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Discussion on: What's the most ambitious project you have ever embarked on? Did you succeed?

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Patrick Lafferty

The most ambitious project I've embarked on is hands down got to be my operating system Saturn. You know that whole not-invented-here-syndrome? Well, that's the end game if you don't get control over it.

It's ambitious because its broad scope can cover a vast variety of comp-sci theory/topics. Low-level systems programming? Check. High-level GUI frameworks? Check. Language design and interpreters? Check. Optimization, apps, services, drivers, shells. Spend a weekend at a high-level user application cottage, then the next weekend re-design the filesystem cache to improve performance. There's never a chance to get bored because there's always so much stuff to do and so much to learn. I think a philosopher once said: So much to do, so much to see, so what's wrong with taking the back streets? You'll never know if you don't go.

I started out slightly too ambitious in that I was literally going to write every line of code, including a C++ standard library implementation. But after doing that for a while I came to the conclusion that following the spec carefully would mean a year at least of just working on the library and not the OS. There's a reason the language lawer tag exists on StackOverflow. So I settled for only mostly it being me - the whole OS and libC is pure me, libC++ is courtesy of LLVM :).

Did I succeed? Depends on the definition. Saturn's obviously not complete since I've been working on it for just about one year. However I have reached a lot of the short-term goals along the way, and the only thing I've scrapped was mentioned above, so it could be considered successful.

If you'd like to know more you can visit Saturn's repository. I've been writing a few blog posts about Saturn and OS dev in general on my personal blog and also on here.

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Ravern Koh Author • Edited on

Woah, that's pretty cool πŸ‘. This is definitely up there in terms of ambition! I really like the "space" theme idea.

The amount of dedication you have put into this project is amazing. Good luck with the project in the future πŸ‘!

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Patrick Lafferty

Thank you, I really appreciate your kind words!

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rhymes

Impressive!