For a long time, I’ve maintained various iterations of low level operating system logic or programming language interpreters. The earliest iterations focused on recreating QBasic and DOS. Newer iterations focused on various technology stack ideas (the last being microkernel and exokernel based approaches). The only time my software stack ever ventured out to be seen by others was… as sample code for a job interview.
I’ll be covering this project on the podcast – but, before adding the glitz to the idea, I find myself wanting to sit and write about the idea. Starting with the why and for and what.
I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to a strong desire to build “the next thing”. And – I’d be lying to myself if I argued Wyrm had any hope of being the next thing. Instead, the mission of Wyrm is simple: a playground for OS and programming language conceptual development. My hope is to build upon (or create) some framework similar to the hello world staples provided at the OSDev Wiki. Instead of duplicating Unix and C, my intent for Wyrm is to explore the history of Amiga, Newton, and LISP machines. And, of course, duplicate Unix and C at some point.
I do not plan on supporting many hardware platforms – only the ARM, and likely only one or two available single board computers. I’m considering the Raspberry Pi 4, Asus TinkerBoard, and a QEmu Aarch64 machine for starters. This does presuppose that I manage to get the language itself into a workable state. As I don’t have a lot of time to dedicate toward the project, I suspect progress will be slow and be redirected to other ARM (or Risc-V) cores as time goes on.
I’m starting with a “blank slate” for this project. My goal will be to cover the fits and starts and pain associated with birthing an Operating System from scratch. There’s multiple toy OS projects out there – and multiple “real” projects – but developers tend to “wait” until some mythical “beta” period. Realistically, I don’t see myself having the time to hit such a milestone quickly. (Especially starting from the ground-up). That said, I’ve built many toy interpreters and kernels – so I suspect there’ll be something that appears at some point. From experience, a bootable “hardware” ARM kernel is a few weekends worth of effort. That said, my free weekends are few…