"A Unix-like OS running inside a browser window? The idea may
sound bizarre, but Vita Nuova wants to make it come true. Danny
Kalev talked with the company's CEO, Michael Jeffrey, in
ITworld.com's Interviews forum last month."
"Michael, for those of us who use Linux as our primary operating
system, can you please introduce Inferno and Plan 9, outlining
their major features and design goals? How do these two differ from
each other and how do they differ from other mainstream operating
systems, such as Linux, Windows, and Unix?"
"Michael Jeffrey: The Unix group at Bell Labs started work on
Plan 9 during the latter part of the 1980s. Whereas Unix began with
the structural idea of how to represent a local filesystem, Plan 9
began with the structural idea of the definition of a protocol to
communicate with resources. In other words, Plan 9 provides an
abstraction of a network of resources, as opposed to most OSs,
which provide an abstraction of a single computing device and
consequently employ different mechanisms for accessing local and
"Plan 9 represents all resources by filesystem names and uses a
single file protocol for accessing these resources, whether local
or remote. The file protocol, 9p, is applied aggressively and
consistently: there are no special cases, no ifs, no buts."
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