object-properties 'gaia:fibonacci) >> opens the source code of the
> object for viewing/editing
> - Each user has his own namespace, so eventhough you can view/execute/modify
> all public objects as you like, you can only do so within your own
> namespace. Private objects are also available.
> - Persistency is enforced, so that any object ever saved/published, is
> always accessible thereafter.
> - You can choose whether to call the latest version of the object, or any
> earlier version.
> - Updates are instant; the author updates the object once and everybody else
> will receive the latest version the next time they call the object.
> - Best of all, there's nothing to setup, just log into Liitin
> There are many potential ways to utilize Liitin, such as:
> - Personal desktop
> - innovating new functions or combining existing ones into something new
> (visual programming and hardware control on the roadmap)
> - Educational usage: teaching, learning, research, final thesis...
> - collaborating work: use all the power of existing effort and work on new
> projects simultaneously around the globe.
> - Building ontologies with built-in functionality (~semantic web)
> ...
>>> Consider accumulating not only the knowledge of humankind but also
> methods (instantly at hand :)
> The main goal is not to build the fastest system out there, but rather an
> enabler. Instead of weeks of work, you can create something in hours or
> minutes. Instead of not having something done at all, you can and feel like
> having it done.
> A lot still needs to be done but we already have a prototype running the
> basic functionality. Before passing this into hands of a wider audience
> (incl. non-schemers), we would be anctious to hear how you like this kind of
> idea?  I could also provide a limited number of test accounts over Internet
> to allow first hand experience (preferably core Racket developers at this
> point). For test account requests, please email me directly.
> So, how does this sound to you?
> Possibilities, limitations, threats, questions, ideas? Cool/ not cool?
> br, jukka
> |  J U K K A   T U O M I N E N
> |  m a n a g i n g   d i r e c t o r  M. A.
> |
> |  Finndesign  Kauppiaankatu 13, FI-00160 Helsinki, Finland
> |  mobile +358 50 5666290
> |  jukka.tuominen at finndesign.fi  www.finndesign.fi
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